Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To Do or Not To Do; Expressing Oneself through Bumper Stickers, Car Art & Vanity Plates.

As I posted last week, I have a new car. A new-to-me car. It has no bumper stickers, no car art and no vanity plates. It is a blank canvas. This car could belong to anyone. Should I express myself through my automobile? The big question...to do or not to do. Let's examine our options.

Stickers. I've always had a few. Not big ones or loud ones, but ones supporting the kids' school or our local zoo. Nothing big and flashy. But, for some people, I know that's too much. Some people prefer nothing on their car. Do you?

You can go the humor route and get a funny sticker...or be serious and express religious or political views. It seems to be that's asking for someone to key your car...not right, I know, but there are people out there that strongly believe one way and the other.

I just saw this bumper sticker the other day and loved it:

Then there are cars like this, that overly express themselves...But, if you're stuck in traffic, it sure makes for entertaining reading, right?

I think I might turn to this option if my paint was so bad I needed to cover it up. Maybe.

So, if bumper stickers aren't your thing, then maybe body art is? Car body art, that is. We've all seen the traditional flames:

and then there are those crafty people who go above and beyond with their artistic expression and produce something like this:

This picture below is dirty-car art. I've seen websites devoted to people who go around making art from the dirt on a car. Impressive...until it rains.

If body art doesn't agree with you, then there is always the good old funny license plate or vanity plate.

Why is it all the funny license plates are on Hummers? lol And all the flames are on little Toyotas and Nissans. hehe
Do you have anything on your car? Do you express yourself on the road?


Nicole P said...

No, nothing on my car except for the little tiny sticker saying the dealers name.
I hate bumper stickers so bad...well, not on other people's cars, I like to read them. But I hate them on my cars. They get all gross and faded from the weather and in my opinion just ruin the over all appearance of the car.
I do not mind those magnet thingies, or window clings though. They can come off without any scraping or peeling involved.
Just my opinion.

GBK Gwyneth said...

Fun post!

When I had my beloved Passat wagon, I had the vanity plate "WAGEN". My MIL colnd't understand why I got rid of it when I sold the passat for my legacy wagon. Oh well..

Now I have one little PL (That's Pine Lake, not Poland) oval on the car. I can't bring myself to put anything more on. If Ralph's World comes up with a bumper sticker, then I might do that.

I bought a Georgia Sea Turtle plate at the center on Jekyll, but haven't even put that on yet (here in GA we don't have front plates).

It takes real dedication before I will affix something to my car!

KG said...

I LOVE bumper stickers. I'm a total tacky whore like that. You could tell almost everything about me just reading the back of my car - my alma mater, my favorite hobbies, my favorite places.

I need a new one that says "tranny head." You've just given me a splendid idea.

Valarie Lea said...

I dont do bumper stickers, only because they are such a pain to remove. I do like to read them though. I just have a collegiate license plate on the back, and a mirrored plate supporting the same college on the front. Thats how people know that its me.

Rhea said...

Nicole - I agree that the bumper stickers get faded and gross so easily. Some of them hold up well but most don't. The window clings are cool! Especially for holiday decorating.

Gwyneth - I agree, I need real dedication to something before I'll put it on my car.

Tranny Head - Uh, oh, I sense a tranny head bumper sticker comin' on...hehe I love that your a bumper sticker whore. hehe

Valarie - I do like something on my car so that people know it's me. That sounds funny, but I totally know what you mean. :o)

Angie's Spot said...

My car is naked except for that annoying little dealer i.d. sticker. I aspire to have bumper stickers, but just never get past the anxiety of the work it would take to remove it if I ever got tired of it. Ridiculous, I know. Maybe there's some sort of support group for that? :-)

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

This post is just for moi?! I don't do bumper stickers. There is nothing that I am that passionate about...or that I am so passionate about it that I want people to know it.

When I was in college, I took a criminal justice class...and we were discussing jury selection...and the professor asked us if there was one question we could ask a potential juror...and mine was "do you have any bumper stickers?" So...we asked the class...who had bumper stickers. And one lady said she had one on her car that said "Friends don't let friends vote Republican." Very telling, very telling indeed :-)

Anonymous said...

I must be boring. I dont like stuff on my vehicles. On my current truck (which D had before we met but has slowly become mine lol) he has a MIA:POW sticker and also a yamaha sticker (HE USED to have a crotch rocket and loves them) BUT otherwise that's it! and I'll keep it that way. :-)

david mcmahon said...

I've got nuthin' on my car.

But lots on my blog!!

(Thank you for the wonderful comment on my Verse And Worse post today!!)

Rhea said...

