Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bumper Stickers and Things Left by the Roadside

In my battle against the boredom of the interstate road system, I observe bumper stickers and other accoutrements that adorn the vehicles ahead.  Most dance out of my not-so-nimble brain seconds after I've seen them, but some stay with me, like a declaration on the tailgate of a battered black pickup I'm out of estrogen and I have a gun, and the cryptic note on a dark green Jaguar Don't tell my wife.   The more mundane ones such as, My other car is a [Porsche, Broom, Harley, Bike, ...], My [son, daughter] is an honor student, and so many, many others like them, I ignore in my quest for unique sentiments.

Over the last decade or so, bumper strips have given way to smaller oval stickers with abbreviations identifying places where the vehicle has been or wishes to be.  OBX is so prolific on bumpers and rear windows that it seems every person east of the Mississippi must have visited the Outer Banks.  Even more recently, rear windows have been arrayed with a series of stick-like figures representing a family: dad, mom, then one or more kid figures in descending size order, often followed by family pets. Once, on I-75 in Tennessee, I saw a rear window display where the family was arrayed as a series of weapons: dad as an assault rifle, mom a shotgun, and the kids as ever smaller sidearms.  It made me sad.

One can't drive the roads of this country without noticing the detritus and dead animals on the roadside.

Whenever I see garbage on the shoulders, I'm reminded of a speaker I heard many years ago, his name long since forgotten.  I don't even remember the theme of the talk, but I do remember him stating something about people who claimed to honor the flag, yet continued to litter the country it represented.

I noticed on my last trip that the sight of dead deer caused no reaction other than an awareness of their numbers, but the sight of a dead cat or dog saddened me.  I pondered that for a time before I realized that it was because I knew them.  Not each individual animal of course, but I knew cats and dogs: their personalities, the sensation of stroking their coat and feeling the textural differences, the honesty of their relationship with their chosen humans.  Somehow I felt connected to them, a sense of what they were like when they were alive.

Enough of this.  It's been too long since my last post, so I will try to relay my musings more often from now on.  Oh oh - could that be a new years resolution that snuck into my addled mind?  We'll see.