We's in California

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bumper Stickers 101. On the 101.

I'm going to list the top 5 bumper stickers in Los Angeles. This is not just based on some guy's casual observation, this is data collected, collated and co-agulated through thousands of hours of cutting edge data-collection, collation, and co-agulation technologies, as well as my casual observation.

These are ranked by popularity, not by my personal preference. None of these would make my top five if that were the case. Except for number 5. And number 1.

5) Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes pissing on something.
While it is common knowledge that it takes a certain kind of person to put a sticker of Calvin pissing on something on the back of your car, the history of this phenomenon is perhaps a little more elusive. It all began with Calvin pissing on a Ford sticker... or was it Chevy? No sooner than these stickers were the de-facto decal of Ford (or was it Chevy?) owners everywhere, the tables were turned and Calvin was pissing on the very symbol of the brand of truck that the original sticker owners drove. While this ingenious reversal of fortunes for Ford (or was it Chevy?) owners was perhaps forseeable, what followed was anything but. Calvin was soon pissing on anything: Mazda's, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NDP, it just didn't matter anymore.
Until yesterday.
Dayna saw Calvin pissing on the word "Drugs". So it seems in the end that the type of people who would put a sticker of Calvin pissing on something have evolved into paradoxical creatures, for on the one hand they have the capacity to understand that doing drugs is something they want no part of, yet on the other hand they are willing to put a sticker of Calvin pissing on something on the back of their cars. It is as though we are living in the world of MC Escher.

4) Anti-Bush Stickers. George, not Kate... I assume.
Although anti-Bush/War stickers are quite common across the US, Canada, and I'm guessing Iran among other places, in California there seem to be more than usual. Bush for Ex-President, "Bush" in a circle with a line through it, Bush Burned and Raped my Village, Bush Stole my Lunch Money, etc. Some are funny, some are annoying. What happens to these when his term is done?

3) The Rodriguez Family.
I had not seen these in Canada before but basically it's a collection of stick-man type stickers, each one representing each each member of the family, with the name of the family underneath. There are tons of these. They are to be found mostly on Hummers, minivans, stretch Hummers and other great family vehicles. With the divorce rate being what it is (84% are the latest figures I believe) these come in packs of 10 so you can add and remove members as you please. What a sad that that must be when mommy tells junior to get some rubbing alcohol and meet her in the garage because daddy won't be sleeping over anymore. There's something I don't like about these stickers but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe its that sense of family pride. I will dwell and perhaps post it in the comments.

2) I Live Vicariously Through my Child stickers.
As has been mentioned before on my blog, the My Child Was the Boner of the Month at Valley High stickers. Most of them are quite vague and are about being a "superstar" or something similar, which I assume means they're getting good grades and are on their way to paying 30 grand a year at UCLA. Last week I saw a bumper sticker that said "My dog is smarter than your honors student." Depends on the student.
Depends on the dog.

Finally, THE most popular bumber sticker in the greater Los Angeles:

1) El Cuchy, 97.9 La Raza.
This Spanish speaking station has also come up in this blog before. El Cucuy is the host. From what I understand, radio stations give out prizes to people with their sticker on the car, right? These guys must be giving out some serious prizes then. Maybe if you're sporting a 97.9 La Raza sticker, they pull you over and give you a free fake US visa, which is nice because it saves you a $100 dollars and trip to East LA.

There you have it, I wrote this at work.


  • Hey programmer, the La Raza link is broken.

    By Anonymous chris, at April 05, 2006  

  • And then there is the sub-category of Living Vicariously Through My Child, the ubiquitous "Baby on Board" sign/sticker. Vehicle owners happy in the fact they have functioning reproductive organs, if not brains. Come to think of it, it brings new meaning to Boner of the Month.

    By Anonymous chancesare, at April 05, 2006  

  • The link is fixed. That broken link was the Boner of the Month.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 05, 2006  

  • I wish i spoke spanish, does "el hora", with the scantily clad young women mean what i think it means? yikes.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 05, 2006  

  • Heh. Most of them are pretty universal, though the Rodriguez family one has me confused. Perhaps when I come to LA at the end of the month Gareth will give me an education.

    Suggested topic for future blog entry: the awesome/frightening taste of Arrogant Bastard beer from Stone Brewing in San Diego.

    Neal in Wpg.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2006  

  • what's with all this talk of "pissing". i thought old mom(s)was reading this blog and there was to be no impropriety. appalling.

    By Anonymous simoncowell, at April 05, 2006  

  • The thing that creeps me out about those Rodriguez stickers is this:

    Let's say we've got a family -- Bob (Dad), Mary (Mom), Bobby (Son), Suzie (Daughter), and Spike (Dog). Dad's got the stickers on his car. He works for Company A. A predator can see all of this information on the back of the car, follow Dad to company A, figure out where the kids go to school, and try this old predator bit:

    Hi, I'm "so and so" and I work with your Dad, Bob, down at Company A. He and your Mom, Mary, will be going out to dinner tonight, so he asked me to pick you up. Why don't you hop in and we'll go get Suzie so that we can head home and take Spike for a walk.

