new short story collection. Out now!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Windows to the Soul

Everyone has heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul but there is another window: bumper stickers. What are people saying about themselves and their view of the world via the stickers they place on, or leave attached to, the rear bumpers or windows of their vehicles?

Some stickers are funny, at least the first two or even three times that you read them. The one that says, "If you can read this, I've lost my caravan", is amusing. Others are more informative, telling you what causes the owner of the car presumably supports, or what footy team they cheer for, or what breed of dog they like. Of course it is not always the case that the sticker on the back of the car in front of you can be used to make an accurate assessment about the owner of the vehicle, but it is natural to make such an assumption. What else would one think?

What am I supposed to think about a man wearing a cowboy hat, and driving a Ford F-350 ute with the following stickers on it: a United States confederate flag, a rodeo sticker, and a sign that says, "keep honking, I'm reloading!" All this paints a pretty clear picture about the bloke and what he's in to, doesn't it?

Some bumper stickers really make you ask the question why. Why would a person put a sticker on their car which says "bad boy" or "bad girl"? Because they are bad and proud of it, or because they want to be bad? What about "zero to bitch in 60 seconds", "no sex, no ride", "gas, grass or ass - no free rides", "get in, sit down, shut up and hang on", or "don't like my driving? dial 1800 eat #@*%" ?

The answer is obvious. The people who put these stickers on their cars, think like that, they identify with the sentiments expressed, they make statements about themselves with those stickers. If you bought a car which had a sticker showing an outline of Australia with the words "*#%@ off we're full", you'd remove the sticker, unless you were a racist like the person who put it there in the first place.

It's hard not to judge people by their bumper stickers, but by plastering their vehicles with such decorations, they are asking for it, aren't they? Inviting judgement. They are not shy or ashamed about having such attitudes. Their bumper stickers are proud declarations, and that's a bit of a worry, don't you think?

Or is it all just harmless fun?

1 comment:

  1. I thought the one I saw once,"I owe, I owe, so off to work I go"was funny, also, "He who plans to accept Jesus at the eleventh hour, often dies at ten-thirty" was rather good.I think bumper stickers often follow a fad, like those darn frangipanis everyone (except me) had on their car at one time.I hate the T-shirt which declares "It's not illegal unless you get caught"it really annoys me for some reason, it doesn't make sense. Maybe you can judge the driver to a certain extent by the stickers on his/her car, but I feel that quite often the sticker is put there because the driver thinks it is funny, and it doesn't represent the actual attitude of the person.Remember all those cars that declared "You toucha my car, I puncha your face"a few years back?

    ReplyDelete