Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Car Signs

Bumper stickers are interesting things. I like reading when I’m driving and bumper stickers give me insight into the random stranger I am stopped behind at a light. Then the light changes, we go our separate ways, and I never see the person again.

Signs are another thing. I drive a mini van which is the universal sign that I have a family. The only single people who drive mini vans are teenagers or thieves. Think about it. Do we really need the vinyl stickers depicting our stick figure family on the back window of mini vans and SUV’s justifying a larger vehicle? Isn’t it obvious?

George Carlin said that Baby on Board are the three most puke-inducing words man has yet to come up with. I agree. It was a dumb fad in the early 80’s and is even more obnoxious now that it’s coming back into popularity by people who were the babies described in the original signs. I personally wouldn’t want to hope someone would suddenly become a more courteous driver after seeing my Baby on Board sign. Chances are they might roll their eyes so hard we all get in a wreck.

But I started thinking that maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Not the Baby on Board. I think that’s been proven by comedian after comedian that a Baby on Board sign does not produce the warm and fuzzy feelings intended. No, the signs I want to see in cars are the realistic signs. The ones that give other drivers the information they need at a glance. Like Emergency on Board.

I originally thought of Bleeding and Dying but I realized it was too specific. An emergency can mean any number of reasons why someone needs to perform an illegal maneuver causing the rest of us innocent drivers to narrowly escape disaster. If we could see an Emergency on Board sign we wouldn’t be so upset. Oh, she must be in labor . . . Oh, their pet fish has a broken fin and must be rushed to the vet . . . Oh, they forgot to use the restroom before they got into the car and “Emergency” doesn’t even begin to describe the urgent state they are in. See? A sign would help.

After being illegally cut off for the third time in one day I started wondering if I was dreaming or something. I felt so invisible. I used to drive a little white Chevy Cavalier. My brother said every time he saw it he thought it looked like a rent a cop mall security car. The general population of other drivers simply didn’t see my car at all. My husband drove my car a couple of times and agreed that the white paint must have an invisible quality at speeds above 15 mph. Apparently my blue van is now cloaked in invisibility as well.

If all these drivers with questionable driving skills would have simply put up their sign I would have understood. Especially if the sign they chose to display in their car is Narcissistic Driver. Then I would know that driver believes the world revolves around them and their hello officer red vehicle. The rules don’t apply to them. At least in their mind. And I can get out of their way more quickly.

Doesn’t it amaze you that Narcissistic Driver never gets caught? How do they know the cops are not in their typical spots? How do they speed through traffic barely squeezing into small spaces like they’re in the movies or something? Man, if I ever tried weaving my way through traffic at top speeds . . . I guess I’m too polite. I would probably find a couple of holes and be cruising along just fine but misjudge a tricky pack of cars only to get stuck behind rusted junker truck while a big semi struggles to pass on the hill.

Drivin my truck, drivin my truck.
Going real slow. I’m drivin my truck.

And that’s where the cop would catch me. He would probably laugh his head off giving me a ticket too. Then high five his buddies, Rusted Junker Truck and Wheezing Semi. Ha ha. We caught another idiot! Thanks guys.

That’s why I wouldn’t buy a Narcissistic Driver sign. But I would like to meet the guy who does and ask him what the weather is like in his world.


  1. Hi Tristan,

    You may be on to something here.

    I tried to think of some other signs, but none of them seemed to compare with "Narcissistic Driver". That seems to cover all of the possibilities.

    "cloaked in invisibility." - loved it!

    I would also get pulled over if I tried to replicate what I have seen others get away with on the roads. Besides, I would feel bad if I scared the bejesus out of someone by cutting them off. Ray

  2. Hi Ray,

    I think there are two kinds of drivers in the world. People like us who have too much conscience to affect other drivers and Narcissistic Drivers. You never know which kind of driver someone is until you see them behind the wheel.

    My mother in law asked how "Emergency on Board" signs would work. Would the person have to plan to have an emergency and put the sign up? How could they have it show up with an emergency? She had a good point. But "Narcissistic Driver" really does seem to cover all the bases. Now how do we get those drivers to buy the sign?


Now that I've shared my thoughts, what are your thoughts?