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Friday, June 24, 2005

I Brake For Fresh Roadkill

Okay class, pop quiz time. Some mysteries have haunted scholars for centuries. However, I'm not going to delve into issues like Atlantis, dinosaur extinction, or the origin of the universe. The thing I'm curious about is rather mundane: bumper stickers.

I saw three identical bumper stickers this week that read "Virginia Is For Lovers." What? I thought Virginia was for tobacco farming. Babies spitting Skol into the corner of the playpen, that sort of thing. Now you're telling me the state is a place for horny people? You didn't specify married, unmarried, straight, or gay. That's very tolerant. I approve. I must say, when I think of lovers, I think of adultery. Hmm. I think the Virginia Board Of Tourism may have hired the wrong marketing major. I think it's strange to send your Virginians out into the greater 48 with stickers that translate to "Virginia: We Fuck Here." Anybody care to explain this to me?

There there's the "My Other Car Is A Harley" stickers. I realize many people become domesticated as middle age sets in. I have no problem with a person eschewing the trappings of a biker's meth-fueled beer-guzzling rape and pillage lifestyle, but do you need to advertise that you were once young and wild on your Chrysler Plymouth minivan? Why don't you just spraypaint "I hate my life! What happened?" on the side?

Another very popular adornment here in Illinois is "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student." I assume these stickers are everywhere, because last I checked, ignorance is proudly celebrated in every land. Not only did you drop out of high school to pursue a career in window washing, but you've passed on your peabrained inferiority complex to your lugheaded offspring. Go ahead, inspire future generations to think small. Teach them that resentment is noble. I expect the next iterations of this sticker will sport messages such as "I Beat My Wife And My Son Is A Serial Rapist," "Ten Generations Of Klan Wizards And Counting," "Teeth Are Overrated," "Go White Sox," and "W '08." For the record, I'm a high school dropout. There's always exceptions.

Che Guevara. Okay, revolutionaries are cool. I guess. You've got the monkey-faced beret wearing South American fredom fighter gazing heroically at me from your rusty dented bumper, right next to your Dead Milkmen sticker. What exactly are you trying to convey? Are you different than everybody else? Do you buck the system? Is that a hemp backpack you're lugging about? It always make me sad to see messages of indiviality commoditized for easy consumption for rabbit-brained lemmings desperate to proclaim their individuality. They don't even realize it. Hello, modern punk rockers, I'm talking to you.

I'm not going to criticize the Jesus fish, I'm just going to translate it.

"Jesus says to drive slowly."
"This fish represents Jesus just like chocolate and bunnies represent the resurrection."
"I'm better than you. And you're going to hell. So there."
"I have no idea that I'm actually a Roman."
"I love Jesus, but that doesn't mean I'm gay."
"Santa Claus is real, too."
"The reason Jesus is my co-pilot is because I drive like Stephen Hawking on heroin."
"I'm so lonely and the world is so scary."
10:47 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


June 24, 2005 1:34 PM, Blogger Anonysis said...

What a funny observation. I really like the part about Jesus. And seriously, folks, if you put that on your car, then you're actually insulting your own set of beliefs every time your road rage kicks in. Hypocrites.

June 24, 2005 1:48 PM, Anonymous bikerchic said...

c'mon now, you're being a little hard on the Harley enthusiasts, i can understand the beer guzzling, but rape and pillage? shouldn't that be directed to the "jesus fish" folks?

June 24, 2005 3:30 PM, Blogger Windjammer said...

I read a little bit about the origins of the Jesus Fish, and it goes something like this:

Back in the day, way back when, before dinosaurs I think, people had to be careful about telling the wrong person that they were Christian. So, instead of just saying, hi, I'm a Christian, they did a secret type of marking in the sand identifying their faith. The greeter would take his toe, start on one side of his body, and draw an arced line in the sand. Then the greeted would see the arc, put his toe at the beginning of the arc, and do the same arc, mirror image of the first arc, creating a fish shape. Then they knew they were safe together. Cause I always thought about that design, and why they didn't use a "Jesus loaf of bread".

June 24, 2005 3:46 PM, Blogger Mishka said...

Right on!!! I think it is hilarious that people feel they have to give everything about themselves away on the bumper of their car....leave some stuff for discovery once in a while, okay????

June 24, 2005 5:28 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Hey, Rock, say it ain't so: There isn't such a thing as a bumper sticker saying "Go White Sox", is there? Who would be so mean?

I'm sure they meant "Cubs".

