Monday, March 21, 2011

Stupid Car Decal Tricks

Full disclosure:  I drive a Beetle.  My dashboard bud vase is filled with colorful daisies.  Among other exterior decorations, there is a Pikachu decal on the passenger side.  So when I say that some people put stupid shit on their cars, it's not coming from a purist who believes the only things that should adorn your vehicle are Turtle Wax and an aura of self-righteousness.  It's coming from someone who drives around with a skull affixed to her back window and who still thinks some of you put stupid shit on your cars. 

Here are some things I would never put on my car and wish nobody else would, either.

Christian Fish Emblems.  If you have one of these on your back bumper...
Also available in gold for your Lexus are not telling me "I'm a Christian."  You are telling me "I'm a bad driver."  I can't count how many times I've been tailgated, cut off, and otherwise nearly blown off the road by cars flashing one of these babies as they sped by.  Sure, there are plenty of bad drivers who don't sport the Holy Smugfish; in my personal experience, however, there are very few good drivers who do. 

Do they think the fish is an immunity talisman?  Are they on a crusade to convert the pagans one near-miss at a time?  Or do they think the question WWJD? is best answered "Jesus would totally change lanes without checking His blind spot, because He (and by association, me) is so much awesomer than you." 

I must say I do like the cars that have a whole school of Christian fish stuck to them.  I'd like to ask those drivers about their apparent belief in polytheism, if they weren't doing 80 in the slow lane on the freeway.

Spoofs of Christian Fish Emblems.  If you put little feet and/or the word "Darwin" on a Christian fish, you boldly proclaim your support of the scientific concept of natural selection, which pretty much has been observed and confirmed in every plant and animal species on the planet.  Good for you.  Can I interest you in one of these emblems, as well?
Take that, non-Euclidian theoreticians.
 No? So you're not being Captain Obvious, you're just mocking the iconography of strangers whose beliefs run counter to yours?  I get it; you're an asshole.

And as for this:
Gene Roddenberry had some good ideas, but I'm not sure where you're going with this analogy.  Just stop it; it's creepy.

Stick-Figure Family Decals.  There are many situations in which a smart, practical person is not going to reveal her marital status, number and gender of children, and types of pets owned:  job interview, Internet chat room, holding cell, Craigslist personal ad, fan letter to Michael Vick.  Yet people voluntarily plaster this information on the back window of their cars and then drive around as if they were advertising Herbalife. 

Dad and the kids are into sports, and Mom has a purse!
These vinyl tableaux on wheels are like those annoying Christmas newsletters, only with a nearly unlimited bragging range.  Which makes me think:  Does anybody ever update them, the way the newsletters go out in a new edition every year?

I did see one of these families with two mommies, so points for pride there.  I also saw one in which every member of the family, including the pets, was wearing Mickey Mouse ears.  Have some self-respect, people, please.  If I were ever to emblazon my vehicle with one of these monstrosites, I would at the very least make sure that Beloved Spouse and I looked like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  And my dog would be Cujo, to ward off predators and other weirdos who would take an interest in the details of my personal life.

Calvin Pissing on Things.  This is the vehicle decoration for those who find the Darwin fish too soft and nuanced a statement on other people's lives.  These stickers started out as a juvenile competition between pickup truck owners (you were expecting maybe a chess tournament?):  Ford enthusiasts would display Calvin peeing on a Chevy logo, and Chevy fans would display Calvin weeing on a Ford logo.  Get it? 

Eventually Calvin and his weak bladder could be found insulting all manner of automakers (although if you have anger issues with Saab, really you should seek professional help).  Now he proudly pees on rival schools, football teams, political parties, you name it. 

Leaving aside the fact that you have decorated your vehicle with a urination motif, there is the eternal mystery of how Calvin, the precocious young star of the classic "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip, came to be associated wtih, nay, beloved of, crude douchebags with questionable aesthetics.  "Calvin and Hobbes" featured satirical, sensitive, and finely observed commentaries on life from a child's point of view.  Now he pisses on logos.  I would call the irony piquant, if I thought anybody who would own one of these things understood what those words mean.

Presidential Campaign Bumper Stickers.  I'm not even talking about the ones that insult the opposing candidate or party.  I'm talking mostly about the ones that never get removed from the damn car.  In the last week I've seen two vehicles that backed George Bush in the 2004 election.  At least once a month I spot McCain/Palin or Obama/Biden stickers from 2008.  I'm sure that somewhere out there is a car or two proclaiming that Al Gore was robbed.

I have nothing against people displaying their party affiliations this way.  That's not what bothers me about these stickers.  It's the implication that these drivers may be extremely lazy, completely oblivious, or harboring delusions of grandeur/revenge about the outcome of a long-past election.  If you're driving down the road looking for closure, you're not paying attention to your fellow motorists. 

That's my feeling about old campaign stickers, but let's face it, today's election is just tomorrow's symbol of mental instability.  If you want to support a political candidate, put a sign in your yard.  Eventually the city will make you take it down.  But sadly, there is no law against putting stupid shit on your car and leaving it there indefinitely.  I'd back such a law.  Maybe I'll get a bumper sticker that says so.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.