Angie - I love the naked car comment. And, I have a feeling there are no support groups for bumper sticker wanna-bes, but you could start one. hehe

Kat - The getting-off-my-butt-and-writing-a-post part was for you, not the actual content. Surely there is something you're passionate enough about to put on your car...you just haven't found the right thing yet. I LOVE the bumper sticker question for the jury. I do agree that they are very telling.

April - I don't think you're boring for not having a bumper sticker, you just haven't chosen to express yourself that way. What the heck is a crotch rocket? Sounds dangerous and naughty. lol

David - Thanks for stopping by! You sure do have lots on your blog. You're great at expressing yourself there. And, you're welcome, it was a funny rhyming verse. You outdid yourself! hehe

Unknown said...

Wow I love the Beetle and the dirty art - amazing.

All I have on my new pretty baby is the required Air Evac sticker to advise I'm a member. But I do have my British flag tag plate which I love, as it says everything you need to know about me! :-)

Chatterness said...

Nothing on my Chrysler 300 Hemi but dirt. The inside sports a few blazers, empty diet coke cans, and candy wrappers on the floorboard!! If I had to advertise I think I would select ChattiPatti. It would definitely have to do with me being chatty!! LOL!

Catherine said...

You're post is very original! I love reading something new in my daly readings.
Reading your post, I thought each american have their car covered up with stickers! Artistically or not!
In fact in the comments I see most of you are just like us, restrained. However, in our area there's a delivery truck for flower shop which is very original. Next time I see it , I'll take a picture.

i beati said...

nothing on my car - all my expressing is here. Fab post - enjoyed it a lot laughed a lot sandy

Anonymous said...

My husband doesn't like bumper stickers, but I don't mind them. However, I don't want my entire car covered with them...just a few. I currently have bumper sticker that looks like a pair of flip flops, a Terrific Kids bumper sticker from when my son got the Kiwanis Club Terrific Kids award, and an ADK sticker. ADK stands for Adirondack. That's it.

Anonymous said...

Btw, this song is in my head because of the hokey pokey bumper sticker you posted! Yeah, I'm a bit of a parrothead. :-)

Anonymous said...

Fun post and fun comments!

I don't have any because I am way too fickle! I am constantly changing my views and interests so I would be forever removing and replacing.

I guess if I were to put anything on there it would be a butterfly sitting on a paint brush. Hmmm...maybe I will design that? Nah....best to just leave it as a mystery! :)

Thanks for making me smile this morning!


Rhea said...

Britgal Sarah - I remember seeing a picture of your pretty new car on your blog. What is Air Evac?

Chatti Patti - No Bush bashing bumper stickers? hehe

Catherine - No, most Americans don't put much on their cars. Just a few. I'd love to hear some of the kinds of bumper stickers you guys have in France!

Sandy/i beati - Glad you enjoyed the post and laughed a lot. You do a lot of expressing on your blog,that's for sure!

Kim - I'd never heard that Jimmy Buffet song! How cool! Now it's getting stuck in my head...

Gypsy Heart - Fickle, that's a good word. I think I'm fickle sometimes too. I love the butterfly on a paint brush though, that's a lovely idea! Glad you had a smile this morning. :o)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I HATE bumper stickers on my car but chuckle when I see them on other cars.

Thanks for confirming the fact that Harrison Ford shaving his chest to raise awareness is just plain f-ed up.

I don't get it. AT ALL.


CrystalChick said...

I have nothing on my car but dirt and peeling paint. I almost put a bumper sticker with a saying about ending the war but decided against it. Just never used them really.
I thought about getting a personalized plate too but at 50 bucks there's always been something else to spend that money on. And 'crystals' is probably taken. LOL
I love reading them on other cars tho. Well, except for ones that say Bush/Cheney. Those I wonder why people haven't burnt or scraped off their bumpers. LOL

Enjoy your new ride!!!
And make sure to post any thing you enhance it with!

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

I am passionate about a lot of things, but nothing I want the world knowing about. I'd have to worry about my car being vandalized or something. I'll just go meekly on my way :-) *snort*

I would be tempted to put on a bumper sticker if it wasn't a sticker, but a magnet. One that I could easily remove if I wanted to.

GoMommy said...

My car is rather boring, but I LOVE the artsy VW bug! I would not want to drive it because it would be a shame to wreck it!

Anonymous said...

What a riot of a post!
Nothing on my car ... but my whack-nut sis has a few.
"I've got a great body... but it's in the trunk and starting to smell"
"Save a cow... eat a vegetarian"
and more like that.

Kathryn and Ari said...

I agree with the other commenters: this is a really wonderful post!

