Dorian Hargrove 4:30 p.m., Jan. 30
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As a kid, I remember plastering my bedroom door with stickers. I think all kids love stickers. But it was when my stepdad took me to the mechanic with him at around age 11, and the guy at the shop offered me a bunch of car type stickers. The red oval that said STP, among the 20 he handed over. Those were my favorite, and they filled my door.
It was a given that when I got my first car, I'd slap a bumper sticker on it. My stepdad said that stickers on cars make them look cheap. Yet, now he has ones on his car that say things like "work union" and "buy American".
My first Mustang had a Doors bumper sticker on one side, and a Lakers sticker on the other.
My second Mustang also had a Doors bumper sticker. But I saw a truck that had a number of rock band stickers on the back window, and I decided I wanted to go that route. I got a Led Zep sticker. The Rolling Stones lip logo, The Who, The Clash, and Joe Walsh.
When that car got broken into my stepdad said the thieves probably saw all the stickers, and assumed I had some great sound system in the vehicle.
For some reason, the sticker on my car now is The Raveonettes, a little two-piece band from Sweden that I like. I'd probably list 200 bands I like over them. But, at their show at 'Canes, they were giving out the stickers. So I put one on, thinking it would peel after a few weeks. It's lasted for two years.
I think I'm a bumper sticker snob. About 90% of the cars I see with them, I think are idiotic. We all make fun of the "my kid is student of the month at Hickman Elementary" stickers.
But then, there's the stickers that show a mom, dad, and three kids, all holding hands. Those are usually on mini-vans or SUVs. And, sometimes, they have names below them. Which is probably not the best idea. You don't need some crazy person seeing your car drop off little Suzie at school, and then waiting there after school saying "Hey Suzie...your mom Sandy told me to pick you up." Think, people.
I saw a bumper sticker today. It would've caused an accident for me to read it. It was three lines, and 25 words. It said something about how marrying a man was the stupidest thing this lady could do. I'm sure it had a funny punchline, but at 70 mph, I couldn't get close enough to read it. So, no sticker you can't read at freeway speeds.
Also, if you are going for humor, something to keep in mind. A phrase that you think is funny, most people probably don't. Or the phrase is old, and you're the 500th person we've seen with it.
People that put political stickers on their car are insane. Is it really worth having an Obama sticker, and having a McCain supporter key your car? Sure, I'd like to think people are above doing that, but cars are keyed all the time. And probably for reasons a lot more trivial than disagreeing with a person politically.
A sticker that shows the business you work for is a mixed bag. Your giving publicity to your business. That's good. But...if you do something dumb on the road, we have your phone number.
I had a truck cut me off. Pulled out in front of me while I was going 50. I had to slow down (almost skidding) to get to 5 mph, as he was accelerating. I called the number, said the license plate, and told the machine what had happened.
My mistake was...the guy called back. He was the owner, and he was the one driving the truck. He started yelling, "Well, you shouldn't be in such a hurry." I said, "I'm running late, and besides, who cares why I'm in a hurry. You don't pull out in front of someone going 50. You wait for your light to change, or a clear space to merge into." He then said, "Oh yeah...well, you said I was driving bad. What if it was an employee of mine, and I fired him because of your comment. Some hard working guy loses a job, because of one complaint." I then said, "Hey...that's actually a very good point. I would hate for someone to lose their job over one complaint. Although, I was thinking if numerous complaints came in, the boss would tell him to learn how to drive better." The guy then apologized to me. And I apologized for bugging him with my message. And, we said goodbye.
I couldn't believe we were able to have such a civil conversation about his bad driving.
And luckily, no cops pulled us over for having this conversation while we were driving.