Bumper Sticker Philosophies: America’s Automobile Dialogue

© Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

“Come on, seriously! No one cares about your honor student child!”

I shout this out loud to myself every time I’m driving and see one of those God awful bumper stickers that read, “My child is an Honor Student.”

Why should I care about your Honor Student Child?
Why are you telling me this?

I wonder if this person even realizes how stupid they are making me feel simply because I was never an Honor Student Child.

Does this person understand the LEVEL 10, CODE RED status of my anxiety, and how much I doubt my intelligence on a day to day basis, and now I have to see this sticker? I don’t even know your kid, and he or she is making me reconsider how I view myself as a “functioning” adult. Why do I need this kind of information?

The thing is that I don’t need that information. No one outside of that driver’s family needs to know that information. Keep it to yourself. It serves no purpose.

If anything, I might accidentally drive off the road in a furious rage, crash, die and leave my wife a widow.

“Death by bumper sticker” my death certificate will read.

When my Mother gives my eulogy, she will try to make a joke and say something like, “That was my Ricky, off in his little world again, driving distracted, definitely not an Honor Student, do you know what I mean guys? HAHA.”

No one will laugh, but they will get her point. I respect all people and their beliefs, at least most of them, but I don’t always care to see or hear about them.  Keep your philosophies off your car!

Examples of what I don’t care about:

  1. Your honor student child.
  2. Co-Exist. (with the peace symbol and yin-yang as letters)
  3. IMPEACH BUSH. (outdated, but still in circulation. It’s 2016 people)
  4. Mountain climbing/jogging. (only because I’m secretly jealous)
  5. Anything that doesn’t support the troops.
  6. Dave Matthews Band Logo.

It’s always so convenient that just when I start to become confused about life and start doubting myself; when I can no longer find my way when I’m ready to give up on life because of misdirection, I can always find my solution to these problems quite easily. I just read all of the bumper stickers I see while I’m driving to work.

I read your obnoxious, pretentious, no-it-all, bumper stickers, and then I’m back again. I’m okay once I can see where I’ve been going wrong in life this whole time. You are in fact, a greater preacher than Jesus Christ himself, your philosophies on life is equally comparable to that of Aristotle.

Life always finds a way to bring me right back down to the shit stained pits of Earth once I’m feeling just a little okay. This is my life as a cynic, and this world is ruining me, along with your bumper stickers.

I suppose no one is entirely happy in this life, right? It just can’t be me who’s miserable. None of us are completely happy, how could we be?

That’s why we must feed off of each other’s intelligence via vinyl automobile stickers. We must unite as a people and shove our views down the throats of the men and women next to us in the passing lane.

We are a competing kind of people, always have been, always will be. We’re always competing with one another; over exerting ourselves trying to maintain an image that we are doing better than the person next to us.

We feed off possessions just to appease ourselves. Always craving the next greatest thing hoping it will make everything better. It’s a distortion of what we think is normal just to make our sad realities disappear.

Everyone wants to be noticed. Everybody wants to be on top, but no one wants to stop and take time to help out another human being.

We secretly hate each other. In our minds, we are all the best, and we think we know what’s right for the world and all its inhabitants.

People try to fill a void in these confusing times by labeling themselves. It could be something that they think they are or something that they want to be because it makes them feel comfortable in their skin. This is what society has been doing to us for centuries. Society has a hold on us so strong that we have come to live differently than how we ought to live.

We are not who we should be.

Before our name, before our race, before our sexual orientation, our political views, before the genre of music we for some reason label ourselves as, before the profession of our choice, we have to remember that we are only human beings.

Everything else is just an add-on, extra baggage to carry around for the rest of our lives.

Why do we need all that extra weight on us? We force ourselves to live up to all the extra titles of society. We are trying to blend in, and in return, all we are doing is slowly killing ourselves.

Everyone should just do whatever they want, whatever makes them happy. Don’t ever feel you need to live a certain way just to please the public. The people who are guilty of this the most are the ones who shove it in our faces constantly.

They are the robots of this world. They are the walking advertisements programmed to promote a certain lifestyle by exploiting themselves. Every step they take they have to show us how proud and dedicated they are to their beliefs, what they think is right.

They talk about it constantly and wear it proud. It’s on their clothes, in their homes and plastered all over the back of their cars. Everyone thinks they have the answer.

Some examples of American automobile dialogue:

“I’m a right-wing conservative, and I’m against welfare, and we do have the right to bear arms.”

“I’m a liberal who supports welfare and gay marriage.”

 “I’m a Southern Baptist Republican who despises the homosexual  lifestyle and thinks abortion is murder.”

 “I’m a free-spirited left wing atheist so it can’t be murder if there is no  God.”

“No GOD! Listen here. I’m Catholic and do as I say or burn in hell for all  eternity with all the other sinners who have not accepted Jesus Christ as our lord and savior.”

“I believe in God.”

 “I believe in nothing.”

 “I’m a politician, vote for me, (trust me)”


 “I’m strong, and you’re weak. I’m a runner!”

“Look at my children, aren’t they so beautiful. Do you see where I went to college? My parents went there, and my children and their children will attend as well. My family is perfect. Your family is poor and embarrassing to be around; you are making our neighborhood look bad. You are nothing!”

 Who cares! We’re all the same people!

Why are we so worried about what our neighbors and fellow motorist think about us? Why must we tell the world who we are and what we believe in?

Until we figure out what’s right and wrong with this crazy world, let’s all just please, shut the hell up and drive.

Richard DeFino

Ricky De Fino grew up in New York City and currently resides in Buffalo NY. When he isn’t writing about his anxiety and his crazy Bronx upbringing, he enjoys watching countless hours of television with his wife Andrea, cat Bebe and dog Zeke. Two years sober, good coffee and veganism keeps him sane. His work can be found in Two Cities Review, tNY Press, Purple Pig Lit, Dialougal and Cycatrix Press.

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