Lettin' our hair down for the weekend

Kevin Kamberg

Despite the recent speculation that bumper stickers = road rage, I am both an avid reader of bumper stickers and a big fan of plastering the back end of my car with my own selection of stickers. But mostly I enjoy reading interesting and especially humorous or thought-provoking bumper stickers.

Here in the Metro area we've got the ubiquitous "Keep Portland Weird" stickers that are fun if a bit undercut by their very ubiquitousness. My favorite spin-off of that sticker is one that I've only seen once - "Keep Portland Beered" which gets bonus points for both humor and a keen sense of local cultural affinity (and yes, I immediately thought of Jeff Alworth when I saw it).

We've all seen the variations on "Stop World Hunger" and similar social cause messages. But a year or so ago I saw one on Highway 26 that seemed like it must have been filtered through the wonderfully twisted mind of comedian Steven Wright first - "Stop Continental Drift".

My stickers are more overtly political. Two Merkleys, an Obama and one that I continue to get compliments on from a vary wide variety of folks... from my daughter's boyfriend to gas station attendants to co-workers - "Nobody Died When Clinton Lied".

But my favorite sticker is one that I just saw for the second time the other day... mounted neatly under a shiny new Obama sticker on a new minivan - "Bark Less, Wag More."

There are countless others, many of which I've seen and laughed over. But rather than list them I'd like to hear what your favorite bumperstickers are.

Comments

  • Darrell Fuller (unverified)
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    On Senator Gordon Smith's car some years ago: "Visualize Whirled Peas".

    My all time favorite catch-all: "Nuke the starving gay whales for Jesus".

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    My favorite one recently was one that had an image of the American flag and said:

    These colors don't run

    ... the rest of the world

    I loved that one.

    Right now the car has an Obama sticker, a Merkley sticker, and a Zoo membership sticker.

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    219 cars are at home because I'm on the road

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    My wife has banned all bumper stickers from our car. She is, perhaps, mindful of the many war stories from college friends of mine - who remember the car known across campus as the "LiberalMobile"... a 1974 Toyota Corona (which I drove in 1995) covered with approximately 75-80 bumper stickers.... mostly Clinton-related, but the occasional "Friends don't let friends vote Republican", etc.

    A few years later, and long before BlueOregon, I gained a teensy bit of notoriety for creating the "Bill Sizemore Owes Me Money Too!" sticker. Heck, David Reinhard called me an "enterprising young man" for that one. Last time he ever said anything nice about me....

  • Murphy (unverified)
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    Saw one today: "Homer, Alaska: A Small Drinking Village with a Fishing Problem."

  • LT (unverified)
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    All time favorite:

    One afternoon, stressed out after a hard day at work, I saw the bumper sticker which made me laugh so hard it proved all the stories about how laughter can lower blood pressure.

    Just a simple green and white bumper sticker:

    VISUALIZE WHIRRLED PEAS

  • Kathy W (unverified)
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    Saw one recently that said (paraphrased) "If sitting in church on Sunday makes you a Christian, does sitting in your garage make you a car?"

    3 or 4 years ago, after seeing several black oval ones that had a big white W in the middle, then in smaller letters "The President", I burst out laughing when I saw an oval sticker with a big white F in the middle and "the president" in smaller letters below. (I expect it referred to the grades GWB earned in school...)

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    Vote with your dollars. We are what we buy.

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    Great for those with a local memory. Oregon Citizen's Alliance. Lon Mabon. circa 1994: Anti-OCA measure: Ding-Dong. Mabon

    Bad memory: 2004. My daughter (then 9 ) asking what " Lick Bush" and " No Bush. No Dick" meant when she spied them on a car in Cannon Beach.

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    Charlie - ROFL!!!

    I had to read it through a couple times before it hit me, though.

    Okay... small confession: Although I'm positive that I've never road raged, I am nevertheless an aggressive driver with a lead foot. Which is why I love that sticker!

    I also like Leo's sticker. Stickers that make me think for longer than the time it takes to get a word-play joke are among my favorites.

  • mamabigdog (unverified)
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    Some of my faves:

    "Slower minds --->> keep right"

    "The Labor Movement: from the folks who brought you the weekend"

    "Your Silence Will Not Protect You"

    "Bipartisanship: I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass"

    "Civil Liberties: Don't leave home without them"

    I could go on, but you get the picture. Oddly, the only bumpersticker I've ever had on my car in my entire lifetime is my Obama '08 sticker. We should all be grateful we don't get hassled for these here in Blue OR- I hear our compatriots in places like GA and SC are having a terrible time with harassment from total strangers over their bumperstickers.

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    "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention"

    "My karma ran over my dogma"

  • Jared (unverified)
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    "That's OK - I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway"

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    On the back of my car trailer We interupt this marriage for racing season

    Otherwise I don't put sickers on my cars. ( I do have participant stickers on the '62 ChevyII windows )

  • Jim H. (unverified)
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    My all time favorite (at the moment): Who Would Jesus Bomb?

    I've also always loved the COEXIST stickers.

    and of course the Darwin fish magnets.

