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Bumper Stickers

Some car enthusiasts hate bumper stickers – they spoil the clean lines and detract from the overall design of their machines, and if you change your mind about the sticker and you put it on the paintwork (bad, bad move), the paintwork can get damaged. The only stickers you’re ever going to see on machines owned by these people are the little tags that all cars have to have to tell those passing by and inspecting them that the car is road legal and all the paperwork has been done and paid for. Plus a few little stickers in obscure parts of the window about the security system installed.

 
For other people, however, car bumpers and car rear windows are a blank canvas to express creativity and personality – and a sense of humour. In extreme cases, you won’t just find bumper stickers but also things that attach by suction cups onto the rear windows and possibly fuzzy dice or rosaries hanging from the rear view mirror. At the least creative end of the spectrum, you have those “Baby on Board” stickers or suction-cup thingies, warning anyone driving by that there is an occupied child seat in the back. These things were originally marketed as being a safety item, with the idea that if people saw them, they’d slow down and be more considerate. This isn’t the case, especially as you can now get rip-off versions of these than inform the world that you have a certain breed of dog on board – which is likely to be obvious if the windows are down and your Irish Terrier, German Shepherd or whatever is putting its head out the window to catch the breeze (impressive in a long-eared, long-haired breed like the Afghan Hound). At the other end of the spectrum, you get stickers with pictures and slogans. Few cars in Australia come close to the sticker-mania of taxi drivers in Peru back in the early 1990s (yes, this writer was there then and rode in them). It wasn’t the outside but the inside of the taxi (usually owned by a freelance driver and usually one of the classic old VW Beetles) that was covered with stickers with all sorts of jokes and witticisms on them, usually slightly indecent. Or very indecent, but my Spanish wasn’t that good. The stickers were probably there to distract you from the overall poor condition of the vehicle and the bad driving. Or maybe the taxi driver just liked to look at them while waiting for a fare.

 
Bumper stickers tend to come in two main types: those that make a political statement and indicate the good cause supported or the opinion held by the driver/owner of the car. This includes stickers that promote or advertise products (not including company logos). The other type includes witticisms and tends display a sense of humour. The political/good cause type of sticker can express nearly opinion under the sun and range from the discreet (small fish signs indicating that the driver is a Christian) through to large and eye-catching.

 
The ones that display a sense of humour are this writer’s favourites. While you won’t find any adorning my Honda Accord (the other half can’t stand bumper stickers), the following are a collection of my favourites:

 
• When I grow up, I want to be a BMW. (Seen on a very small hatchback).
• I used to be a Range Rover, but I shrank in the wash. (Ditto).
• Help! Dad just farted and we’re trapped!
• Don’t follow me – I’m lost, too.

 

What are favourite stickers spotted or put on the cars of readers? Send us through the good ‘uns for us all to enjoy (preferably clean – this is supposed to be a family-friendly site!).

 

One comment

  1. Hans Zeidler says:

    My favourite bumper sticker is:
    “Employ a teenager now! While they still know everything”

    May 24th, 2012 at 1:50 pm