Do you ever just ride around and look at the bumper stickers people have on the back of their car? I used to be very bothered by the “Honk If You Love Jesus” types, because I always wondered what would happen if some honk-happy Christian ever got real close to the car in front of them and started honking like the year of jubilee, that the person asking for the honking would become so startled, swerve, get into an accident, and then take himself and a bunch of others to meet Jesus a lot faster than they would have otherwise. So, that doesn’t bother me anymore, especially since all Christians want to do is die and meet him anyway, so we might as well just help it along. No, what bothers me now is something that is all the rage—every big-haired, loud-mouthed, child-exploiting 400-pound dance mom with a cell phone in their ear and a big gulp spilling on the dashboard of their over-sized, credit-card paid-for minivan has one. It’s these ludicrous stick figure families; you know, the series of stickers streaming across the back window depicting each and every member of the family (even pets!), usually holding hands with big, crayon-style smiles on their faces. Give me a break! Seeing these things make me want to take a tire iron to said window, and then make a mosaic out of the broken glass depicting a big middle finger, and spelling out something like, “Get a life!”, or more appropriately, “Who cares?”
Who cares that you have a family? Do you think anyone outside of it does? Do you think it is something so special and unique that you have to broadcast it for all the world to see? Why do people constantly feel the need to shove their personal business in the faces of others, complete strangers no less? Is it a type of braggery, like, “Haha I have a family and you don’t!”? Has our American culture become so self-centered and absorbed that we need to validate our familial relationships with a bunch of stickers? What I really want to see is a woman who is divorced get a sticker of a big, red X, and place it over the husband sticker. Even better, for a divorced man to put a giant $ over the woman, maybe with her running away and little dollar bill stickers flying all over the back window. Maybe when an abused child gets old enough to have a car, he can get a sticker of a teenager holding a shotgun, aiming it at the head of the father stick figure. That would definitely make this “invention”, if you can call it that, a lot more interesting. But even though it annoys the hell out of me, I do take solace in the possibility that a serial killer or mass murderer may be riding around, just looking for a random family to slaughter. If you have this announcement on the back of your car and he pulls up behind you, he’ll know just who to follow home that night! Hey, it would make for a good murder mystery or movie, wouldn’t it? Especially if it was based on a true story. #IHopeYoureOffended
Next on the artificial self-validation list are the pinhead parents who feel the need to have a bumper sticker saying that their child is a DARE graduate. Isn’t every child who goes to school in the country a DARE graduate? Is it possible to even fail a DARE course? I didn’t even know there were grades involved; I certainly don’t remember taking any tests when I had it. Putting aside the fact that DARE is a complete waste of money and time that accomplishes absolutely nothing (I would be willing to debate their founder on national television), this is again, nothing but a complete display of showmanship. Somehow, even though every child goes through this program, my child is special because I have a sticker to prove it. Even better are the parents who leave the stickers on their car when their kids are in high school and even college. Talk about nostalgia! Talk about delusional! I hope your child is now passed out drunk under a table with a half-smoked joint sticking out of the corner of their mouth. Put that in the yearbook! #IHopeYoureOffended
I also wonder how many of these same parents are shoving the whole DARE thing in our faces as a way of trying to hide and further distance themselves away from their own insecurity. How many fathers of DARE graduates smoke with their children in the car and the windows closed? How many mothers of DARE graduates are so high-strung and stressed out that they keep a flask buried under the front seat of the car in case they need a quick fix? How many DARE graduates themselves have died in drunk driving accidents, killed by other DARE graduates at the wheel? So lets keep on pretending as a society that a little sticker or a diploma is going to help anything. Lets keep living in denial, telling ourselves, “It works! It works!” as more innocent lives are taken every year due to alcohol and drugs, all of whom, both victims and perpetrators, were DARE graduates.
The only other bumper stickers more asinine are the ones involving graduation from pre-school or kindergarten, and the ones that tell us the driver is a “Proud Parent of an Honor Student”. Just like anything else in life, when everyone’s got one, they don’t mean anything anymore (much like college degrees now). In our quest to make sure no child is left behind, no child’s feelings are hurt, and no child can lose or get upset in any way, we have stripped away the importance of everything, including graduation and the honor roll. Whether you are making the walk on a stage at age 5 or 18, both are equally meaningless to the world, because both are inevitable and impossible to fail at. How come there aren’t any bumper stickers of parents of college graduates? Oh, that’s right, because it would be a reminder of the $100,000 debt you’re in, as you watch your business major son or daughter work in a McDonald’s or pump gas because all the jobs in their field have been outsourced to India. So we act on the urge to self-promote and exploit our children by getting them when they are still in elementary school, or to the child’s embarrassment, high school. What does the honor roll even mean anymore? Half the teachers give such mundane exams and activities that a monkey could get through the year, and the other half cook the grades with curves and bogus “extra credit” to inflate the averages and make themselves look good for the state. Isn’t everyone on the honor roll now? Is their even a high honors list anymore, or would that offend and deflate the self-confidence of all the other underachievers? Honor roll certificates and diplomas are like assholes: everyone’s got one. #IHopeYourOffended