Subourbon Mom

Bumper Stickers Picker

Being the parent of teens who can’t drive yet, I spend approximately half of my day in my car, driving to and from sleepovers, sporting events and subsequent visits to the orthopedist. I have become an expert at iPhone games, deciphering vanity license plates (if it takes more than 5 seconds you need to pick another one), and reading bumper stickers. It’s the bumper stickers I want to talk about.

Bumper stickers came into popularity after WWII, in the form of flags attached with wire to car bumpers, according to that bastion of nebulous truth, Wikipedia (Since I’m in my car right now I don’t have a way to verify this). Magnets have been around even longer. So why has it taken us 70 years to figure out how to make flat magnet stickers that don’t ruin your paint job?

As if FaceBook, Instagram, and SnapChat aren’t enough, we have bumper stickers/magnets for everything, announcing to the motorized world our political affiliations, accomplishments, beliefs, and travel habits. There are stickers for Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and someone named Ron Paul who I still haven’t Googled; there are pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-term limits, pro-America, anti-war, anti-Israel, anti-Islamist, anti-Christian, anti-Wall Street, and anti-gun stickers, to mention a few.

Please explain to me how, if I can watch an entire debate and still not know who I’m voting for, why you think a bumper sticker is going to make up my mind? Same thing for the religious bumper stickers–if I’ve been going to church my whole life, have read books on various world religions, and I’m still searching, do you really think that criss-cross fish thing is going to make me Born-Again?

There are Soccer Moms, Baseball Dads, Football Fanatics, and entire families made of stick figures on every mini-van and SUV. My favorite of these was one that has a parent stick figure missing, and hand-written in marker were the words “Position Vacant.” Maybe they could add stick figure step-parents by having them on a staircase; or, half-brother and –sisters by cutting the stick figures in half. The modern family defies stick figure decals.

And let’s not forget the rampant joggers and runners who brag about their marathons, half-marathons and 10k races with stickers. If I put a running sticker on my car, it would say .1K—Car to Bar Relay.

Last year I finally bought a bumper sticker. It said, “Don’t use your turn signal –keep me in suspense”—a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. Turn signals are NOT optional. I was excited to put it on until I realized no one across an intersection would be able to see it if I put it on the front of my car. So, there it sits on my kitchen counter, taunting me with the knowledge I will have to keep my snarky comments inside my car instead of telling the world how I feel. Perhaps it’s just as well. Very few people would understand a sticker that says, “1 frozen chipmunk =3 car accidents—I dare you.”

Tips for “Manthers”
November 6, 2012, 2:46 am
Filed under: Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Hubby #1, in an effort to go back to being just plain Hubby, decided he could help me out by giving me a week off from writing. This was a great idea, because the Chipmunk Popsicle has gotten his revenge. I hit a deer with Hubby’s car and got rear-ended since posting that blog. The whiplash is just now starting to fade. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. The animal kingdom is a firm believer in Kharma.

So, Hubby went to a local bar (with the same friend who suggested covering the paralyzed chipmunk in peanut butter for a kitty snack) and took some notes on an actual attempt by a 50-ish guy to pick up a twenty-one-year-old girl. Peanut Butter’s Wife and I have since decided this was just an excuse for them to talk to 21-year-olds without seeming too creepy.

Tips for “Manthers” Trying to Pick up 21-Year-Olds:

1) Buy their drinks—seriously, Dude, that’s still the rule.
2) Don’t talk about your own 20-year-old kid.
3) Worse, don’t call your 20-year-old kid and have them talk to each other. It’s not a play date.
4) Don’t take a call from your (ex?) wife.
5) Don’t beat her playing pool—let her win. Chivalry ain’t dead.
6) Pay for your own games of pool—a half-assed offer to get quarters from your car says “I’m cheap and still paying off my divorce lawyer.”
7) Don’t ask them where they go to school and act interested.
8) Don’t start dancing like you did 20 years ago—you may pull a hamstring, and The Sprinkler was never cool.
9) Tuck in your t-shirt to avoid your beer gut sagging from underneath. And that soul patch/goatee and earring aren’t fooling anybody. Billy Ray Cyrus couldn’t pull it off either.
10) When the 21-year-old boyfriend shows up, call it a night!

Chipmunk Popsicle
October 26, 2012, 1:49 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

Usually, I can tell when I’ve got good or bad Kharma coming to me, since most of my actions are pretty straightforward. But sometimes the line gets a little fuzzy. Like last week, with the Chipmunk Incident. (PETA members, you might as well stop reading, but for the record, I really was doing the best I could.)

I came home for lunch one day, and Hubby called.

“Did you see what I left in the trash can?” he asked.

“No. Why would I look in the trash can?” (Does he really think I look in there each time I pass by?)

“I left you something.”


“The cats left a paralyzed a chipmunk on the back porch, so I put it in there.”

“Is he dead?” I asked, hesitating. Why else would Hubby be telling me this?

“He might be by now. But, I put him on top of the bag,” Hubby said, defensively.

So of course I had to go out and look. Sure enough, there was Chippy, only he wasn’t on top of the bag anymore—he’d slipped off and was gasping in a puddle of trash juice.

“Why didn’t you kill it?” I asked, enraged. “You can’t leave him out there to starve to death! That’s a horrible way to die! It’ll take days.”

“Well, I couldn’t do it! You have to do it.”

Now I was angry for two reasons: first, I’m not a big fan of the circle of life, and second, my husband has demonstrated a repeated lack of understanding of one of the fundamental rules in our marriage: I clean up the poop and vomit, he, being the man, finishes off small animals. So far, he’s managed to convince me to take a paralyzed bunny to the vet to be euthanized, and has now left a poor chipmunk in the bottom of the trashcan.

“I can’t,” I said.

For several minutes we debated the best way to put poor Chippy out of his misery. Finally, after being called several choice names, Hubby asked, “Well, what are you going to do?”

Not able to hit the side of a barn with a gun, that option was out. So was a friend’s suggestion to smear it with peanut butter and leave it in the garden so something else might finish it off (You see? These are the people I have to deal with!) Another friend suggested using a sharp shovel. Euthanasia by the vet was out of the question, since the last time I tried that (see bunny incident above), they were going to charge me $80 to stick a needle into the bunny’s heart. How is THAT humane?

Finally, I hit upon the best solution I could think of: I would put him in the freezer. Hubby reminded me that friends of his in Bermuda put lobsters in the freezer to kill them before cooking, and since Chippy was already in shock, and it would be quick and painless.

When the deed was done, I sent Hubby an informative text: “The deed is done, you big pussy.”

Instead of being ashamed and remorseful, this is what I got in return: “S-s-soooo c-c-coooold…”

Me: “You left him gasping tiny gasps in trash juice!”

Hubby: “I thought you said he was going to starve. He could’ve lasted for days on that juice.”

Hereafter, Hubby will now be referred to as Hubby #1. I hope the Kharma that comes back from this remembers that I really did try to be humane. It’s the cats who have something to answer for.

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