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    My 18-year old daughter's Taurus boasts this bumper sticker:

    I'm too poor to vote Republican!

    I'm so proud of her...:)

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Saw one the other day: "I have a prefect body, but its in my trunk and starting to smell"

    I believe my pre-front wheel drive Volvo station wagon is the only one in town without a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker.

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    My fav:

    "Well behaved women rarely make history"

    :)

  • lizard king (unverified)
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    My other ride is your mom.

    Celebrate Diversity: Kill an Average Person

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    Chuck, we gotta talk cars one of these days! My first car was a 63 Nova SS.

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    Not strictly bumper sticker territory, but there used to be a datsun pickup that ran around Gresham called:

    Too Loose Le Truck

    On my truck I have six bullett hole decals complete with apporopriate shading;

    an american flag decal. I keep a stack of replacements in the glovebox.

    On the Fish thing, I have one that says Cthulu from H. P. Lovecraft

    Legalize Freedom, from ABATE Freedom is always unfinished business, from MRF Obama '08 Jeff Merkley Suzanne Van Orman

    Hanging on my mirror is an orange armband from the ROP march for Truth and Justice about three years back.

    <hr/>

    I remember when the Sizemore owes me money thing came out. I loved it, but had no idea that Kari was the creator.

  • MCT (unverified)
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    Lysdexics Untie!

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    When I was in high school, my car was completely stickered. As I got older (and the cars got nicer), it pared down to a Darwin fish and a Portland State Alumni sticker. Now - now all I have are the union glass decals in my windows.

    In high school the centerpiece of my well-stickered '78 Plymouth Arrow was:

    Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

    I had stickers such as "Keep the U.S. out of my uterus" and other lefty sayings pertinent to the early 90s. I'm trying to remember the rest of them but am drawing a blank.

    I do love a good bumper sticker. I'm one of those people that positions myself behind a stickered car to have some good reading on my commute. I do get angry when I read some of them. Not because they're telling me that the driver was once a fetus (good for him!) but because of grammatical errors. I can't tell you how many bumper stickers I've seen with "your" instead of "you're." That causes more road rage in me than any other ignorance out there rolling around on four wheels.

  • genop (unverified)
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    "Legalize Hemp" in close proximity to "Caution" "Frequent Stops For Fast Food" and "Embrace Morality-Hug a Republican? (it really confuses em)

  • meg (unverified)
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    My fav "Guns dont kill people I do"

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    A friend saw this in Atlanta:

    If you'd rather die than see a Black President, Now would be a good time.

  • Emess (unverified)
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    All-time favorite was pretty nerdy:

    "If this sticker is blue, you're driving too fast." (printed in red)

    All the funnier because it was in front of my school's physics building. Click here for the explanation.

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    Emess, I love it!

    Meg, the husband of the woman who babysat my infant daughter when I first became a single parent was this good-natured redneck who had worked for the Postal Service. Anyway, he had a sticker on his pickup which read, "guns don't kill people, postal workers do!"

  • Gus Frederick (unverified)
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    A collection to keep 'em guessing:

    "Get a Half-Life - Visit the Natl. Atomic Museum"; "I'm Pro-Space and I Vote - Natl. Space Society"; "GotSpine? http://backbonecampaign.org/"; "Jim Gilbert for Oregon"; "End THIS War"; "Oregon Agriculture - All The Time";

    And one I have not yet applied:

    "God was my Co-pilot - But we crashed in the Andes and I had to Eat him."

    Gus Frederick Silverton, OR

  • Nancy (unverified)
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    Not political but made me laugh out loud:

    On the back window of a large pick-up truck was a bumper sticker that read:

    "NO! I will NOT help you move!"

  • Displaced Oregano (unverified)
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    I'd like to see one with a picture of McCain and either "Bush 2008" or
    "Stay the Course"

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    More favorites:

    The only thing I feel when I fire my weapon is recoil.

    and

    Fit neither to lead nor to be led

    Least favorite:

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    'cause none of the three works for me........

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    My favorites on my car, in addition to the Obama sticker, are "Speak Your Mind, Even if Your Voice Shakes" and "Somewhere in Texas there's a Village Missing it's Idiot." I really hope I don't have to put the Arizona version of that one on.

    My favorite one not on my car, but may be soon is "Sorry I Missed Church, I've Been Busy Practicing Witchcraft and Becoming a Lesbian."

  • sadie (unverified)
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    In college there was a guy with a run down piece of crap car and on the back was one bumper sticker that said "I don't have herpes" - at least he had something going for him. That one is still my favorite.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Kevin, Go to http://chuckfor.blogspot.com/search/label/Cars and see some of my iron.

    The '62 Chevy II is a sedan and only loosely speaking a '62.

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    I assume the car pictured near the top of this page must belong to one of you?

  • meg (unverified)
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    Second Fav. "Ted Bundy was a Husky". Go Beavs.

