Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bumper Stickers, Hospital Visits, and Happy Plates - Part One

You might think the title subjects could never be related. But, I will endeavor to disprove that thought over the course of the next two … maybe three … posts.

Not long ago, I was attempting to figure out when my dislike of bumper stickers started. I know … a very deep, profound, relevant subject.

Please don’t get me wrong, a window decal proudly proclaiming your alma mater, advertising your son/daughter’s baseball team number, or professing your support of the local zoo are just fine and dandy … I’ve got some of those myself!

And, I’ll admit to liking a few bumper stickers … the happy, harmless, non-political, non-preachy kinds that make me laugh, like “Wag more, bark less”. The ones I’m not so fond of tend to be political … and overtly preachy … and often not-so-nice.

Sure, I wonder why people would put sticky, paint-damaging residue across the back of an asset that no doubt cost at least a small chunk of change, but I had this nagging feeling that my dislike went much deeper.

I originally thought it was because I assumed that those who put the preachy, political bumper stickers on their cars were attempting to influence the minds of the captive audience stuck behind them at the stoplight:

Driver of Car Behind Bumper-Sticker Splattered Auto: “Oh, wow … that driver in front of me is voting for Candidate X. Hmmmm … maybe I should consider voting for that candidate as well … after all, Driver of Bumper-Sticker Splattered Auto obviously has good taste in vehicle colors.”

No, it went deeper than that.

Not long ago, I witnessed a vehicle not ‘walking its talk’ … uh, I mean, ‘not driving its bumper sticker statement.’ I was driving behind an old (emitting toxic exhaust fumes), rectangular (box-like), semi-maroon colored (oxidizing) van, trying desperately not to inhale.

While sitting at a stoplight, I was entertained by the bumper stickers plastered across the back end of the van. One, in particular, caught my eye. It was a quote by Mother Theresa, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. “

So, my first thought was that I would have used the word ‘travesty’ instead of ‘poverty’. But, that’s just me. I have to find something to correct in everything I read whether it’s needed or not … it’s kind of a sickness. Seriously, though, I couldn’t help but ponder the meaning behind those words.

As I was lost in thought (the owner of the bumper sticker’s intent, I assume), the light turned green and the van lurched forward and sped off. It was jacked way up high, looking like any sharp turn might topple the whole thing over. It looked like there were at least two kids in the back seats. And, I realized it was probably doing 45 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone.

So, I’m thinking … they put a bumper sticker on their car about sacrificing to save children because they are, presumably, making decisions that help children. And, yet, they are driving a raised, ready-to-topple van that is carrying children at a speed 15 miles an hour higher than the legal limit. Grrrr … practice what you preach via your bumper stickers, people!

But, no … that wasn’t it either. My dislike of bumper stickers went deeper … way deeper.

I kept thinking … and then it dawned on me. Happy Plate Guy … that was it! I had pinpointed the exact moment my dislike of preachy, political bumper stickers began.

Stay tuned for more in my next post! :-)


CC said...

Happy Plate Guy???? Don't leave me hanging!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Great hook!!

Kelly Polark said...

Some bumper stickers are funny, most are annoying!
Hmmmm, wondering about Happy Plate Guy now!

What About The Girl? said...

I love those two words! Be Happy!
It's nice to be back here!
Thank you for dropping by again and for the lovely comments!

Plate Guy, huh? Sounds intriguing. ;-)

Sherrie Petersen said...

Who is Happy Plate Guy?

I remember being really annoyed by those hanging caution signs that said "Baby on Board," as if their baby was more important than any other life on the road, or the fact that they had a baby would make people be more careful around their car.

My dad never let me put bumper stickers on the car and I still don't :^)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Gripping! Yeah, bumper stickers really get to me, too. Hope to see another post soon!

Anonymous said...


I like bumper stickers that are meant for kind humor. But I do not like the ones that are crude, mean, or too political (insulting candidates running for office types).

PJ Hoover said...

I do love reading the bumper stickers that amuse me. I wouldn't put them on my car, but if someone else wants to...

Corey Schwartz said...

I'll be back to read the rest!

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVING all your comments (I agree, Sherrie, with the whole 'Baby on Board' thing!)! The remainder of the story is coming soon! Thanks for stopping by!

Danyelle L. said...

*waits, wide-eyed with anticipation*

Keri Mikulski said...

I'm always intrigued by bumper stickers. :)