June 24, 2005 5:59 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

My favorite mock sticker of yours was the Stephen Hawking/Jesus link. Classic.


June 24, 2005 11:27 PM, Blogger spin said...

Once I asked someone what the fish on the back of their car symbolized. The guy got all flushed and admitted he had no idea, and I think most of them do not have any idea.

June 25, 2005 3:09 AM, Blogger Radiohumper said...

High-school dropouts represent!

Loved the whole list, but that's because I feel towards driver's licenses the way most liberals feel towards gun control.

My pet hate is the College alumni bumperstickers. I mean, I AM a window-washing parent of a college-bound honor student, and I"m not insecure enough to have to justify my life choice by advertising my academic whelping pen.

Oh, and, bringing Jesus into your rush hour quiet-desperation? Fine, but I don't want to know.

June 25, 2005 3:15 AM, Blogger Brad said...

I always thought the origin of the Jesus fish was because "Jesus" in one language sounded alot like "fish" in another.

But then, until recently, I also thought that there was a word pronounced "braw-tee-yew" which described some method of television sponsorship.

("Tonight's episode was braw-tee-you by Ex-Lax. For when you really want to crap yourself silly.")

June 25, 2005 11:16 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

I support our troops, I contribute to the battle against breast cancer and I love the veterans.

Having said that, I will not be purchasing the ribbon magnet. Those are the new vastly overdone societal trend. Good people of the US, JUST BECAUSE YOUR NEIGHBOR HAS A RIBBON DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO.

The justice is, after about 6 months on your paint, you get a permanent outline of the ribbon.

June 25, 2005 4:49 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

yeah, what is that Virginia Is For Lovers about anyway

June 26, 2005 1:14 AM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

OMG, this whole piece cracked me up! Especially loved the Stephen Hawking on heroin line.

The Jesus fish symbol was the world's first product placement. All of Jesus' buddies were fishermen. Catholics (like me in a former life) eat fish on Fridays in Lent as a nod to the industry.


June 26, 2005 3:43 AM, Blogger EcamirG said...

i've always wondered why people put their political candidates on their cars. as if i'm going to say, "well, hell's bells, eunice. i was going to vote for bush, but that nice fella with the kerry sticker just let me merge in front of him on the highway."

actually, now that i think about it, the only place to put it is on the front of your car, because you only think nice things about people behind you in traffic. never the ones in front of you.

though it is beautifully ironic when you have to swerve to avoid hitting a minivan that's parked thirty feet into the intersection at a red light, and when you turn around to flip them off, you see their bush sticker.

somehow, that explains it all.

June 26, 2005 11:38 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Every time I see a jesus fish I feel a little bit closer to god.

(was that believable?)

June 27, 2005 8:09 AM, Blogger ty bluesmith said...

God is capitalized, Cindy. I keep telling you.

June 27, 2005 9:42 AM, Blogger Mishka said...

I actually like the college stickers (if you actually went there). It goes against my overall theory of not advertising yourself on your bumper but it is my one exception.

I don't think it is bragging, but more of a contacting tool. I actually had another alum leave a note on my car because they saw my sticker and that was kind of cool (a nice note, mind you), and then another group of cars heading off to school passed me on the freeway and we honked and waved....cheesy I know...

My mom has one of the magnetic ribbons on her car (that I bought for her as she is the only one in our family that would ever put one on their car) and I told her to move it periodically or it will leave marks on the paint. I don't mind those ribbons much although I think they are overdone.

June 27, 2005 10:48 AM, Anonymous Al said...

Please tell me you're not being critical of a marketing department that produced a socially acceptable way to put "We Fuck Here" on a million cars. I want a poster of them for my room. (And two tickets on an afternoon flight to Richmond.)

June 28, 2005 3:36 AM, Anonymous Oscar said...

i saw one today "Proud parent of an "ok" student".
Caught my attention after reading this blog. :)

June 28, 2005 3:21 PM, Blogger Kels said...

While I am laughing hysterically at this post, I do have to say I too have a bumper sticker. 'Cept mine is happy bunny and it says 'I know how you feel, I just dont care.'

I like monkies.

July 08, 2005 10:21 AM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

Great stuff. I'd been wondering about the Che Guevara thing. You see a lot of that stuff around here, but nobody can tell me why. Like I'm expected to believe the slack-jawed youth wearing the stuff actually went to their History classes, or even paid attention. Or that anything about Guevara was actually taught in history classes out here.


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