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    I had one that said: "Bob Dole is 96" (I did not have one saying "Dole for Pineapple")

    Funny story -- A musician I saw recently said that for fun he puts risqué stickers on the back of his wife's pickup truck, which she drives to work as a fitness trainer at a gym. He waits to see how long it takes her to notice the sticker and get embarrassed. The last one said, "Hell yeah, I'll back that a$$ up." Took her three weeks.

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    Stephanie V: Thanks for the morning chuckle. Had to share that one.

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    Chuck, nice pics!

    My 63 was only loosely speaking a Nova too. In reality it was the body of a Nova with the running gear and front seats from a 67 Impala SS. The guy who sold it to me warned me that it was "a coffin on wheels" because it's power-to-weight ratio was insane. Even with a badly slipping clutch it would light 'em up at will.

  • Brienne (unverified)
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    I like the bumper sticker, "Anything war can do, peace can do better."

    Also, "To err is human, but to really screw up it takes a politician." I wanted to cross out 'politician' and write in 'Republican'

    Not a bumper sticker story but a license plate story: I was driving in Lake Oswego a couple weeks back and saw a big SUV with the license plate "Cptlist." As I looked up to see the driver, the guy threw a cigarette out the window. So sad.

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    Saw another funny one today on Hawthorne that said something like "Now, it would be another matter entirely if you could extract oil from stem cells"

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    My favorite one from the other day: "Clinton lied about sex. Bush lies about everything."

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    You can't get PROgress in CONgress

    Your child may be an honor student, but you're still an idiot who can't drive

  • maxredline (unverified)
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    It's really easy to identify a "Progressive" - they're the ones with the whole back-end of their vehicle covered with bumper-stickers.

    The message they deliver is abundantly clear:

    "I can't think for myself, so I plaster my car with stickers."

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Maxredline---Actually, the bumper sticker is "I can't think for myself, so I vote Republican".

    Rs plaster their cars with stickers too, by the way...."W", "Bush/Cheney", "Yes on 36" and that stupid fish sticker come readily to mind.

    Good try, though, at being insulting....needs work, but good try.

    Another one I like is "God is watching....and she is very pissed off".

    And then there is the one that was so popular in Oklahoma with the rednecks years ago --"have fun tonight...beat the hell out of someone you love". Oh, yeah, that was a laugh riot. NOT.

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    Despite the fact that I have never owned a car, I do love bumper stickers and my husband teases me that if I ever decide to get wheels it will probably because there's a particular bumper sticker I am eager to display.

    He's saving one for me just in case: "I'd rather be driving a Macintosh."

    I also have a small stash of stickers from the Clinton Presidential Library that read, "I miss Bill." Even those of us who had our issues with him (as I certainly did) can relate to that message today.

    My friend Libbi has "BORN OK the first time."

  • bye bye Smith (unverified)
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    Impeach the lying little s--t!

    Earth First! We'll destroy the other planets later.

    Thanks for all the money. Sorry about your kids. -Halliburton

    Like this? (picture of mcain hugging bush) Keep the criminals in office, vote Republican.

  • edison (unverified)
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    My all-time fav comes from when Extremo the Clown ran for Portland mayor. Some may remember his campaign bumper sticker. IIRC, it was similar to the slogan Wavy Gravy used when he ran for Berkeley City Council: "Let's elect a real clown for a change.":

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    I just remembered another one from my Plymouth:

    If you can't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?

    Oh how my Republican family loved when I'd come a-visitin'.

    And Max, I think that the right wing matches the left sticker-for-sticker - if they don't beat us.

    The exact verbiage of the one I saw the other day on this tiny little mid-80s car with a guy who looked like he was on his way to find a mountain top upon which to write his manifesto said "This driver used to be a fetus."

    Way to employ the "duh" factor.

    I think the difference between left-leaning and right-leaning stickerage is that ours are witty and theirs lack any ounce of taste.

  • Janna (unverified)
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    Along with our Obama 08' stickers, my husband has added to his truck the bush sticker (the W with the line through it) with a twist. It is upside down and now is a M with a line through it. Now we will see how long it takes someone to figure that one out and destroy it as they did my No Bush sticker. I had the "If you are not outraged you are not paying attention" one on my car. I was amazed at how many people didn't get it.

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    "Jesus is coming -- Everyone look busy."

  • Clinton (unverified)
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    My favorite non-bumper sticker is "I'm only speeding because I really need to poop." which is a hilarious inside joke shared with someone I know with serious IBS problems. I've only seen it once and it was not on a friend's car, so I was puzzled.

    My car simply has a "Powered by Biodiesel" sticker. With the recent "Biofuels are bad because ethanol is depriving us of corn and driving up food prices" talking points someone is rolling out, I really wish Sequential would come out with a "Powered by Oregon Grown Canola & Recycled Cooking Oil" sticker. Hopefully catchier and soon.

  • Clinton (unverified)
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    My favorite non-POLITICAL bumper sticker is...

  • riverat (unverified)
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    One of my favorites was:

    Bush

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    Majority reminded me,

    "After the Rapture, can I have your car?"

  • CW (unverified)
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    just love this one:

    "at least the war on the environment is going well"

    <h2>did someone already say that...</h2>

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