Reading The Cars

I’m always surprised by what you can find out about someone just by reading their car.

Forget trying to figure out an incomprehensible vanity license plate.  All you have to do these days is read the stickers and decals and cling-ons and magnetic ribbons people seem to be sticking all over their vehicles.  Everything from how many kids and animals they have to whether or not they like “Twilight” is right out there for the world to discover.  Self expression on four wheels.

You can find out if they’ve had cancer or a serious illness, or if they know someone who does. You can find out if they have any religious or political affiliations and how aggressively they support them. You might be able to find out who they supported in the last election from an old bumper sticker. If the bumper sticker is halfway peeled off, you can intuit that they no longer support that candidate.

You can find out the breed of their dog and whether or not they love it. You can find out whether or not they’ve traveled, and where they’ve been. You can find out if they engage in any sort of recreational activity, and whether or not they’ve run a marathon.

By reading the cars, you can see the names of the kid’s school mascots or any sports associations they might belong to. Today I passed a car sporting a decal for the “Hedgehogs”. That seemed unfortunate. How athletic are Hedgehogs anyway? Of course, the Hedgehog in the decal was holding a pencil, so maybe they aren’t into sports. One local high school is apparently called the “Trojans”, which I think is perhaps a little more encouragement than your average high school student needs.

As I drive, I read the cars and learn about the people driving them. Do they like NASCAR or ballet? Do they support the Rams or the Bucs or the Phillies? Are they activists or do they have droll senses of humor? I drive and I wonder and I think.  What can I say? I find it amusing.

And me? I don’t have a blessed thing on my car. Maybe that makes people wonder too.

Or maybe they just think I’m boring.



PS – Hey, by the way, if you have a small child or children, you might want to reconsider all of the decals that tell us about them. I’m not sure you want everyone in the world to know all about your kids. That might be my paranoia talking, but I thought I’d mention it.


  1. No it’s not your paranoia talking…

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Laryn: That’s what I think, too. You can find out so much about people from the decals and stuff. It makes me nervous…and they’re not even my kids! LOL

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