October 18, 2010

Bumper Bummers

I think that it was some time during the 60s or 70s that bumper stickers became very popular. These have covered a wide range of topics from environmental and social issues, to promotional items, and the ever favourite humorous stickers.

My first car was a 1975 pale yellow 120Y Datsun station wagon which lasted me 14 years, and had a reasonably impressive 200,000km on the clock. Prophetically calling it, “Puff the Tragic Wagon” when I first purchased it, the vehicle only ever displayed a few bumper or window stickers during the time I owned it, mostly proudly telling the world the various impressive, exotic locations we had visited together including Warwick and Mackay. Yes, you may well whistle in appreciation.

Then there was the sticker which read “All this and brains too” which at first I'd thought was exceptionally clever, but quickly lost its flavour and cured me of the desire to ever display stickers on my motor car again.

I've seen the once popular sticker on other cars “If you can read his you're too close” on a number of occasions over the years. Honestly, if they'd just make the text larger, than I wouldn't have to drive so close to read it.

I quite like the cartoon I've seen on some 4WD wheel covers sporting a menacing Yosemite Sam brandishing some pistols and shouting “Back Off” on it. It's simple and gets the point across without being rude, unlike the other visual pollution sticker I heard about recently which read something like “Unless you're a carbuncle, would you get off my bum!” which was rewritten here so as not to offend.

Recently I saw the sticker "Fishing comes first!" on a motor car. It gave me a bit of a start: if fishing is the only thing that driver is focussing on, then I'm not sure I want them on the roads with me!

Another popular sticker or sign is “Baby on Board” which tells me one of three possible things: 

  • there is physically a baby on board, and the driver is under the misapprehension that this will discourage would-be accidents, or that other drivers will actually give a damn;
  • there was a baby on board about 17 years ago, but nobody's bothered to remove the sticker and the baby is now the pimply teenager learning to drive; or
  • there is physically a baby - a grown-up baby  seated behind the steering wheel who likes to spit the dummy and throw tantrums at every opportunity.

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