Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There are 10 kinds of people in this world

I suppose my disdain for bumper stickers could be traced to my formative years. My mother insisted on proudly displaying a "Willie Nelson For President" sticker on one side of the rear bumper of our maroon 1977 Cutlass, and a "Honk If You Love Willie Nelson" sticker on the other side.

And sometimes people honked!

Several years ago when I was at a different job, some girl -- for reasons unbeknownst to me -- bought a "Pimp Daddy" bumper sticker and gave to me one day at work. I did not display it on my vehicle. I did not see the point. For in my mind, having the sticker on my car made me no more or less a pimp daddy than I already was. Also, there would have been questions from my mother. And I didn't feel all that comfortable driving it to church like that.

I do not care for bumper stickers. I do not generally find them all that clever or witty. And I do not think their little sayings are influencing anyone to change their opinions or views. It's a stretch for me to believe that JoeSUV is going to sell his car, start biking to work and become an avid recycler just because of something he read on the back of a '94 Geo Metro.

I'm also ashamed to admit that I have been and continue to be guilty of sticker profiling. If I see a car with a bumper sticker or stickers on it, I immediately stereotype the person in that car. How I stereotype them depends on the type of sticker, the number and placement of stickers, and how many of them are outdated.

For example, peace-loving environmentally-conscious people with more than five bumper stickers tend to not be all that concerned with washing their car. And the more stickers they have, the less concerned they seem to be.

What? Don't hate me. If I do not stick, do I not bleed? Maybe I can go to bumper sticker sensitivity training or something.

All that aside, my #1 issue with bumper stickers -- other than the tackiness -- is their humor, or the lack thereof. I feel like I have a pretty broad sense of humor. But at least 95% of bumper stickers that are supposed to be witty only make me cringe. I don't find them funny in the least. Not even in that corny-joke-that-dad-tells-in-front-of-everyone-at-Thanksgiving-dinner sort of way. And as a sorta-wanna-be comedian, it bothers me greatly to think that someone somewhere is laughing at some of these things.

I don't even really think bumper stickers were intended to be around this long. It is my personal belief that they were originally designed to be a passing fad. Like "Baby On Board" signs, smoking, and Survivor. In any kind of movie or show from the future that I watch, there are no bumper stickers. I don't recall any "My Klingon beat up your honor student" sticker on the back of the Enterprise.

Over the past thirty-some-odd years, I have read hundreds and hundreds of bumper stickers. Unfortunately, I have forgotten nearly all of them. But here are a few I've seen recently that I would like to examine more closely:

Drunk Like Bible Times - I went back and forth between thinking this one was a pro-alcoholic sticker or a religious one, but I think I've settled on the latter. I never came away from reading the Bible thinking that drinking and revelry was a central theme. I don't recall reading the verse "Gad and Asher gotteth plastered around the ninth hour" anywhere.

Charlton Heston Is My President - This one was also a bit nebulous, as I didn't recall Heston ever running for the oval office. Then a light bulb went out. No really, one did. In my office just now. That was a little freaky. It was the Gad and Asher line, wasn't it?

Anyway, I figured out what it must be. Charlton must have played the President of the United States on some old movie and this poor, misguided soul got confused and thought it was real life. I understand. Happens to me all the time with General Hospital. I sped up to try and explain things to the guy, but his truck seemed to be lacking any semblance of a muffler, so he wasn't able to hear me.

Well Was Full, So I Came Back - We saw this one on the way home from the beach this summer and it completely befuddled me. Then, weeks later, it hit me like a bolt out of the blue. It said "HELL was full," not "Well." Oh!!! Well that... still... isn't... really... Fail!

Now before you go calling me the grinch who stole your W The President sticker, let me say that there are some good things about bumper stickers. For example, the smell. They are a rare and delectable olfactory treat.

And there is the occasional cleverly concocted witticism printed onto a piece of flexible plastic with adhesive backside that even I find irresistibly hilarious. For example, here's one I came across on the internet the other day that amuses me to no end:

"Remember, there are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't."

That's gold! Granted, I would never stick it on my car, but that's not the point. Or actually, I guess it kinda is.

"Now they ain't made the sticker for my bumper just yet, but I brake for brunettes..."