    That's what's wrong with "Rodriguez" stickers. They are invitations for kidnappers and pervs...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 05, 2006  

  • "La Hora" means "the hour" or "the time"... the word you're thinking of is "la puta".

    I have to say, there are some honourable mention ones:

    1. La Virgen de Guadalupe -- the big tall Mexican saint that's on the back of conversion vans and pickup trucks.

    2. $YOUR_MEXICAN_STATE_HERE -- Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nayarit, Quintana Roo, etc. Also in this category are the "Orgullo _____" (fill in your location-based adjective, such as Mexicano, Guatemalteco, Salvadoreño, etc.)

    3. "My child is a star at $SCHOOL."

    4. "END VIVISECTION". If I, a university graduate, had to look it up, it's too arcane for a bumper sticker.

    5. "In Memoriam $GUY_WHO_DIED, $DATE". This is especially common in the high desert where drag racing happens with more abandon.

    6. "JESUS ES DIOS - LEA LA BIBLIA". ("Jesus is God... Read the Bible") Also in this category are the ones that say "Too blessed to be stressed" and "Cristo es mi roca" and "Know God know peace, no God no peace."

    By Anonymous Dave the Ubergeek, at April 05, 2006  

  • Ha ha, I didn't connect your "boner of the year" with my #3. I'm an idiot. The one near us is "My Child Shines at Coldwater Canyon Elementary". Yes, But Apparently He Doesn't Learn To Capitalise Correctly.

    By Anonymous Dave the Ubergeek, at April 05, 2006  

  • A while ago I sent you an e-mail rubbing your face in the fact I had all my taxes done and you didn't. Turns out I was delusional - a ceertain relative has to do a US filing this year and I'm up to my wazzoo in W-7's and 8843's and 1040NR-EZ (the last two letters are a laugh) forms. So after four hours of beating my head on IRS instructions (another misnomer) I thought I'd dial into Gareth's world to check out life in California. So now I'm trying to figure out how all these idiots plastering boner messages on their cars have the mental capacity to file a US tax form. Do they sign with an "X"?? Working at the IRS must be like a day job in a comedy club. I'd probably have to wear a pair of Depends to work. I'm going back to a Costco sized bottle of Anacin and my spreadsheet now.

    By Anonymous W in W, at April 05, 2006  

  • W in W, perhaps you should have taught that certain relative your secret wallet-receipt-organizing system you have going in which your wallet ends up so fat it would give you scoliosis if you left it in your back pocket and sat on it for more than 5 minutes. I share your incomprehension of how some people deal with doing taxes here. We had to hang out at the old Social Security Office when we moved here to fill out some immigration forms, and if people can't fill out a form with name and birthdate, even in their own language, then how can they be expected to fill out an EZ-723943843792-*4, never mind the EZ-723977843792-*4. Good luck with all that.
    I can't wait until Neal shoots me in the knuckles with his illegally over-powered paintball gun.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 06, 2006  

  • Calvin pissing on the NDP, that's funny. gareth, i work at broadway and portage. there is a large amount of foot traffic that goes through the back parking lot/back alley, which i have a perfect view of. The event of the week is a co-worker placing a piece of clothing (which he has in the back of his jeep laredo) and placing on the fence, then to sit up here on the fourth floor and watch the games begin. We're pretty close to placing bets on the time of the day that the shirt, pants, italian dress shoes etc. gets picked up by passers by. Should i feel bad that these people are the brunt of office humour? probably.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 06, 2006  

  • Should you sneak down there one day and pick up the slacks yourself while your co-workers watch from the window? Probably.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 06, 2006  

  • Neal will be too busy swilling Fat Bastard beer to pick up a paint ball gun. On the other hand, what goes together better than ammo and alcohol. Come to think of it, maybe you should watch your knuckles.

    By Anonymous w in w, at April 06, 2006  

  • It's funny that you would comment about 'family' stickers. Around here (Eastern WA) it's popular with Hispanics to put family names on the back window of whatever cheap but souped-up vehicle they own. A low-rider Geo Tracker with a 'Rodriguez' or 'Guiterrez' decal is NOT an uncommon sight. What's really bad is when the last name isn't even spelled right. And yes, since we're in America, that's pronounced 'DEE-kal,' not 'DECK-ull.'

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 06, 2006  

  • Oh your flag deekal won't get you into heaven anymore
    They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war
    Now Jesus don't like killin
    no matter what the reason for
    And your flag deekal won't get you into heaven any more.

    John Prine

    By Anonymous Al, at April 06, 2006  

  • 7.
    Jesus saves
    He scores!

