#9 — Bumper Stickers

Classy people do not put stickers on their cars. They recognize that the color of the car is embellishment enough, and anything beyond it is just extra weight. Bumper stickers don’t make the car go faster, and if the car designers had planned on bumper stickers adding to the aesthetic appeal of the car, they would have provided them.

Bumper Stickers are Ugly

bumper-stickers-christians-can-be-democrats

Stay back 150 feet or you will be shot”. Also, don’t cut trees. Cuz trees are important.

Now, one may argue that it is fine to have pride in one’s school, in the person one voted for, in the faith one believes or in the fact that one’s nephew is a 3rd grade honor student. Fine, be proud, if you must. But classy people don’t wear their pride on the bumpers of their cars. That’s just embarrassing. Why must the car suffer for man’s pride? Leave the poor car alone instead of tattooing it with such obscenities.

Aside from their inherent ugliness, bumper stickers can actually damage a car. How many of us still see Obama 08 stickers, or Kerry 04 stickers? Why don’t people take them off? Because it’s hard to, and it’s very easy to chip your paint. It takes a combination of a sunny day, hair dryer, extension cord and even a razor to get the suckers off. I challenge even a nimble Cirque du Soleil performer to get them off without chipping paint.

Bumper Sticker Jokes Aren’t Funny

Bumper sticker jokes are always lame. Always. There are no exceptions. Are you really ‘with stupid’? That just makes you stupid. Does [defecation] really happen? Of course it does, and I don’t need to read your bumper sticker to know this. Why should I honk if I love Big Ernie’s Truck Stop? How is Calvin urinating on [insert anything here] clever? Bumper sticker jokes are boring, overdone and repetitive. I’ve seen the same bumper stickers in Kentucky and Seattle, Victoria and Alabama, California and Las Vegas. Leave your short, pithy jokes to Twitter, where only your friends will be harmed.

No One Cares About Your Politics

bumper-sticker-my-other-car-is-a-bicycle

I like how this one tries to make you feel guilty for driving a car from the window of a car.

O fellow commuter, I don’t care about your politics. One of the best known social rules is that gentlemen do not talk about politics in public or at work – only with close, trusted friends. By talking about politics on your bumper, you are automatically placing yourself in the “unclassy” category. Beyond that, snark is a wholly uncharming characteristic, and 99% of all political bumper stickers are snarky. Your snarky political bumper sticker my get a chortle out of the few people who believe the way you do, but it will neither convert nor impress anyone. You have a good chance of not immediately making enemies when you arrive at work if your bumper is devoid of stickers. The same can’t be said for the alternative.

Bumper Stickers Celebrate Mediocrity

giant skull thing on an antenna

Wha.…but.…I mean.…why?

Some unclassy people feel that their bumper stickers are soundings boards to broadcast all the things they think make them special. “Baby on board”. “My special needs child is an honor student”. “I successfully downed the Flaming Chili Burger at Flaming Al’s Burger Joint”. Pure and utter tack.

Classy people don’t feel the need to talk about themselves unless asked. If you don’t walk up to strangers and say, “I have an honor student!”, then why place it on your bumper? It screams of someone who needs attention. It is also embarrassing because it implies that this is the greatest thing you have achieved in your life to date. The kind of person who boasts of his chili pepper eating abilities is the same kind of person who boasts about the biggest fish he caught, how much money he makes, how hot his wife is, how big his house is, how important his contacts are and so on.

Do movie stars have bumper stickers that say “I’ve been in movies” or astronauts with stickers that say “I’ve been to space”? Probably not, and those are much more brag-​worthy achievements than your grandson placing 5th in a local “talent” competition. If your bumper is still boasting about the ten-​pound burger you devoured at Spicy Mel’s Burger Joint ten years go, then this must mean that you don’t have the high paying job, nor are you married to the hot wife (for both of these are better than the ability to down a sandwich). In effect, by boasting about trivialities, you trivialize your whole existence.

Classy people don’t put bumper stickers on their car. They leave their classy bumpers unharmed.

The following are bumper stickers I have taken photos of over the years. I will add to this horrible gallery of unclassyness as the years go on. If you’d like to add your own images to the gallery, send me photos you have taken yourself along with your name to brandon AT oxhorn DOTT com, and I will add photos.

About

is best known as his alter-ego Oxhorn, author of popular machinima movies. When he's not wearing suspenders with a certain sort of finesse, he's reading, writing, blogging, doing web design, making movies and more often than not enjoying a classy drink with an even classier cigar. Watch his movies at oxhorn.com and feel free to stalk him on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in How to Be Classy, Taste
4 comments on “#9 — Bumper Stickers
  1. Hyle Owens says:

    I can think of a few examples that would be acceptable in my humble opinion (which means it really isn’t humble). For instance, I have one sticker in one lower corner of my back window which is the symbol of a social group of which I am a member. It has no words, words of wisdom, websites, etc and the only people that would likely notice it are other members. I imagine most people think it is a logo for a band or some product since noone has asked and I’ve neither have I (which would be an interesting social experiment on how different people perceive it). I guess I treat my car like my clothing. I may wear something with a logo on it but I don’t want it to be something that immediately puts people at odds with me.

    • Oxhorn says:

      A tiny, unobtrusive sticker on your car is certainly better than some of the monstrosities I have found and shown on this page. I think, though, that symbols that don’t really convey any message or that people won’t understand are more pointless than those that do. I don’t have fond feelings for clothing with logos or brands or text on them either, but that is for another entry :)

  2. Riannon Watson says:

    You mentioned “Baby on Board” signs as being “unclassy.” They were actually made to encourage people to drive safer. Also, it can be used in emergent situations. If the car were in some sort of accident, the EMTs, police, or fire team will know to look for a child, infant, or pregnant women. There are some true “unclassy” parodies out there that tarnish the original intent of the “Baby on Board” product. If you want more information on the sign look up Safety 1st.

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