Answering the Bumper Stickers

By Piper Bayard

Bumper stickers. Sort of like Bathroom Readers for the road. I wonder sometimes if people even think about what they put on their cars. Take this popular one, for example:

image from cafepress.com

image from cafepress.com

Why stop with random acts of kindness? When did the goal for kindness get lowered from “habit” to “random”? How lazy is that? This assumes I’m normally a jerk and need to upgrade to “random” kindness, or it lowers the bar from “habitually kind” to “randomly kind.”

And how about the second half? An act of “Senseless beauty.” What the heck does that even mean? Beauty is a noun, and the word “senseless” means “with no apparent purpose.” Since when does beauty need purpose? It is not an act, but a subjective experience of aesthetic appreciation of something external to ourselves.

Perhaps a more meaningful bumper sticker would be “Consistent acts of kindness and experience of beauty.”

Another favorite is this preachy beauty:

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

Can someone please tell me why the people driving the cars with this bumper sticker are always the first to flip off others in traffic and keep “competitors” from merging?

Then there are the politically preachy bumper stickers. “Wow. That bumper sticker really changed my mind about the upcoming election!” . . . Said no one ever.

And, of course, no discussion of bumper stickers would be complete without  the honor student bumper stickers.

image by cafepress.com

image by cafepress.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

And my personal favorite . . .

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

Seems like a few folks have their egos a bit tied up in their kids. All of this glorification of children on bumper stickers makes me want to answer with this license plate that I saw last week at Costco.

image by Piper Bayard

image by Piper Bayard

And Costco has just the lime cilantro chili sauce for that.  🙂

What are some bumper stickers and license plates that stick out in your mind?

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22 comments on “Answering the Bumper Stickers

  1. There’s actually a reason for the COEXIST behavior problems, people who put bumper stickers on their cars are more territorial as a whole. It doesn’t matter what the bumper sticker says, it’s that to be a person who would buy a bumper sticker you already have territorial feelings and see the car as an extension of yourself. Those people drive more aggressively and are more likely to have road rage.

    Don’t even get me started on the “Please kidnap my kids!” cars that have everything but their SSN listed in bumper sticker form. School name, kid’s name, parent’s name…. >.< It's just not safe.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      That’s an excellent point, Liana. I hadn’t thought of the territorial issues, but I think you may be onto something there. I will say, though, that if a bumpersticker can make me laugh, I appreciate it. 🙂

      I know what you mean about the “Please kidnap my kids!” cars. They fit right into the “Please kidnap my kids!” internet programs that every public school student gets involuntarily fed into these days. It’s odd to me that in a time when it’s easier than ever to stalk people, society would opt to see privacy and boundaries as quaint, archaic notions.

  2. My favorite was always “Ask me about my grandchildren.” I searched in vain for a bumper sticker which read “I don’t give a rat’s ass about your grandchildren.”

  3. tomwisk says:

    Loved it. Get flipped off a lot because I read bumper stickers. Why broadcast your beliefs on the road? Nutjobs with cars and possible traffic stops are a possibility.

  4. Thanks for starting my Monday (and back to work day) with a howl, Piper! That felt good! Don’t you just want to know the person who came up with that license plate??

  5. I.J.Vern says:

    Great post, Piper. I don’t like those stickers, with the exception of one: “Eat the kids 1st”. LOL.

    “If you can read this, I’m not impressed. Most people can read” – “I’m gonna survive even if it kills me” – “You can’t scare me. I have children”

    😀

  6. Shantnu says:

    One I liked was , “Im driving like this to piss you off.”

  7. Shea Ford says:

    I liked the one that said, “If you don’t stop tailgaiting me, I’ll flick a booger on your windshield.” Might be useful for living in a college town. Assuming, of course, all college kids read directions. Ha! I just nullified myself because if they’re tailgaiting you, they don’t follow directions anyway!

  8. tedhenkle says:

    The bumbper sticker I get a kick out of is: “I’m a member of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals).”

  9. Mike Lince says:

    My all time favorite bumper sticker: “Help Stamp Out Bumper Stickers”
    I guess I have always been a sucker for irony. 🙂

  10. I thought of trying to register “UPU2” as my license plate, useful for sailing past lollygagging drivers who take pleasure from generating conga lines of frustrated vehicles in their wake. But then I thought better of it. Here in NZ custom plates cost $300 and I figured if I was going to spend that on the car it had better be on maintenance. Sigh.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      “generating conga lines of frustrated vehicles in their wake” — LOL! What a great way of describing that.

      I’m not sure what custom plates cost here, but they aren’t cheap. Like you, I’ve always been too practical.

  11. Julie Glover says:

    Don’t even get me started on that COEXIST bumper sticker. I find it utterly and completely offensive. Those people need to get their own religious symbols.

    I’ve always wondered why someone would take a $15,000 car and slap a 15-cent bumper sticker on it that will leave a mark and be nearly impossible to take off. Maybe it’s like tattoing your car. (I’ve never wanted a tattoo, in part because of the permanence of it.) I’m glad there are magnetic ones now.

    Still, some bumper stickers do crack me up. And the current trend of stick figure families on windows has finally hatched a zombie family substitute: http://www.perpetualkid.com/zombie-family-car-stickers.aspx?gclid=CNSfh8XGz7cCFQho7AodLiEAAQ 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I think tattooing your car is a great way to put it. Exactly. And the person who wants the same bumper sticker at 20 that they want at 30 has wasted 10 years. As for the zombies, there are a couple of cars around here that have those. 🙂

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