What Bumper Stickers Say About Us

veggie munching tree huggers

Following up on a previous Stopped. Watched. item about a provocative bumper sticker The Chronicle was provoked to chat with the owner of this Ford 4-speed manual transmission pickup:


Let's slip a boatload of veggie munching tree huggers under an oil rig and DRILL DOWN!


The signage created by this driver is not strictly speaking a “bumper sticker.” First, the frame he’s constructed atop the truck bed gate isn’t the bumper. And although he “sticks” them into the frame, he prints the text from his computer out onto ordinary 8.5 x 11 inches sheets of paper and pieces them together into a single message.

He creates a new message whenever he “feels inspired.” And given the relatively short lifespan of ordinary paper in outdoor conditions, we figure the maintenance of fresh-looking messages requires relatively frequent inspiration.

While it’s easy to imagine that the author of such a sign might be generally belligerent towards a long-bearded bicyclist like The Chronicle reporter who filed this piece, this proved to be far from the case. In fact, the bumper sticker author revealed he’s actually very much “against waste” and places great importance on the conservation of resources – resources he says the next generation might need. One example: the pickup truck he drives. He’s never bought a new vehicle with automatic transmission, on the principle that automatics are wasteful. A second example: he empties the half-filled plastic water bottles lying around the car wash before pitching them into a recycling bin, because hauling water around is a waste of energy.

Aside from one unpleasant encounter he described with a young man by the railroad tracks at 1st and Liberty, the bumper sticker author says mostly the reaction he gets from Ann Arborites to his somewhat right-wing slogans is a chuckle and a smile.