Sticker story

I’m not much of a bumper sticker guy. Yes, I used to have an ACK sticker on the back of Tricked-Out SaturnTM, and two years ago I temporarily and completely covered my trunk with refrigerator magnets for an April Fools Day prank. Otherwise, the Commuter Daddy Mobile is naked.

It’s the family Toyota Highlander that receives the annual dump and beach stickers. There also is a Nantucket sticker on one of the back windows. But that’s it. Our cars are largely unadorned and indistinguishable, which actually makes them fairly unique out there in the world, and therefore easy to identify in suburban parking lots

If I were to add a sticker to the VW, though, I have pondered a custom Family Sticker such as you see on the back of some SUVs and minivans. I would add some personal touches, such as a saxophone for Sam, a soccer ball for Mason, and some shades and flip-flops for Ben, at least until he shows a preference for a sport or other extracurricular pursuit.

Whenever I see such a sticker, I admire it, and ponder the story of that particular family’s life and hobbies. It always makes me smile, but the one I saw yesterday while driving home through Plymouth caused me to do a double take.

The father was scraped off the window.

It wasn’t prudent to snap a photo while driving full-speed on the highway, so I can only describe it for you. A little bit of the father’s head remained on the car’s rear window, and a piece of one of his shoes was still there. The mother, children and pets were all in their original and intended place, but otherwise the father was gone.

I hope it was an ice-scraping mishap, or a glue failure — or both. It was a particularly brutal winter. The back story might be more sinister, though. Woe to the family if that is the case.

Therein lies the risk of bumper stickers. They eventually become outdated. Even our dump and beach stickers have to be scraped off and replaced annually. Political stickers eventually have to give way to term limits and election ousters. Students of the Month eventually graduate.

Maybe in this age of digital ink, a more modern solution is imminent. If they can make high-definition billboards, electric bumper stickers cannot be far behind. I’m not sure that’s necessarily better, but will certainly be less jarring than a scraped off father.

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