Monday, April 5, 2010

Inspiration From Behind

Today I was driving home from work and noticed a truck in front of me, one lane over. It was actually the truck's camper I noticed, truth be told, which looked like Paul Bunyan's playpen if he went to a daycare that wasn't up to code. The wooden slats were covered in bumper stickers of varying colors and sizes. What I have to assume was a strategic move to ensure maximum readership, the best sticker of the bunch was placed in the top right-hand corner (which we all know from Google analysis is the most effective spot).

It said, "Don't be a dick."

Yeah, I thought. I'm with you, buddy. Now, this was a sentiment I support. It wasn't political (there was no Dick Cheney photo), it wasn't a band (like Citizen Dick) and it didn't have a web site promoted underneath. I took it as a proverb of sorts, probably more colorful than Jesus would like, but with the same kind of heart.

I started to look for an image of this particular bumper sticker online so I could post it here, but after three unsuccessful tries I started to get a gnawing feeling in my stomach. This is my work laptop I'm writing on, and I really don't want to have to explain to someone why I kept typing "dick" into a search engine after hours. Who's with me here?

What stuck with me most is there's got to be a story behind this. Most people post a sticker that announces their political persuasion, their vanity about their kids' grades, their desire to pee on a [insert your brand here] vehicle, or what their stick figure family would look like. I don't often see a sticker with a good lesson for us all on the back of a truck camper. (Although I did find it polite that one was open about the fact that he does brake for hookers; it's always good to know when a large vehicle is coming to a stop. Thanks for the heads up!) So I'm thinking either the guy driving had such a bad experience, SUCH a dick in his life that he felt personally responsible from preventing it from happening to someone else...or he is fully aware he is a horrible driver, plans to continue driving badly, and is warning you upfront not to succumb to road rage. The more I thought about it, the less warm fuzzy I felt and the more worried I became.

Are you about to litter?
I wondered. What, am I not supposed to get mad if you throw your trash out the window, only to have it bounce off my windshield? Or if you keep encountering dick after dick, shouldn't you do a little self-examination? Maybe it's YOU, not them.

With a sticker like that, a cop is bound to notice. So what, are you anti-police or something? Anti-government? Are you one of those crazies who lives on a compound somewhere? Don't get in my lane.

And really, by telling me not to "be" a dick, aren't you kind of saying I could be already, that you see that quality in me, even though all I'm doing is driving behind you, innocently, listening to my Owl City album on my iPod? That's pretty rude, man. Jeez. Why don't you take your own advice already and leave me the hell alone?

I mean, honestly. People can be such dicks sometimes.

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