Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bumper Stickers

 I can't remember a time when automobiles didn't have bumper stickers.  I recall that, back in the early days of my driving, the stickers were often placed on the cars without the owner's permission.  At that time there was hardly a vehicle in the state without a bumper sticker from one or more of the theaters in the new and booming area of Branson. It seemed that anyone with something to advertise or a political agenda would go around parking lots attaching stickers to the bumpers of the parked cars.  During this time the souvenir shops and other tourist traps began selling comic stickers or ones that allowed the vehicle owners to post bragging rights.  

I have always hated these stickers and would search my car almost daily so that I could remove them before the glue was permanently set.  Nothing worse than trying to get rid of aged stickers. For about a decade it was well known you had to leave your sunshades in the down position when parked in a tourist area if you did not want your vehicle stickered. After a while, so many people were doing this that it no longer paid to send out the troops and the posting of bumper stickers faded away.  

A 2008 study by psychologist William Szlemko and his colleagues at Colorado State University showed that those who choose to adorn their vehicle with bumper stickers (and other personal items) are 16 percent more likely to be the aggressor in incidents of road rage.

What??? You mean that sweet person with the peace bumper sticker, personalized plates and fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror is 16 percent more likely to run me off the road than the person driving the plain, unembellished muscle car?

The car pictured here can be found most days parked in front of a house a few blocks from where I live.  I see it around town quite often and each time it seems to have a new sticker added to it or placed over one that had faded away.   I've never seen the driver but their aged Saab sure shows their love of music groups.  

A few days ago I got behind a car that had a bright orange bumper sticker with only a single word "Sorry" on it.  I wondered why someone would put a sticker like that on their car and what they were apologizing for?

First chance I got I went to Google (what would we do without Google?) and found the sticker, but there was no explanation of why you would want to put it on your car.  

Are they apologizing for their bad driving?   Possibly, for who they voted for?  Or, perhaps the dilapidated state of their automobile?  Or does that weatherbeaten Ford Focus I saw have the door panels stuffed with Meth or other drugs.  Could the body of one of our states dozen missing persons be hidden in the trunk.  

It has been days and that bumper sticker still haunts me.   Wish I could have asked them why they feel the need to apologize and I find myself looking for that car every time I leave the house hoping for a second chance.      


  1. Some people are just born with a guilt complex (sorry ;>).... I remember those "free" bumper stickers from a couple of tourist "attractions" in Oregon/California. Trees of mystery in the redwoods and Sea Lion Caves near us in Oregon.... yikes, they really were terrible to get off.

  2. Other than by those accidents, we've never put stickers on. I'd be afraid to nowadays, somebody might think differently than you and run you off the road in a rage. I just try to be invisible.

  3. Back in my 'teen' years, our (church) youth fellowship took great pride in putting Pat Paulson bumper stickers on our sponsor's aging Buick ... much to his wife's chagrin. 'So embarrassed, remembering the 'stinky', cranky (!) names we'd call her.
    These days, I'd have a stroke if I were to come out and discover something on my car. It's olden and decidedly not pricy, but I prefer not to call any undue attention to myself - particularly given the road rage incidents.

    PS - If you find out the answer to "Sorry" I'd love to hear it!