Obnoxious Car Decals

Obnoxious Car Decals

Whatever Happened to “South of the Border?”

I just saw another one of those obnoxious decals on the back window of one of those obnoxious SUVs that blocks my view of anything ahead or above. It said “MV.” As a person who hasn’t traveled much out of the fair state of New Jersey (how come I never see “NJ”?) I always have some trouble deciphering these little insignias of coolness. Usually that’s okay because it becomes a game, like “I Spy” or “Find the Hidden State Trooper,” that makes my commute to MJ (My Job) or AM (Acme Markets) go a little faster. But when I have no bloomin’ idea what over-priced domestic or exotic locale is being referenced I become frustrated and insecure, forcing me into a desperate pass of the offensive vehicle in order to prove my superiority in some realm.

But let’s get back to “MV.” This one was fun because I thought of multiple possibilities. Misty Valley, Mount Vernon, Mount Vesuvius. Being a focused driver who no longer had the distraction of a cell phone at my ear I spotted a big, black dog stick its head out this behemoth’s front window and drool all over the “Eddie Bauer Edition” detailing. Bingo! Martha’s Vineyard. Another winner.

As the lab-lovin’, whale watchin’, gas guzzlin’ mom turned (I guess turn signals were optional on the Eddie Bauer Edition) I came upon a Mercedes. It has been my experience that the Mercedes driver feels no need to advertise the cool places he’s been. Either that or the Taj Mahal doesn’t sell decals yet. But this Mercedes, being the C class and all, had a sticker that read “EI.” Hmmm. Emerald Isle? Ellis Island? Easter Island? I was in trouble on this one. Fortunately, as we came to a red light I was bumper to bumper with the mysterious “EI.” It was then that I could see the faint outline of a “P” before the “E.” “PEI.” Eureka, I had it. Prince Edward Island. A Mercedes owner, even a C, would surely demand that his island retreat be above the common. It had to be royal.

The Mercedes roared ahead at the light and a Kia slipped into the gaping hole my sedan left open. A Kia. Now here, I thought, was a person not in need of status symbols. But there it was. The “I might drive a Matchbox car but I’ve been somewhere” message. This one said “SBC.” Santa Barbara, California? Stupid Bus Charter? Sandy Beach Chair? I was stumped and, therefore, decided to pass Little Miss Kia. As I glanced over and saw the young driver’s Drexel baseball cap and a little sombrero dangling from the antenna I was three for three. Spring Break Cancun.

I arrived at MJ feeling pretty smug. Thank goodness I had no need for silly trappings. I swung into my usual parking spot, locked my “I got it strictly for the safety “Volvo

and patted my bumper. You know, the one with the “I’ve Got an Honor Student at…” sticker .