Bumper Stickers, Your Fortune Cookie Fortune on the Road
// July 19th, 2012 // Bumper Stickers
Ever driven along in the commuter traffic with your mind somewhere else only to look at the bumper sticker on the car in front of you and think, “A Ha!”. As Forrest Gump’s mom said about life and chocolates, the same applies with bumper stickers – they are all around us, but with every car journey you take, you never know what you’re going to get.
Bumper stickers are the repository for the nations self-expression, which is why we see so many stickers proclaiming “My kid’s an honor student” or something of that ilk. The real nuggets, what we like to think of as the real bumper sticker equivalent of fortune cookies, are those stickers which catch you at that precise moment in time when you are attuned to the message they are sending. Usually, it’s a humorous message which grabs you but it isn’t always the case – there are some deep and meaningful bumper stickers out there if you open your eyes and your mind when you’re on the road.
Some fortune cookies which have impressed us include:
“I’m an intellectual and I have the bumper sticker to prove it”
“Run Hillary, Run”
(fixed to the rear of the car if a Democrat and the front if a Republican)
“I’m an atheist, thank God!”
Bumper stickers resemble fortune cookie advisories but for different reasons: they are both made up of throw away lines, sound bites in fact. They are by necessity, brief and short because they impart a strong message using very few words, practically performing the same function as poetry – expressing ideas rhythmically with as few a number of words as is possible. Imagine what would become of a bumper sticker line if it was matched with verse: certainly the result would be very interesting, but this is also where bumper stickers beat poetry because you only have time to see a snapshot of a line and not an entire verse.
The successful bumper stickers which feed the brain are those which have just enough of a hook to attract your attention and make you think just that little bit extra. This applies even if you are a redneck driving your truck with the oversize mud wheels down the road:
“No mountain too high, no ditch too deep”
We challenge anyone to say that is not as deep and meaningful as something such as, “Minds are like parachutes; they don’t work when they’re closed”.
Bumper stickers are far more prevalent in our society because they are so widely used, much more so than fortune cookies and yet, the latter has more of a place in our cultural lexicon. We find this very strange given the impact bumper stickers have in our daily lives but perhaps our familiarity with them has led to some relative contempt. Bumper stickers are clearly much more valuable and far more likely to bring a grin to your face or provoke a thought in your brain than any fortune cookie. Unlike fortune cookies, what you are likely to read on a bumper sticker will also have far more relevance to what is happening in your life and immediate future than any proverbial claim to expect to become rich in the future.
Perhaps the trend towards combining fortune cookies with bumper stickers is a salutary nod in the direction of just how important the latter has become in our lives:
“Your eyes are telling you – Keep your eyes on the road moron!”
- Two Teams (funnybumperz.com)
- Engrish Cookies (funnytypos.com)
- Weird Maine Cemetary Laws (lawsome.net)
- Poll: Would You Fire Someone Over A Bumper Sticker? (crushable.com)
- 5 Reasons to Use Oil Change Stickers (labels4life.com)