Pop Culture: Stuck in sticker-to-bumper traffic
I haven’t talked about bumper stickers in awhile.
I rarely think about them unless I’m jarred awake by a sign that says, “My other column topic is a Cadillac.”
I saw a classic sticker earlier this week while I was sitting at a red light.
“I’ve hunted almost every day of my life. The rest have been wasted.”
It reminded me of a similar sticker I spotted a few years ago.
“My parents went to the bumper sticker store, and all I got was this lousy grammatical structure.”
I’ve always believed bumper stickers made it too easy to get drivers to hate other drivers without even knowing them.
That’s one reason I never caught the bumper-sticker fever. I have a motto: Never do anything to agitate the driver behind you.
The most direct printed message I ever stuck on my vehicle was “I voted for the other guy.”
The stick-on slogans serve as dime-store-personality-assessment on wheels.
If you’re OK with that, one carefully affixed auto-placard is usually a convenient way to meet the person you’re following.
Some people don’t make it easy. I once saw a car with two stickers, side by side: “Ask me about my grandchildren” and “If you can read this, you’re too close.” If I obeyed one message, I was in violation of the other.
I passed the car at the next opportunity in search of a more easily figureoutable person farther down the road.
This week’s encounter with that bumper sticker renewed my interest in this compelling subject. Later, I went to the Web and found my way to www.bumpersticker.com.
“Welcome to BumperSticker.com,” it read, “your resource for bumper stickers on the web!”
To the right, it said, “Call now to speak with an expert.”
Bumper-sticker experts? There’s a niche for everything.
I had to call. This was, I figured, an opportunity you just cannot pass up.
But I got a recorded menu, as is the custom these days.
“Thank you for calling the Bumper Sticker Expert Line,” it began, followed by a list of options. I wanted to listen to all of them before I proceeded.
- If you would like to design a custom bumper sticker, press 1.
- If a bumper sticker you recently saw offended your sense of grammar, press 2.
- If you can read this, and you’re not too close, press 3.
- If you want to ask about my grandchildren, press 4.
- Don’t like listening to recordings? Press star-pound-eat ...
I hung up immediately at that point.
I couldn’t wait any longer. The rest have been wasted.
Dennis Volkert is features editor at the Sturgis Journal. E-mail him at email@example.com.