Don't get my mom started on bumper stickers. Her view
of having a bumper sticker is similar to her take on having
a tattoo: eventually you get bored of it, and you're stuck
with it forever. "Why would anyone want to devalue their car
like that?" she'll demand. She even thinks those "Proud Parent
of an Honor Student at such-and-such School" are evil because
they force parents to choose between wrecking their car or
their child's self-esteem.
stickers grew popular after I'd already graduated from
At any rate, Mom's vehement bumper sticker views pricked
my curiosity on a local level. What messages are so important
to Durango drivers that they'll "devalue" their cars?
Soon thereafter as I
walked to work, I got a laugh when I saw a car with the bumper
sticker "Plants and animals disappear to make room for your fat
ass!" parked near one with "Cat The Other White Meat."
I decided to start
writing this stuff down. I passed a Subaru that read, "This car
protected by anti-theft sticker," and it went straight into the
notebook. Same with "Gone Crazy Back Soon" and "Bad ass girls drive
bad ass toys" (the bad ass in question was driving a pale blue
emerged as a common theme. "I'm pro-salmon and I vote" stuck out
among lots of "United We Stand"/"United We Stand Against War"
stickers. So did "My President is Charlton Heston" and "I'm against
Saddam and for GW Put that in your bong and smoke it!" These
sentiments were countered by "Nobody died when Clinton lied,"
"Ignore your rights and they will go away," and "No Love, No Peace
Know Love, Know Peace."
The chauvinism/ feminism
dichotomy is obviously polarized as well. I actually saw a pick-up
with a confederate flag and a bumper sticker that said, "I (heart)
tits" cruising around the same summer I saw "God is coming and She
is pissed." I wonder what She would have thought of the sticker
"Don't be shy show some thigh as you pass by" replete with drawing
of a woman's legs wearing high heels. (She definitely wouldn't have
approved of the driver of the vehicle, who saw me crouched with my
pad behind his truck scribbling into my book and leapt into the car
and threw it into reverse. I had to jump away to avoid being run
over. Must not have liked my ankle-length skirt.)
Then there's the
religious battle beyond the Jesus fish/Darwin fish tempest. "Got
Jesus?" and "God is my copilot" contend with "God was my copilot
but we crashed in the mountains, and I had to eat him."
Our town also has a wide
range of general ideologies: "Eracism" is popular, as well as,
"God, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am"; "Imagination is
more important than knowledge Albert Einstein"; "Indians discovered
America"; "Call in sick and take the day on"; "Buffalo It's
Delicious!"; "My other car is an X-wing fighter"; "It's not illegal
to be a biker"; "I'd rather be organic gardening"; "Bite
There's support for
recreation, i.e. "Climbing it rips the screams right out of your
throat" and "Wild about wilderness," and against it: "Sierra Club -
Take a hike to hell."
And of course, "If God's
not a Bronco's fan, why are sunsets orange?" and "If it's tourist
season, why can't we shoot 'em?"
I've concluded that the
First Amendment is alive and well in Durango. Which is good to
know, considering I work for a newspaper whose bumper sticker
reads, "The Durango
Telegraph : Free but