Ever noticed all the magnets, stickers, ovals and other what-not stuck on cars, trucks and whatever these days?
An alert “06880” reader has. Here’s his report:
We Americans love our cars. We may not buy American cars, but we like to keep them shiny and looking good. We also like to adorn them with various indicators of our self-esteem and/or insecurity. Bumper stickers seem to be passé here in Westport, but a casual ride through the Stop & Shop parking lot and Longshore reveals that we still like some kind of identity on our automobiles:
Education. We love to show off where we went, or our kids go to school: Lafayette, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, Art Institute of Boston, University of Colorado, Fairfield University, Fairfield Prep were all shown today. If you went to an Ivy League school, you use the crescent to discreetly tell people that you probably make more money than they do. Some prefer college alumni plates around their license plates. This costs more, but doesn’t get all ratty like the stickers when your kid flunks out after the second year.
Sports. We show off our favorite team. There were a lot of Staples soccer, football, lacrosse and swimming emblems. Somebody must make a small fortune there. Also, some marathon runners with the 26.2 logo. Nice. A lot of Yankee stickers, with many Red Sox bumper stickers as well. The Yankee ones looked newer. A Giant football helmet. Sorry, no Jets or Mets today. This ain’t Long Island.
Patriotism. People also boast how patriotic they are. Many flags on the back of cars have ribbons saying “Support the Troops” or “Proud to be an American.” One had “Endless War,” but it was fading from the sun. There was one Vietnam campaign ribbon, plus many Marine Corps emblems. I like that. Put your money where your mouth is.
A few political signs, mostly Obama ’08. Wait a few months for the mid-term elections, and they’ll be plentiful.
Destination. We’ve created a special type of communication: We abbreviate where we’ve visited, have a summer home, or maybe would just like to go. VT (Vermont), CC (Cape Cod), MV (Martha’s Vineyard), OBX (Outer Banks), BI (British Islands), and many more that were beyond recognition. SI, WO, ADK, MA for examples. Is this some kind of secret language between the visitor and the inhabitants of the area, because it is almost encrypted to the guy who can afford to travel???
Assorted. There were many AAA stickers on old cars. This tells me a lot of old people worry they’ll break down someplace. They don’t know how to use the cell phone they just got for Father’s Day, so they rely on the sticker to halt traffic. I should know, because I have one on my car. There are also animal lovers. “Woof” and “Meow” stickers were prevalent on my tour. One, with a blackened retriever emblem on it, had 2 real dogs sticking their heads out thear’s window. Not much need for a sticker there.
I was not totally surprised that most automobiles on my mini-trip around town were SUVs. I guess word hasn’t gotten out about the rising gas prices, global warming or our involvement in the Middle East because of our dependency on foreign oil? On a positive note, there’s more room on a big car to put your beloved stickers.