Sunday, October 17, 2004

Non-stick stickers

I've been noticing these ribbons on the backs of all the cars picking kids up at school lately -- stuck on the painted part of the cars instead of the bumper, and bearing a message to "Support Our Troops" -- and I've been wondering why on earth people would apply the death-defying adhesive of a bumper sticker onto the actual body of their car. Today, finally, I learned the secret: they're magnets, not stickers, and therefore not damaging to paint jobs and not obligating the bearer to support our troops any longer than this particular fad actually lasts. Personally, although they lack the zeal and fervor of messages you have to believe in strongly enough to live with for the life of your vehicle, I think the idea of magnetized bumper stickers is a marvelous one, a real breakthrough in personal expression. No longer must our cars bear evidence of our support for losing political candidates. No longer must we brag of our child's academic excellence even though his or her career has since gone downhill. We can slap on a different witty saying or provocative comment every week if we want to, every day even. Different family members sharing the same car could even personalize their vehicular opinion, so that feuds like the one that erupted when I affixed a John Anderson sticker permanently to the bumper of my Reagan-lovin' dad's Buick need never have happened. Honk if you love magnets! It's not like you have to commit.

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