Please Allow Me To Bump Thee
by Rob Cottignies
So there I am, driving along like a grandma, when I’m immediately distracted. There’s a sentence and I must read it in full. It’s about the president and I know I won’t care but I have to know what it says. I read it. Horrible. Then I look up to see the brazen red of brake lights. I can’t stop in time. Smash, boom, shatter, crunch. Onomatopoeia.
This tragic situation occurs all the time. Well, probably not and never to me, but I suppose it could happen. And if it were to be, what would be at fault? Bumper stickers. Why do these things still exist? I cannot think of anything more useless than bumper stickers. And believe me, I’ve tried- yogurt, non-alcoholic beer, various Kardashians. All somehow more useful. And did I just make a reference to popular culture? I guess since I called it ‘popular culture’ I’ll still be considered a caveman who’s way out of any loop.
Anyloop… Rather, anyway- bumper stickers make me cringe. Each is more obnoxious than the previous one and not one of them matters or changes anything. Some of the more grotesque ones have even left the bumper to move north to the rear window. Jimmy Stewart would not be happy. We’ll get to those later. First, a rant…
The situation described in the first paragraph will demonstrate that I am admittedly unable to not read bumper stickers. The point is that they are distracting and dangerous. Especially the ones with sayings and full sentences on them. ‘Global warming is untrue because winter is cold and blah blah blah whatever.’ This is too long to read while maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of me. No sentence is so important that it must be permanently adhered to the back of your vehicle. And speaking of dangerous, these ‘Honk if you…’ stickers are an absolute menace. The honking of the horn is for one and only one of these purposes- to politely (except in New Jersey) alert the driver in front of you that the traffic light has turned green OR to defensively make a driver aware that his or her vehicle is getting too close to yours. Or, if you’re listening to The Heart Of Rock And Roll by Huey Lewis & The News, you know when to use the horn. That’s the only exception. Do not arbitrarily honk all over the place because a sticker told you to because you like some band or know someone with cancer or tongue-in-cheekily hate loud noises.
A political sticker is probably the worst kind to put on your bumper. What if your candidate loses? What if your candidate wins? Who cares? Vote and keep it to yourself. Oh, you voted for some guy? Wonderful. Oh, you didn’t vote for that guy so nothing his administration does is your fault? Splendid. Go honk yourselves.
I don’t care what mountain your car has climbed. I don’t care what you’d rather be doing than driving. I don’t care which sports teams you like. I don’t care how far you ran one time. And I really, REALLY, don’t care about your child’s grades. In fact, here’s a George Carlin quote for that last one- “Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: We are the proud parents of a child whose self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”
And what is the point of religious bumper stickers? Has anyone ever been driving while thinking, ‘I just don’t know about that Jesus…’ and seen a car with JESUS LOVES YOU plastered on its back side and converted immediately? No, that has never happened. I’ve seen bumper stickers for other religions as well but Catholics are so eager to advertise theirs and that’s why I targeted them specifically.
Now I must bring your attention above the bumper to two things that are each the worst thing ever. 1) Baby On Board. Great. What am I supposed to do with this information, not hit you? I was already trying to not hit you but somehow now the idea is more tempting. Also, because I’m a little demented, I have looked into vehicles with this placard in the window and not seen a baby. First annoying, second lying. Do they really need a third strike? Yes- a bat to the forehead.
2) These family member sticker things found on the rear window of most minivans. I’m sure you all know what I mean, but humor my explanation- People put a sequence of decals on their rear windows. The far left decal is a grown male stick figure that’s holding a briefcase or bowling ball or some other stupid thing. Next to that, a female stick figure baking a pie or just standing there in a dress. Next to that, at least one stick figure representing a child with a piece of sports equipment or flowers or jump rope and a really big weird unnatural Charlie Brown smile. Next to that or them, a decal or decals of a dog and/or cat. These are all supposed to represent the driver’s family. You know, because that sort of thing interests complete strangers. Sometimes there are names under each decal, denoting each specific family member. DADDY, MOMMY, BRYCE, SUZI, TREVOR, SPOTS, and WHISKERS. It’s enough to cause immediate vomiting. These decals make me angry for two reasons- 1) I’m not smart enough to think of something this stupid to sell to the masses, and 2) They show how utterly lame white people are. Neither you nor I has EVER seen a black or Hispanic or any of the rest of them family driving with such abhorrent garbage on the back of their vehicle.
To end on a happy note, I’ll give you a bumper sticker which I not only do not mind, but think is good. ‘How’s My Driving?’ Almost every truck and commercial vehicle has a sticker with this question and a phone number on its rear and I say great. And yes, I have called, both when cut off by a maniac and after following a courteous, careful driver. The operator gets very confused when you call to praise the latter.
To close, I say stop spreading your meaningless opinions on your car. Don’t you know that’s the purpose of idiotic blogs?