Anybody who knows me is very aware that I can be opinionated. You can blame it on many things, like the fact that I am gay and therefore I have an obligation to live up to the stereotype of being a bitchy homo with no “off” switch. Or you can chalk it up to the fact that I just can’t stand stupidity. But even I know when to call it quits and “tone it down.”
And that’s why this…
…Is unacceptable. When did it suddenly become socially acceptable to tell us every single thing you believe in, love or support by sticking 50 bumper stickers all over your car? Where have the days gone when you used your car’s bumper to tell what presidential candidate you supported or to showcase a child who made honor roll? When did people decide that EVERY visible exterior portion of their car was acceptable for a sticker that has BUMPER right in the name??
Bumper stickers began to make an appearance before World War II, according to the reliable sources at Wikipedia. Since then, they have taken on a life of their own. By looking at the car above, I know the person supports schools, doesn’t drink tap water, feels that without farms we wouldn’t have any food, loves the state of Oregon (I can’t argue there) and is a fan of the “Go Green” initiatives. All of these points by themselves are great attributes of an upstanding citizen. But my argument is this: if you tell me how interesting you are by plastering your beliefs all over your car, then what incentive is there for me to introduce myself, get to know you and maybe make a new friend? None! I have learned all I need to know, just by passing your car in the parking lot on the way to my apartment!
Personally, I always saw bumper stickers as a chance to make other drivers laugh uncontrollably while stuck in traffic. Having grown up in Southern California, you spend more time STUCK behind other cars than you care to admit. So when I found this little humor goldmine, I knew I hit pay dirt.
For those of you who are confused, it’s ok to admit. I won’t laugh at you – to your face. This is a bumper sticker that says “Hooked on Phonics worked for me,” only the words are misspelled. IRONY!? I think so!
The year was 2000. I stuck this sticker on the bumper of my silver Toyota Corolla – the first car I ever owned, which made it extra special – and headed off to work at Mervyn’s California.
Within minutes, I started to notice a strange commotion in the vehicles that were driving behind me. I would watch in my rear view mirror, as people of all ages would squint their eyes and appear puzzled for a about 30 seconds while they tried to understand what the sticker said. Then, as if they had a spiritual awakening, their eyes would get huge and they would begin laughing hysterically and pointing for the other occupants of the vehicle to look at what they just saw. Suddenly, this was happening all the time, and before I knew it, I was being stopped by people in parking lots and on the street. One man even went as far as to pull up next to my car, signal for me to roll my window down and yell from his car “dude, that is the funniest damn bumper sticker I have ever seen. Thank you!” You’re welcome sir, you’re very welcome.
In my opinion, that is what bumper stickers are SUPPOSED to be – a momentary departure from our hectic schedules where we see something unexpected and laugh until we pee a little bit.
They are NOT supposed to be a way to tell us your entire life story.
So please, stop it. And get some help before it’s too late.