A few years ago, a study on road rage showed a positive correlation between the number of bumper stickers that were on a car and the likelihood of the driver to lose it and freak out on somebody. It didn’t matter what the bumper sticker said– Someone with stickers that say “COEXIST” or “JESUS SAVES” was just as likely to rage out as someone with stickers that say “OBAMA BIN LYIN” or “MORE TREES, LESS BUSH.” The study showed that the sort of person who felt compelled to put a sticker on their car was also the sort of person who was more likely to take a tire iron to someone else’s windshield.
Personally, I love reading people’s bumper stickers. When I moved to the south, I noticed that there seemed to be a whole lot more stickers on cars that were designed to let the other drivers on the road know “This car belongs to a Christian”–A whole bunch of “Jesus Fish” and “Got Jesus?” and warnings about the Rapture…. and they always seemed to be right next to another sticker proclaiming some sense of Nationalism…. and that one was right next to another sticker letting the world know that they were also a republican. I used to let myself get angry at this deranged rear end cocktail of stickers. It read like some sort of messed up equation:
US Flag + W sticker = Jesus fish R²
It might seem like a lot of stickers, but there is a lot of room on the backs of those SUVs….
But I learned very fast: If you’re going to live in Tennessee, you can’t let yourself get pissed off at every stupid bumper sticker you see. You’d spend way too much of your day being annoyed and angry. Now, if I see someone with an offensive or ignorant or just plain mean bumper sticker, instead of visualizing them in a fiery crash, I try to find a way to feel sorry for them….I can forgive quite a bit this way.
I can forgive the ones that are just plain dumb….
I can forgive the ones that equate Christianity with violence….
I can forgive the confusing ones….
I can forgive the gross mixing of Jesus and Nationalism….
I can forgive the blatantly Islamophobic ones….
On my best day, I might even be able to forgive this….
You’d think that with all this practice forgiving people for their ignorant bumper stickers, I could handle just about anything. You’d be wrong. There is one thing that a person can put on their car that–no matter who the car belongs to–I immediately lose all respect for that person. Even if the other stickers on your car have some redeeming value…. You might even have some other cool bumper stickers like these on your car:
In real life, you could be the most upstanding citizen in the town, with a soup kitchen in your living room and a homeless shelter in you basement…. But here’s the deal-breaker: If you have a picture of Calvin, from Calvin & Hobbes, peeing on something, we can never, ever be friends. I don’t like you. I am against everything you stand for, from this day on. It is, in my bumper sticker world, an unforgivable sin. I don’t care what he’s peeing on….
Or even this…
If you are one of these people, do not talk to me or make eye contact of any sort. And please, for the sake of society and in the name of everything good, take that stupid sticker off your car. This has been a public service announcement from The Boeskool.
What are some of the worst bumper stickers you have seen? Or your favorites?
There you have it…. the follow up to the Pope Francis blog. I wasn’t sure what to write about. Thanks to everyone who read it and shared it–It is far and away my most read post ever, and a week later, its per hour views are still climbing. So fun. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, you should…. Thanks again!