  1. Im now wondering what you think of those funny cocktail napkins at parties? (I just bought some saying something like 'lets not waste time Santa, just put me under Naughty' for a friend of mine... not me of course =p)

    Happy Thanksgiving Bone!

  2. THAT was hilarious. ... 10 kinds of people in the world... binary, of course!!!!!

    my dad's a mathemetician, retired rocket scientist, so he'll appreciate that one (although he might not understand why it's funny).

    ..some people are odd that way.

  3. The lack of a muffler line had me rolling!

  4. So many questions, Bone.

    Are/were you a Pimp Daddy?

    Will (did by the time you read this more than likely) your Dad tell corny jokes today?

    And most importantly, do you brake for brunettes?

    I laughed so hard at the entire Willie Nelson paragraph. Your mom did you an injustice :) My mom always hated bumper stickers, so we never had them. Though my dad did want one that read "My honor student beat up your kid."

  5. Oh, and Happy Turkey Day :) I hope you have lots to be thankful for this year.

  6. My hubby is opposed to bumper stickers, but that's because they mess up a good paint job. So he allows me to place magnets on the car instead. Since most good stickers don't come in magnet form, I've bought magnets and stuck the stickers to them.
    I have one for my Christian radio station- it's good for letting folks know where to hear good music.
    I have a support our troops ribbon and a blue star flag (that will get to come off soon...although I'm considering writing "He's Home!" on it) and that's it.
    I used to have a "Human Milk for Human Babies" on there, but it eventually got too worn out and I have moved on to other causes.

    I have a fun time reading other bumper stickers. and it seems those with plenty to say (lots of stickers) are pretty ignorant.

  7. Another good one, Bone. I feel the same way about bumper stickers... A few years ago, Heston would have been just like Reagan, a bit forgetful. But it must have been an old truck NRA stickers that seem to lack a muffler) cause I don't think you can elect a dead man to the oval office...

    As for Pimp Daddy, sounds a like a name for a blog!

  8. I too loved the Willie Nelson pargagraph. I cracked up.

    We don't have bumper stickers either. I don't see the point.

    Why did she feel the need to buy you a pimp daddy sticker? She must have had a reason.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Helene - I'm not familiar with those, but the one you quoted is super cute. I don't really get invited to a lot of parties if you can believe that :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Shelby - Thank you! Yeah, I imagine it is an odd group who don't laugh at bumper stickers :)

    Mama Zen - Thanks. It seems to be a somehow common feature on trucks around here.

    TC - Well, I'm really not quite sure what a pimp daddy is, so I'm unable to answer that for certain. But if I had to take a guess, I'd say no.

    Actually, the older I get, I find myself being the purveyor of corny jokes at family gatherings more and more. It's pretty scary.

    Happy Turkey Day, TC.

    Renee - Oh yes, I forgot to include a line about how they immediately decrease the resale value of your automobile :)

    I vaguely remember when we would drive with our headlights on to show support for the troops. That may have been during Desert Storm. Of course, it doesn't work all that well nowadays since so many cars have daytime running lights.

    Christian rock? You stole my Jesus fish, didn't you?

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

    Sage - Thank you. I wondered if the guy in the truck was aware Heston had passed away.

    PennyCandy - I really don't know. For some reason, people sometimes get the impression that I'm more successful with girls than I really am. I honestly wasn't 100% sure if the sticker was meant as a compliment or something else.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you're feeling better.

  10. Charlton Heston is (or was) the President of the National Rifle Association and is very pro-gun and 2nd amendment (or whichever one is the one about the right to bear arms) so the CH bumper sticker is a pro-gun statement.

  11. This was hilarious. I particularly liked the ending and the Charlton Heston part
    It's so BoneHeadlish to like binary numbers
    And for the third or fifth time--Happy Thanksgiving

  12. I think personalized license plates are worse. It bugs me when I don't know for sure what exactly it says or means...unlike my idea of my personalized license plate should I suddenly have access money and no other ideas on how to spend it: "spdr mky". Only the Twilighters would get it.

  13. I had a former boyfriend give me one of those Happy Bunny bumper stickers. He got mad at me when I wouldn't put it on my car. Notice he's now an EX boyfriend.

