Have You Read My Car?

An SUV is driving down the road.

It is covered in red Oklahoma dirt from the numerous spring rainmudstorms from weeks gone by.

Beneath the layers of mud, you can almost make out the outlines of various cartoon figures on the back window.

In descending height order you see a man swinging a golf club, a woman with a shopping bag in hand, a girl with a softball glove, a boy with a football helmet, a bald infant sucking on a pacifier, and three cats.

While you overtake that vehicle on the right, a truck whizzes by on the opposite side with its entire rear window covered in white cursive lettering:

NATHAN TAYLOR ANDREWS
06/14/89 - 12/27/06
...ON WINGS OF ANGELS...

As you pull up to the stoplight, the vehicle in front of you has even more text on its rear window, totaling six lines, advertising a home lawn care business. Two phone numbers and a fax machine, along with a lengthy paragraph detailing the various lawn services provided.

The vehicle next to that one has a Calvin decal urinating on the word HATE.

Once the light turns green, everyone is racing around an old clunker with a wall of liberal-oriented bumper stickers yammering on about global warming and global activism and saving Tibet, along with one that simply says AUTISM AWARENESS.


Yes, people put a lot of crap on their vehicles. To say nothing about what they put in said vehicles. But why?

Why do these people exert so much effort into adorning their transport apparatuses with tacky iconography?

Yes, driver #1, you have a big family. Yes you each are involved in a variety of stereotypical activities. Those activities do not make you interesting.

And also, you're revealing an awful lot of information about yourself to complete strangers.

I know funerals are expensive, driver #2. And from what I've heard, headstone engravers get paid by the letter. But is the back of your '96 Ranger really the best place to memorialize your deceased son's all-too-brief life on earth?

Driver #3: If I had a lawn and didn't want to maintain it, It would be irresponsible of me to call your cell number. We're both on the road right now. That's dangerous. Think about it.

Wow, driver #4. Your Calvin decal speaks volumes about you. First (and let's get the obvious out of the way), you're trashy. Digging into the irony, do you realize that you're using copyrighted images to express your disdain for hatred? Stealing intellectual property could easily be construed as an act of hatred toward beloved illustrator Bill Watterson.

Inside this lovely irony sandwich, isn't urinating on something an expression of hatred? So aren't you really just urinating on yourself?

I unironically hate you.

Also, giving me the finger as you swerve into my lane doesn't help to reinforce your platform.

And to driver #5, well this: your activist bumper stickers aren't doing anything. At all.

Bumper stickers don't fix global warming, they don't reform tax law, they don't legalize or outlaw abortion or marijuana or whatever it was you were expressing an opinion about. They don't save Tibet, and I'm pretty sure if Tibet knew their biggest advertising campaign was on the back of your Beretta, they'd be more than a little upset. Oh yeah, and I was already aware that autism was a thing. So... thanks for the reminder?

Why?

Why do people use their vehicles to express opinions no one cares about? To commemorate the life of someone killed in a car accident?

Don't they realize it's just a car? That at a moment's notice it could be damaged or stolen and then it's gone forever?

Or is it simpler than that?

Maybe it's just so they can find it in the mall parking lot.

For the record, there are no stickers or decals or emblems on the back of my car, aside from what the manufacturer installed there in the factory.

And if I ever do go to the mall, my car stands out as the only such vehicle in the entire lot.

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