There are bumper stickers that advertise. There are bumper stickers that tell where we have been. Bumper stickers brag about our honor student children or threaten to beat up our honor student children.
They tell jokes, make political statements, encourage us to vote for candidates for public office, and offer our support for our soldiers. They advocate causes that we support and keep them in the public conscience. They announce our professions, veterans status, and schools.
Bumper stickers have been the source of much “road conversation” about religion and the bible, not to mention, politics.
Bumper stickers are the ultimate one way communication device for the captive vehicular public. In traffic, when there is a backup, each sticker offers something to agree with, disagree with, to become outraged over, to praise, or to ponder. They are statements that are mostly from a time when there was no other forum or way to tell people what we think and who we are.
And bumper stickers were fun to read, with just about every form of quick wit and road graffiti available on any given day.
Bumper stickers are not as plentiful as they once were, though. Concerns are rising about the safety and wisdom of announcing where the kids go to school, how many grandchildren the driver has, and of making extremely offensive or controversial statements. Incidents of road rage caused by the slightest hint of offense are causing people to be cautious about that offensive statement, dirty joke or irritating personal announcement.
The rise in crimes against women and children that are committed by stalkers and strangers can only be in the backs of people’s minds as they consider the wisdom of putting that sexy come, on or “honor student” announcement where thousands of strangers can see the information, and identify the car, the driver and the children, and follow them to an unsafe location or home.
With the exponential increase in on line activity, the bumper sticker style of quick communication has gone the way of the blog, the Facebook wall, and the posted comment. Yet there are collections available on line to remind us of the days when a drive might bring us more enlightenment, interest, and humor than the daily newspaper.
Finally, the increasing price of cars and the increasing difficulty of placing a sticker on some bumpers, is making people less inclined to decorate their bumpers with wit, wisdom, and words.