Bumper Sticker Madness

We’re clearly in a time when publicly sharing our personal lives is the norm.

Still I think it’s kind of weird when people I’ve never met reveal their private thoughts, political positions, family deaths and religious beliefs on the back of a car.

But I have to admit I’m hooked.  It’s  always “pedal to the metal” to catch-up with a car that’s plastered with enough window decals and bumper stickers to create a soap opera on wheels.  It’s like I’ve  found a really good book and can’t put it down.

I have to confess that of all the bumper stickers out there, the ones that mystify me most are the ones that read something like this:  “Proud Parent of …”

The other day I got close enough to the car in front of me to cause my wife to press her imaginary passenger-side brake before I read:  “Proud Parent of a Kiwanis Terrific Kid.”

That one threw me.

We’ve all seen “Student of the Month” bumper stickers.  But I hadn’t seen a bumper sticker this generic, this amorphous.  I immediately wondered, “What the hell is a Kiwanis Terrific Kid?”

All manner of possibilities crossed my mind.

At least with “Student of the Month,” one presumes there is some sort of grading system involved.  But what specifically constitutes a “Kiwanis Terrific Kid?”  Grades?  Helping little old ladies (and men) cross the street?  Walking dogs?

I don’t want to be the one throwing the wet blanket on Kiwanians or terrific kids, but it seems that we’ve lost all sense of what it takes to earn recognition.  Maybe they should’ve placed an asterisk on the bumper sticker with a website address so we could determine just why this kid is terrific.

Taking this a step further, which I always like to do, I decided that if a Kiwanis Kid could be labeled as terrific and a parent could therefore feel proud, I could create bumper stickers for parents of other “lesser terrific” kids but who’s parents still felt proud.

Maybe we could have a “Proud Parents of Tanya Harding,” or Proud Parents of Charles Manson, or even Proud Parent of Cheezwhiz (aren’t our inventions, even those leaving oil slicks, our children?).  Or maybe I’m just pissed that we didn’t have bumper stickers when I was a kid so my parents could celebrate being proud of me.

Hmm … As I think about it, it might have been a bit humiliating to read my parent’s view of me on the rear bumper of their car, “Proud Parents of a Recalcitrant, Oppositional Brat Who Never got Past the Terrible Twos.”

Just sayin’.

14 thoughts on “Bumper Sticker Madness

  1. Beware the Kiwanian hit squad, Richard! If ya see a sea of orange blazers headed your way……RUN! Or, at least, walk briskly ’cause most Kiwanians I know (up in Leesburg, anyway) ain’t that quick on their feel anymore.

  2. I wondered if Kiwanians could be offended … I tell them I was President of my Key Club in high school … maybe that will help when they come to bludgeon me with the stale bread served at their luncheon meetings!

    Thanks for reading … what bumper stickers are on your car? “Proud Parent of a Rottie?”

  3. Those parents of terrific kids are probably the same ones I always tried to run off the road when I saw their “baby on board” sticker.

  4. I wonder what a kid’s bumper sticker might say about parents or about themselves?

    • Jeanne … What a great idea … I see a money maker here … Irate kids … Happy kids … “Proud Kid of a Parent who doesn’t Whip me.” “Proud Kid of Benign Alcoholic Parents” Proud Kid of Parents who tell me they love me!” See, I can be serious … but it hurts just a little bit!

      Thanks for reading …

  5. I always wondered what people thought when they saw this bumper sticker on my car:
    “My child was Manatee of the Month at —- Elementary.”

    Maybe it should have said “Super Sea Cow on Board.”

    • I love those particularly because the kid has no choice about whether he/she is a Manatee, a Fiddler Crab, Platypus (are there any schools where the Platypusses “take the field to fight for victory”?) … And, where are the PC Police when you’re labeling a child as a “Manatee” and publicizing it, too?

      Thanx for reading

  6. You may be a compulsive reader, Richard, which causes you to be unable to simply ignore any printed words. Do you read the fine print on the back of cereal boxes? There’s probably a 12-page program to help you… maybe even one with their own bumper sticker.

    • OMG, NBR … you got me. I used to read the cereal boxes when i was a kid and then as an adult, I read them to my kids. And, yes … I read all labels, billboards, directional signs, etc when we’re whirring along the highway. Drives, Mari nutz.

      The only problem I have with a 12 step program of any kind is that I’m ADD and can usually only get to step 3 or 4.

  7. This whole “I have a wonderful child”, bumper sticker thing puzzles me. Can’t people just have a kid(or be a kid) without all the self-serving publicity? Besides which, those particular bumper stickers are singularly boring. I’d prefer something more honest and/or entertaining, like “Pissed-Off Parent of Phone Addicted Child” or “Exhausted Parent of 3 Kids, 2 Dogs, a Cat and a Parrot”

  8. It would run across your entire bumper and too many people would tailgate you in order to read it (At least the slow readers would!).

    But, I think you should go for it! Thanx for reading my stuff!

  9. Favorite Bumper Sticker: WAG MORE, BARK LESS. If my second wife had heeded that advice, I wouldn’t have had to divorce my second wife. The third one only wagged 🙂

  10. Have seen the “wag more” bumper stickers. Have also seen “Meow more and hiss less.”

    Love the Shamans slogan … could also be “under the stars.” If you are a Shaman, are we Shamen or are we Shamans … ain’t English grand?

    Thanx for reading and supporting me …

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