Bumper full of attitude - BETWEEN THE LINES

Tuesday, November 7, 2000

A few years ago, the governor of Iowa set out to declare a new motto for Iowa, so that we could have something cool to put on bumper stickers.

He got a few suggestions, such as "A State of Minds." But he got more foolishness, like "Iowa - a State of Confusion" and of course, the classic "Iowa - Idiots Out Walking Around," probably from a disgruntled Minnesotan who required help with the spelling.

The governor got peeved and quit the whole idea, and we still haven't got those bumper stickers.

Still, you can see some of the sharpest wit around on the back end of the car in front of you.

My favorite is "Eracism" - which can be seen on the Storm Lake police cruisers.

Many are not quite so politically correct. In fact, a reader recently sent me a portion of his collection of messages taken from bumper stickers.

Some are just plain horrendous: "My Kid Got Your Honor Roll Student Pregnant," and "So Many Pedestrians, So Little Time."

Some are worth a smile: "I Have the Body of a God - Buddha" and "Boldly Going Nowhere" or "Caution - Driver Legally Blonde."

A few tend to be quite aggressive: "What has four legs and an arm - a happy pit bull" or "Horn Broken, Watch for Finger."

There are those that try to be politically topical: "PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals" or "If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away?"

Bumper stickers play a practical role to hold together cars that are falling apart, apparently: "If You Can Read This, I've Lost My Trailer," or "Honk if anything falls off," or "If You Can Read This, Please Flip Me Back Over" (seen upside down on a Jeep bumper).

Psychology plays its part in the bumper sticker wars: "If at first you don't succeed, blame someone else and go into therapy" and "I Have Lost My Mind, But I Have it Backed Up on Disk Somewhere" or "Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?"

Some are downright rude: "If You Drink Don't Park, Accidents Cause People," and "Don't be sexist, broads hate that" (on a car driven by a female, by the way).

The men don't get off easy, either: "How Many Roads Must a Man Travel Down Before He Admits He is Lost?"

Some just settle for insulting themselves: "Body by Nautilus, Brain by Mattel," or "Cleverly Disguised as a Responsible Adult" or "You're Just Jealous Because the Voices Are Talking to Me."

Had to stop and think about this one: "Illiterate? Write for Help."

The story of my life on this one: "This Would Be Really Funny If it Weren't Happening to Me."

Got a chuckle on this one: "Money isn't everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch."

This was supposedly seen pasted to the door of a restaurant: "Guys, no shirt, no service. Gals, no shirt, no charge."

This one will get you tickets: "Remember, if the stop lights are timed for 35 mph, they are also timed for 70."

And this one I still don't get at all: "I Do Whatever My Rice Krispies Tell Me To."

In my opinion, the world would be a better place if it banned cell phone chatting in moving cars, and let the bumper stickers do the talking.