Monday, September 6, 2010

How Crazy Are You?: A Guideline for Motorists

First published on September 6, 2010

“I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds . . . but at least the
cigarette makes me look cool.” —Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, known in some circles for some kind of esoteric and irrelevant fiddling with atoms—which most people can’t even see, for God’s sake—is perhaps best known to the general public for his groundbreaking work studying the proliferation and significance of bumper stickers on American roadways.

It’s almost certain that the technical details of his work would not be of interest, but the gist of it is that Dr. Oppenheimer—with the help of a two-billion-dollar budget and more than one hundred thousand government scientists and mathematicians—proved the direct correlation between the number of bumper stickers on any given car and the likelihood that the driver of said car is either an asshole, a lunatic, or both.

Unfortunately, because of a disastrous paperwork mixup, the precise results of the good doctor’s bumper-sticker study were accidentally vaporized at the White Sands Proving Ground on July 16, 1945.

The loss to science was devastating, and since then no one has been able to replicate Dr. Oppenheimer’s work, and he himself was too busy becoming Death to give much thought to starting over again. Thus, despite nearly seventy years of our best efforts, we remain unable to identify the precise point at which a driver’s bumper-sticker accumulation indicates guaranteed insanity. The best we can do, with our tiny nonscientific brains, is apply his basic principles and make our best guesses as to which categories a particular driver belongs.

Compare your bumper sticker situation to the following examples to find out just how severe your problem is:

One single bumper sticker doesn’t make you crazy.
But pride IS still a sin, isn’t it?

Sane, But with Some Assholic Tendencies
Eight bumper stickers puts this car in a grey area, but they refer to
more than one subject and only one of them is of the
Bush-is-a-big-fat-idiot variety, so this car falls precariously on
the asshole side of the sanity line.

Slightly Nutty, Mostly Harmless
A bit surprisingly, the blue Subaru above—rather than
the tree-hugging reality-questioner right here—is the
one from Boulder, Colorado.

Crazy and Messy

Crazy but Refreshingly Organized
If I were to add three hundred stickers to my car—and the
thought has crossed my mind—this just how I’d do it.

We Don't Even Have a Category for This

Double-Toilet-Flush, Tinfoil-Helmet, Paul-is-Dead Crazy


I’m sorry, but thanks to the guy above, this just isn’t fun anymore. It’s one thing to make fun of the harmlessly weird, slightly goofy everyday assholes that make up the bulk of our society. This angry, hateful fucker, on the other hand, with his genuine and probably dangerous no-bullshit madness and casual bigoted inhumanity, pretty much torpedoes the light mood I was in and replaces it with a hollow worry for the future of the human race.

If you can’t read what his stickers say, you’re not missing out on anything insightful and I’m not even going to type it out because, frankly, I think it’s too goddamned disgusting to repeat. If you have to know, though, you should be able to find a list here.


  1. Sometimes a motorist can use a bumper-sticker to set himself apart from the rest of the motoring herd. For example, when people see my "Same Shit, Different Day" or "No Fat Chicks" bumper-stickers, they know that I'm a refined and clever individual.

  2. Great Blog, I think the whole bumper sticker fad is dead and gone, like Michael Jackson, and Gary Coleman

  3. Michael Jackson is dead? I can't wait to tell Elvis!