Rant of the Day: Dear Bumper Sticker Driver

To the person with the decal or bumper sticker on your car:

I will begin by saying I am impressed by your bold, eccentric, and confident choice to tell the world about yourself in this way. I envy you and your enormous pride. I guess I just have too low of self-esteem to declare to the world something as courageous as I am against war. Please take my congratulations to heart because God knows I could never boast to everyone that MY child graduated from the D.A.R.E. program.

Before I begin to verbally degrade you for your life choices, a little history lesson for you:

The car decal was, of course, invented by the Austrian printmaster and newspaper bad-boy Gustav Heinrich circa 1899. After his invention was patented and took off with the automotive boom of the late 19th century, he was quoted as saying, “I have now made the world a little bit douchier for everyone,” just before he jumped off a bridge and died. As the car decal has progressed over the years, it has become more and more specific to the type of person driving around with it vis-à-vis more douchey. Back in the day, the car sticker used to be a general saying or slogan that was simply for informational purposes. It was far less about the driver and more about the car or where the car was headed.

I now see you and your Prius driving around telling me that you apparently ran/walked a half marathon. The worst part about this particular sticker is that it only has a number on there. 13.1 and 26.2 means nothing to me. When I first started seeing these stickers, I could only assume it was stating your Intelligence Quotient and it was so low that you included the tenths of a digit to bolster the number. Only after I started seeing these more often did I realize that these numbers represented the number of miles you power-walked your cellulite-pocked ass in a far too tight spandex uniform so that you could go into work on Monday and brag to all of your co-workers about how you “ran” a half marathon. Let’s be honest, the only part you actually ran was the first 100 meters so that your kids and miserable wife would see you sprinting away. Your co-workers know you did this because for the past 3 months you have been telling them about your training. When asked if you want a piece of birthday cake for Gladys’ office birthday party you can’t wait to exclaim, “I can’t. I’m training for a half marathon!” When you walk by someone you make sure to limp a little harder so that you can say out loud how sore you are from your 3 mile run last night. The part you forget to mention is the pint of Cherry Garcia you ate right afterwards. Gotta carb up after a run like that, right? Any way you can, you toss that marathon out there like a slow pitch at a softball game. Here’s a tidbit of information for you; while you drive around with your bright green marathon sticker on your car and boast to all your co-workers, Debra in the cubicle next to you just beat cancer and runs 5 miles a day just for the heck of it. You don’t see her car covered in decals that exclaim, “I’m brave, I beat cancer” or hear her taking every opportunity to brag about her fitness because she has a quiet dignity that everyone should portray. Basically, no one cares that you finished sauntering 13 miles in just under 9 hours so leave off the sticker.

Another gem of a decal are the oh-so-hilarious family individuals standing in your back windshield with Mickey Mouse ears or Star Wars characters representing your family. Good for you! I’m happy to see that you have three children; Yoda, R2-D2, and C-3PO, a cat, and a Wookiee??? Oh, no wait, that’s your husband. I get it! Thank you for helping the firefighters out with identifying how many should be accounted for when your minivan wrecks and rolls down a ravine. Oh no! Did little R2-D2 fly out the side window when you bowled down the hill? (I know, I’m terrible)

Even better than the hysterical character decals are the ones that say your children’s names with a sport or activity associated with them. Wow, you are SO involved in your kids’ lives! You must be great parents! And would you look at that! Little Kaila is spelled with an “i” instead of the common “y”. You sure are clever parents too! Thanks for letting the creeper in the van with no windows and a semi-naked Minotaur chick painted on the side know your children’s’ names and hobbies. I’m sure they’ll really enjoy the puppies and Milky Ways he undoubtedly has in the back of his shag carpet-covered vehicle.

I can almost excuse those of you with children-related stickers. You’re just a proud parent that doesn’t realized that no one, and I mean no one, cares about your moonfaced kids accomplishments or quirky interests. But what are not excusable are the decals and stickers that accomplish absolutely nothing. I am talking about the “Coexist” stickers and “End War” ones. Do you really think one of the ISIS guys is reading that thing and immediately pulling a U-turn to head back home and think about his life choices? I mean seriously! The White supremacist guy driving behind your Subaru is not going to become a born-again Christian because he saw that the Jewish Star was next to the Christian cross in the same word. What exactly do you want to accomplish by posting these commonly accepted statements on your vehicle? The person trying to pass you as you drive 1 under the speed limit in the fast lane is not going to think to himself, “That is a bold statement! I don’t know if I support ending war. I kind of like when my fellow countrymen die for an unnecessary cause.” Conversely, that same annoyed person is not thinking to themselves, “Now that person with the sticker gets it! How inspiring and refreshing it is to see someone who has the balls and tenacity to finally say what no one else will say.” They are actually thinking, “Cheese and Rice! This flocking mother-father will not get in the slow lane! Move your ass so I don’t have to stare at your stupid “End Hunger” sticker anymore!”

Next time you think about purchasing a sticker for your car, keep these two things in mind: 1) It is a lifelong commitment to adhere to that car. There’s no clean removal of said decals from any part of that vehicle. Therefore, your automobile will always say, “My kid’s an honor student and I’m a complete moron!” 2) Nobody that is driving around you cares about your life or accomplishments. Keep that stuff between you, your friends, and immediate family. They are the only ones who truly care how boring your life really is.

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