Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bumper Stickers

I believe in freedom of speech. I do. And if the world were a little smarter and more thoughtful, I’d be more comfortable with people exercising it. But really, what could that person have been thinking when she put “If you’re going to ride my ass, you could at least pull my hair” on the back of her SUV, leaving countless parents to answer their curious kids and first graders who are practicing their reading skills, “what does that mean?”

Although I drive a stickerless vehicle, I don’t hate all bumper stickers as a rule. The white ovals with two and three-letter codes—OBX, MV, SD –I can handle. College bumper stickers are okay, too. The families of stick figures that have been popping up on mini-vans I find a bit bourgeois, but not offensive.

Political and religious ones? Bring it. I clearly prefer the more liberal ones like the creationist fish--with feet on it and DARWIN written inside, but have at it. It gets us talking. I saw one I loved back when I was in college, “Keep Your Laws off my Body,” which has been my succinct pro-choice argument ever since. There have been others as well, on occasion, that make me nod, and think, Yeah. Exactly.

“Firefighters do it with long hoses” and countless others in similar “___________ do it with _________” format make me think dork! but at least a kid could take that at face value. “Well, honey, a firefighter fights fires with long hoses,” a parent can answer. And the kid can buy it. It’s more the bumper stickers with adult themes that bother me, the ones that cannot be interpreted any other way than the sexual way they are intended, and that violate other people’s rights to protect their children from the kind of crap others feel it appropriate to share with the world on the ass-end of their motor vehicles, interestingly enough.

The other day I saw one on one of those monster trucks, offensive in their own right, with “Low Riders R 4 those who can’t get it up.” Really? You must have a little dick, I thought, as I resisted the urge to drive by with a pitying, scrunched look on my face while holding my thumb and forefinger an inch apart.

Maybe I’ll create my own: Just say no to R-rated bumper stickers.

1 comment:

Tam said...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I can't tell you how many times I've had to make up something to explain a racist/sexist/suggestive/hate-filled quote to my kid...because some idiot lacks tact and taste. It makes me CRAZY.

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