Monday, July 19, 2004

Car Sticklers

Car paraphernalia is the subject on my mind today.   Especially carstickers.    Car stickers have a special place in my Room 101.  I just can’t understand the reasoning behind someone wanting to put one in their car window, as much as I have tried to.
Who cares if you’ve ‘Been to Lightwater Valley’ or whether you ‘Love Cornwall’?  The chances are that nobody other than you cares.   So why tell everybody?  Surely it’s something more appropriate to keep within your own four walls.   My life certainly isn’t any more enriched with that little snippet of information about you.  
I don’t even know you, so why do you think I would want to be informed that you ‘Do it in a caravan’?.    It’s just not something I need to know when I’m following you down the road.  
Why do people feel like they need to tell the whole world these things?  To put excerpts of their life on view?  I’m sure a lot of people like Cornwall too, but most of them don’t feel inclined to broadcast it to the world.  What were you expecting?  A thumbs up from people in a traffic jam?  A pat on the back?  A conversation ending in a long-term relationship?  A knowing wink? I don’t think so.
‘My other car is a Porsche’.  It’s not really is it?  No its not.  So why lie?  It’s not a little lie either, and you’ve gone and stuck evidence of your deception in the back of your car.   If your other car were a Porsche then why are you driving a Micra?  To save money on petrol?  If I had a Porsche and a Micra then I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be driving Japans finest small car.   It’s not true,  and it’s not funny.   So why bother?
‘Slowing down for horses’  is a very commendable thing to do, I do it,  most people do.  What have we all gained from you telling us that?  Telling me that is as likely to affect my driving as a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker.   I drive carefully anyway.   I’m not going to become more alert just because you may or may not have a baby on board, or give you a bit more distance because you will slow down for a horse in the unlikely event of you going past one while I am driving behind you.
On the way into work this morning I followed a car for a while which had ‘I’m a love machine baby’ plastered in big black letters across it’s back windscreen.   Not in small letters, in really big ones.  It wasn’t a mistake, it was a deliberate act.    These people don’t get out of theirc ar, throw their hands in the air and shout "who the hell has done this to my car?", because they themselves did it, they meant to. 
It’s not normal.  Do you think that improves my perception of you or not?  What do you want me to do - agree with you?  Introduce you to my most eligible friend?  Or shall i just shake my head in total disbelief? 
Its wanton destruction of property, but the irony is that it’s not illegal, as they are defacing their own property.  Its akin to graffitiing the front wall of your house.  But this person had gone one further and decided that bog standard car stickers weren’t wacky enough for them and had got one custom made to fit in the back of the car. 
At what point did they have this thought?  Did no-one try to talk them out of it?  Did this person go into the shop and order it wearing a false moustache and glasses?  Because I would have fallen about laughing if someone ordered that from me.
I saw a similar one a few weeks back in a car park in Sheffield that simply said 'Bass...How low can you go?', all the way across the back windscreen.  I didnt know whether it was a statement or an advertisement for a Fishmongers.  Although this person seemed to have some fluorescent blue lights underneath their car too.  Maybe it doubled up as a sunbed.
Then there are the people who have the nodding dogs in the back, or the fingertips or half a cat hanging out from underneath the boot.  Please believe me:  its not funny, it never was funny, its never going to befunny.  Its rubbish, its the Joe Pasquale of car decoration.
The thing is that putting a dodgy sticker or the like in a car takes lots of conscious efforts.  No one does it unconsciously.  It’s a conscious effort to buy a sticker and a conscious effort to actually stick it in the car.  If it wasn’t, if the sticker magically appeared in your rear window as soon as you chuckled at it in the shop then its excusable, although finding a car sticker amusing should be punishable by death. 
But there are lots of thoughts involved, lots of times that a person can decide that telling the world that there’s a ‘Super bitch driving’ isn’t really that good an idea.    Loads of points where you can opt out of the commitment to a sticker, where you are given the chance of cooling off.  But lots of people see it through. 
I wonder just how many people have actually thought better of it after cooling down.  Its a mercy that we dont see as many nowadays.  Maybe we're lucky just to have the tip of the iceberg.  Maybe i should just be grateful that i dont see many more 'Toucha ma car i smasha your face' stickers than i could have done.