an open letter to drivers with sideways ’cause ribbon’ magnets on your vehicle

first, we had the window garfield — the cartoon cat with suction cups on his feet, stuck to a few cars here and there. we pointed to our fellow car-mates. we chuckled. he’s so cute! (incidentally, the garfield-stuck-to-the-window was ‘invented’ by a dude in my church, who also happened to invent the tippy cup).

but then, there were window garfields on every third vehicle, and sensible drivers were praying for heat-vision to burn the stupid grinning felines into history.

next, a few yuppies in volvos affixed small suction-cupped yellow signs in their car windows that said “baby on board”. we all thought: hey, that’s reasonably inventive and i will be extra careful when tailgating that car, or cutting them off in traffic.

but then it all went the way of fads: overkill. 7000 variations — some serious but tragically pathetic (“french poodle on board”), some witty, at least on first sighting (“mother-in-law in trunk”). but when every third vehicle had them — and some twits even had multiples! — well, where was that heat-vision when you wanted it?

it’s been a few years since we’ve had a truly obnoxious car doodle fad. but now we’ve got a new one, and it has two additional annoying features…

the new fad: magnetic cause ribbons.

it was ok when a few celebs wore little ribbons on their lapels at award shows to show support of AIDS victims. and when the whole freakin’ rainbow of colors started showing up on little lapel ribbons, i was ok. when they mutated into little key chains in the shape of ‘name your cause’ ribbons, i was ok.

but the stupid-looking magnetic ribbons on the back of cars? sorry, no longer ok. and now that they’re on every third car…

two additional problems:

1. at least the other car-doodle fads were playful. these ribbons are earnest. earnest is tiring. i’m happy for you that you found a cause to believe in — heck, i might even believe in the same cause. but the magnetic ribbon just looks dopey. i’m guessing, sooner or later, we’ll start to see ribbons mocking the earnest ribbon people, with slogans like “support donut makers” or “god bless antarctica” (ooh, i might put that last one on my car).

2. this is what really got me on the computer this evening, semi-tongue-in-cheekly airing my grievances: sideways ribbons. the original lapel ribbons were just a colored loop of ribbon. you had to find out what the color meant! there was INTRIGUE and MYSTIQUE. but the magnetic car ribbons lay it right out there for ya, naming their earnest cause. and here’s the freakish all-too-common affixing annoyance: because people want their little earnest phrase to be readable, they stick the magnets on the back of their cars sideways, or at a truly grating not-quite-sideways angle! argh!

so, to all you with sideways magnetic cause ribbons on the back of you car: please elect one of the following…

a. put the dang thing upright, and proudly and earnestly display your cause.

b. drive to my side, or behind me.

c. dump the magnet and get a suction-cup garfield. they’d probably be cool again, at least for a few weeks until people start putting suction-cup garfields on their car windows with little sideways colored cause ribbons on them.


10 thoughts on “an open letter to drivers with sideways ’cause ribbon’ magnets on your vehicle”

  1. Twit is an excellent word indeed, but it doesn’t compare to the word “yuppies.” Well done, friend.

    I figure, if the 80’s can come back, anything can. Nothing good came out of the 80’s (and yes, I’m a product of that decade) :)


  2. Maybe you can be a crusader for justice or something and go around taking all those magnetic ribbons off, leaving them stuck together in a big pile at the front of a busy parking lot that way people have to get together and figure out which one is theres. They may realize that it’s not such a great idea after all.

  3. Patrick has a point. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this post. How many colored bracelets can they sell for causes?

  4. I actually went on a rampage recently and went around the parking lot at a mall and turned them all upright. Not a very smart thing to do during Christmas season. Enter security

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