Contrary to popular belief, road rage is not caused merely because people are psychotic. It’s because of those little stickers they put on their cars.
Ordinary people who have a life – the kind who look upon their vehicles as useful for getting to work and home again – have a dealer sticker on the back. It tells where they bought the car. If you get stuck behind them in traffic, you merely think (with a vaguely interested air about you), ‘Oh … they bought that in Danglewillee …’ And that’s about all you think. The lights change and off you go – everybody’s happy in lala land.
But there are other drivers who cause feelings of considerable angst. In these instances, it does not help one bit that my morning got off to a hideous start when my porridge exploded in the microwave. Nor does it help that the gene responsible for finding the funny side of bumper sticker humour seems to have bypassed me. Several times since I woke up.
For instance … Mum’s Taxi. Sorry? Did the brains trust who thought of this little gem really think it was funny? When you come across it (and you most certainly will), have a close look at the Mum in situ. Now do you get it? Imagine the excitement this woman felt, sticking that cute yellow diamond proudly to the back window of the Tarago? The pleasure derived in finding meaning in her meagre existence. ‘I am the driver of Mum’s Taxi! I am the proud purveyor of Shane to his footy practice and Breeeearne to physical culture. Therefore, I am!’ After analysing this sad fact, I almost wish I knew where to buy one. Not.
Then there’s that perennial shocker – Baby on Board. Please. It makes you want to ram straight up the back of it. What else is in the car? Why doesn’t the woman also advertise she’s carrying a snot-encrusted four-year-old, an aged pensioner sucking on a Mintie and has a deceased gerbil in a shoebox in the glove compartment? Somebody once tried to explain the reason for Baby on Board. Very patiently too, because I’m obviously a few seats short of a carload and unable to grasp the logic behind the innovation. Apparently, in case of accident, the rescue lads will know to look for a baby. Hey … clever! But what if the baby was left at home that day? What if the ambos are so busy looking for a non-existent baby they fail to notice the pensioner squeezed up under the back seat, having choked to death on the Mintie? What if the sticker is 12 years out of date and the baby in question is now at high school, having a quick smoke behind the bike shed – oblivious to the fact searchers are looking for him in vain, expecting him to be wearing Huggies?
For the cool dudes in their souped up Toranas, there are stickers of a far more intellectual bent. Such as, If it’s rockin’, don’t bother knockin’. Why not? I can’t imagine anything more entertaining! It’s like an open invitation, even. Anyway, they’re kidding themselves. If it’s rockin’, it’s most likely to be because it only has three wheels and there are half a dozen likely lads mooning out of the rear passenger window. Similarly, Don’t laugh mate – your daughter’s inside. I think not. These days, your daughter is far more likely to be driving it. She probably modified it herself, has hairy armpits and spiders tattooed up her back.
But if you’re not a Dumb Mum or a Hot Young Thang, there are the environmental stickers such as Save the ozone layer, and Have mercy on the ecosystem. If you are serious, the only place these have any business being are on the back of a bicycle. Sticking them on anything with an exhaust pipe is making yourself look like a moron. An oxymoron. Driving around pumping fumes into the atmosphere ain’t saving anything, bucko. Especially not the sanity of the people behind you, who have Danglewillee Prestige Motors stuck on the back window of the family Commodore.
The sticker I really like simply says, Magic Happens. It’s a hologram, and the colours change as the sun hits it so you really feel anything’s possible and there’s something to be optimistic about after all. Everybody may well think you are a wanker, but you don’t care because you also have a penchant for purple socks and the happy feeling maybe tomorrow’s porridge is going to be perfect.
And of course, there’s a moral to this story. You don’t let pensioners eat Minties in the back of your car …