As for my stickers, I'm kind of a minimalist. I have a small one on my bumper that says "Wage Peace." I like the idealism of it. But the most useful sticker I have is the parking sticker for my college, which has a strong criminal justice program. That has gotten me out of multiple tickets--since just about everyone around here who can pull me over either graduated from Unity or knows someone who does. Knock on wood!

carrie said...

hey, people have to decorate what the feel the need for.

But that hokey pokey one? Me and my husband are always joking about that! Good to know other people are thinking about that idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm a plain jane, but I wouldn't mind a vanity plate. Of course that money is current going to my gas tank.

OHmommy said...

Those pictures are great. Where do you find them? I would LOL if i ever saw one of those on the road.


the mama bird diaries said...

Awesome pictures.

My fave is the hokey pokey one. love it.

Anonymous said...

ooh, this is a fun philosophical discussion. I have never seen the likes of that dirty car art. someone's got a lotta time (and, uh, dirt) on their hands.
I have a license plate frame from my kids' school but that's it. It's the INSIDE of my car that's, well, decorated. With weeks worth of goldfish crumbs.

Rhea said...

Hallie/Weiner World - I do enjoy bumper stickers on everyone else's car much more than mine. Even the crazy ones. Some I don't get.

Crystal Chick - Dirt and peeling paint huh? lol I'll let you know if I put anything on my new ride.

Kat - Meekly on your way? haha you're too funny. Magnet are a good idea, but easily stolen. My Land Rover was made out of aluminum and magnets wouldn't stick to it. Weird, huh?

GoMommy - I think I'd be nervous about driving that artsy VW bug also. Can you imagine?

Keri - Your what-nut sister has some funny stickers. lol I hadn't heard those before. She sounds like quite a character.

Kathryn - I do like the idea of "Wage peace", that's really nice. Parking stickers are helpful, I agree. I do have a toll tag on my old car, and it has helped me more times than I can count. I need to get it transferred to the new car...

Carrie - I love the hokey pokey one! I'd never seen it before. Some people choose to decorate their bodies...some their lawns...and some their dogs...hehe

Rhea said...

Vader's Mom - Good point. All money is going to the gas tank these days.

OhMommy - I found most of them online through searches on Google Images. Glad you enjoyed!

Mama Bird Diaries - My fave is the hokey pokey one too. Thanks for stopping by!

Uberburber - lol about time and dirt on their hands. You're hilarious. Oh, I haven't even started on the inside of my car (well, my old one). It's stuff made of nightmares, I tell you.

Utter Basketcase said...

*GiGGLeS* Go for it!!!

If I had a car I'd fully frock it up! :-P

I ADORE that hokey pokey sticker!!! You should soo use it!

You know how alot of people have those triangle yellow signs on their back windows saying things like 'Baby on board'?

Well hubby has one of those, except it says 'This is a stupid yellow sign' *GiGGLeS* But thats as far as it goes! His car needs a serious maekover! xx

Christine said...

My dad worked in the dairy business growing up and he put an "I love milk" bumper sticker on our family car. I always found it terribly embarassing. Then again- it's not too hard to embarass a teenage girl. I love the hokey pokey one- that is funny.

Jennifer S said...

Nothing on my car...yet. I'm trying to decide whether to put a political bumper sticker on this year. but I do worry about getting keyed.

The dirty car art is amazing. Great post!

Unknown said...

I love the give me a hummer vanity license plate. probably one of my favs.

So a few months ago I realized that I shared a hidden obsession with vanity license plates with many others. So I started www.platenuts.com to show the world all of the cool custom license plates that I find. Reader have even submitting their own!

Jules said...

Nice post Rhea. So what ARE you going to put on your car?

Cath said...

Nothing on my car - but I am fascinated by the "dirty art" one - that can't be for real! It is brilliant! (Better than "Clean me! - so original. Duh!)

Over from David's btw. Congrats on POTD.

Rhea said...

Giggles - You'd frock up your car? I love that term! I've never heard that before. Must be an Aussie thing. You don't have a car? How do you get around?

Christine - As a teenager, I'd probably have been embarrassed by the Milk bumper sticker too. lol

Jennifer H - I would worry about getting keyed too, unfortunately. I was amazed by that dirty car art also. Some people can make art out of anything.

V - The Hummer license plate was pretty funny, I agree. I'll have to check out platenuts, that sounds awesome! I love vanity plates too.

Jules - So far nothing on my car. I'm not sure what I'm going to put on it...except a Texas Toll Tag will for sure be going on soon, so I don't have to stop at toll booths.

Crazy Cath - Thanks for coming over! I was so excited about being listed on David's site for a good post. I feel giddy with glee. :o)

Thanks EVERYONE for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it!

Skeller said...

Nope. Nuttin' on my car. I'm boring that way. ;-)