    By Anonymous hockey fan, at April 06, 2006  

  • huh?

    By Anonymous chancesare, at April 06, 2006  

  • It started with Calvin peeing on a Chevy logo...definitely a Chevy logo. Then he moved on to Chrysler and now it's Toyota...he's pissing on Toyota. He never pisses on Ford....he's only stuck on Fords but he's pissing on other things while he's stuck on Fords. And now Stewie has joined him pissing on stuff. It's an anime pissing contest but no on is pissing on Ford! Got it?!

    By Anonymous Bill Ford, at April 06, 2006  

  • I want Calivin peeing on Calvin peeing on something.

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 06, 2006  

  • I've actually seen that. Seriously. I forget what the second Calvin was peeing on though.

    By Anonymous chris, at April 07, 2006  

  • Sorry Bill Ford:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2006  

  • zing. how about calvin on the back of a honda pissing on a collection of chevy, ford, dodge, toyota, mazda, etc. how profound.
    gareth, there is a pair of italian dress shoes with a buckle and a pair of size 30 dress pants on the fence this morning.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 07, 2006  

  • how about one of Calvin pissing into a toilet...that'd be hilarious! Booyah!

    Hey, it's 10:51 Friday morning...what's the current status of those alligator shoes and slacks?

    By Blogger Steve & Gillian, at April 07, 2006  

  • Anonymous: Thanks for that link. I recommend all read it. Here's a clip:

    "By displaying Calvin in the rear window of my vehicle, I tell the world that I am a kindred spirit to Watterson's perceptive and preternaturally intelligent six-year-old. In the depiction of urination, I convey the very human emotions of anger and discontent. Lastly, the image at the bottom of the tableau directs that palette of rage at a specific target–in this case, the hated Dallas Cowboys–subjecting the team to shame and ignominy and bringing closure to the cycle."

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 07, 2006  

  • Chris, those slacks are yours. Act now!

    By Blogger Gareth, at April 07, 2006  

  • He said size 30. Ouch.

    By Anonymous chris, at April 07, 2006  

  • Its 1:11 the shoes are gone. But the pants are still there, they look to be beige golf pants or "khakis" if you will.
    Yesterday two of our own employees saw the shirt (which was gone this morning) on the fence, and they got up on the hood of their car to reach up and over the fence to grab the shirt, then realizing it was too small for their husband, putting it back, much to the hilarity of the entire 4th floor. it had tags on it and everything.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2006  

  • Whoops, that was my post. the last one.

    By Anonymous clitke, at April 07, 2006  

  • 10-4

    By Blogger Steve & Gillian, at April 07, 2006  

  • sad..the pants thing..sad on so many levels.

    By Anonymous chancesare, at April 07, 2006  

  • I know this is late in the game, but what about Calvin pissing on George W.?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 09, 2006  

  • And clearly sometimes the saying should be, "better never than late." At least try to say something remotely clever.

    By Anonymous simoncowell, at April 10, 2006  

  • Oooo, an unprovoked bitter attack...Ouch!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 11, 2006  

  • Bumper sticker typos Hall of Fame:

    "Jesus Christ: To Long To Be Wrong"

    I guess that referred the infallible nature of "Our Lord." Obviously the first word should have been "Too", but the way it is represents a keening desire to make a mistake, but being unable to do so. Perhaps a desire of Jesus to walk a while in our shoes...

    By Blogger Scott, at April 24, 2006  

  • I know you were being sarcastic but its USC that costs $40k a year, not UCLA. If you look it up the tuition at UCLA looks affordable compared to USC, about $2000 a quarter I believe, so about $6000 a year. Maybe some one can look up the exact price.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2006  

  • USC, being a private school, had a tuition of $28,184 per annum in 2003 to 2004. Factor in room, board and sundries and the comprehensive fee was $37,324. Costs in 2004-2005 would be approximately 5% higher.

    UCLA is a state-supported institution and charged $0.00 tuition for Califonia residents in 2003-2004, but required fees, plus room and board totalled approximately $16,500.00 per annum. Those from out of state payed an additonal $14,210.00 in tuition.

    So if you are a California resident, UCLA is the less costly option, but it's close to a draw if you are from out of state.

    That said, most people don't have to worry about the cost af attending either institution as a full 25+% of the entrance classes had SAT scores in excess of 1400. Just getting admitted to USC or UCLA is a significant scholastic challenge (unless you're a quarterback with a hell of an arm).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2006  

  • But the best bumper sticker is the one that says "Hang up your phone and drive!!"

    By Blogger Max, at July 18, 2006  

  • where could I get the 97.9 La Raza sticker? I want one cause I love that station and I saw someone driving with a 97.9fm La Bronca de la raza sticker and I love her and her cumbia show and I want a sticker...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 10, 2010  

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