    Happy Bunny THIS!

  14. I don't think bumper stickers are such a big thing here. What we do get a lot of though, are those little signs that you hang in your back window that say, at best, 'baby on board' but usually say things like 'princess on board' on 'little cutie on board'. These things seriously irritate me. Slightly irrationally possibly. I think you can customise your own, which is probably the problem. 'Pimp Daddy on board'? I bet someone's got one that says that!

  15. I don't have bumper stickers on my SUV but save one in the back window to direct everyone to my blog. I enjoy reading the bumper stickers on other cars. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving~

  16. ...while reading another blog...

  17. Xinh - I know. I was going for some sort of humor by pretending not to know what that one meant. Apparently, my feeble attempt at sarcasm failed :)

    Pia - Thanks! Yeah, I'm starting to worry that I might start writing every number I see or hear in binary in my head now.

    I limit myself to a max of five Happy Thanksgivings per person per year. Which in binary, I believe, is 101 :)

    Murf - I don't mind the personalized plates too much. They don't decrease the resale value, and you've gotta have some kind of tag on there anyway. Plus there are several different kinds of tags to choose from, such as Support The Troops, University of Alabama -- which, as you might guess is my plate of choice :)

    Charlotta - Bwahahaha. Yeah, I can't imagine that being a good move for a guy very often.

    J Adamthwaite - We had that Things On Board phase here several years ago, but thankfully it ended. At least, I don't see them much anymore.

    Michelle Johnson - Are you serious?! That's great. Now that sounds like something I'd think of :)

    Charlotta - Ah, a bumper sticker about bumper stickers. Is that like a coffee table book about coffee tables?

  18. LOL, love it. Not a bumper sticker fan either. I think my least favorite advertise the honor student of the family. I just don't think it is wise to advertise where your kids attend school.

  19. you can see by the time I am commenting all I can say that you care anything about is- ROLLLLL TIDE!!!!

    I really don't think "pimp daddy" is your speed. I have never ever had a bumper sticker on my car, and when I get my cars I even refuse to allow them to put their dealership name on the back.

    bumper stickers will never die!

  20. The ""There are 10 kinds of people in this world" got me.

    I understand your bumper sticker feelings.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was nice.

  21. I love bumper stickers - on other people's cars. I'd never wear one myself, though. I'm afraid of commitment.

  22. "there are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't"
    I've seen that on a tee shirt, and thought it'd make a great gift for my husband.

    Okay, back on topic: I really do not want to know the politics or religions of those strangers driving around me, for this might be too frightening to contemplate whilst driving through all the construction and cattle shoots in my area. I also don't wanna wear my heart on my bumper.

    Aside from the political and religious stuff, though, I don't have much of an opinion, except that they are hard to get off and really ugly-up a car.

    Great post, Bone! I'd never seen those bumper stickers before. I'm surprised that I've never seen any mention of Charlton Heston here in deer-hunting country!

  23. Bone, I loved the Charlton Heston paragraph where the light bulb literally went off. lol! My hubby won't let bumper stickers anywhere near our cars because it might damage the paint. But that's fine with me because I agree with you that they're tacky! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family...thanks for yet another very amusing read. :~)

  24. Sooo your mom is a Willie fan? :)

    Great post! I was laughing the whole time. I do not have a bumper sticker on my car. A lot of my friends have bumper stickers that say 13.1 or 26.2. I almost put the 13.1 on my car, but then I thought to myself- what if I stop running or gain a lot of weight? Then people are going to see my 13.1 bumper sticker and laugh at me when I get out of my car. I decided I should just remain bumper sticker free.

  25. After 9/11 my sister theorized that SUV's that had more than two American flags on them were going to break traffic laws. We actually drove around to see if her theory was right. It was. That's a bit like bumper stickers I think

    No matter how many times I read your posts I always find something that makes me laugh!!

  26. I dont believe that... probably just to those without the cute little napkins! =] I am putting you on my next invitation list!

    I have a collection of napkins that I have taken over the years from various parties... (yes, I steal napkins! Scary, I know...) There are some that are just too funny to pass up. Oh its late and that is clearly TMI! cheers big guy!