Friday, February 5, 2010

Finding your ride

Have you ever had trouble finding your car in a crowded parking lot?  Ever almost get into the wrong car by mistake?  It is a common problem here in America.  The incredibly viable Super-Walmart business model has spawned a new generation of super-parking lots.  That, coupled with Americans’ propensity to buy SUV’s that are offered in only about four colors makes it easy to walk to the wrong car sometimes.

This isn’t just a new phenomenon, either.  Years ago, my grandmother once borrowed my uncle’s Chevy and headed to the grocery store.  When she came out, she put the groceries in the trunk and drove off.  About half way home she thought to herself, “my, my, Reed’s car sure seems clean, and I can’t smell cigarettes, either.”  When she got home, my Uncle Reed noticed that it wasn’t his car at all, and drove it back to the grocery store where he swapped it for his car.  Back then GM only made about 20 variations on their keys, and my Grandmother just got lucky.  True story.

I guess the car confusion issue is why many car owners are resorting to decals that uniquely distinguish their car from others’ cars.  Here is a shot of a car I saw on my way to work.  I am certain that you have seen these on the roads of America, too.

Car Decals

In this example, the driver needs a second reminder which car is hers so she also has her name on a vanity plate.

How cute to have a pictorial reminder of your family on the back window of your car!  Maybe these decals are intended to also remind forgetful parents of all the members of their family so they won’t leave any kids behind at a rest stop (more of a problem when you have six kids like Shonda). That happened once to my mom in Utah when she was a little kid.  She had an older sister and three younger siblings and my grandparents drove off and left her there.  About 100 miles later they realized that they had left my mom just like poor little Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.  Yes, same grandmother, and Uncle Reed was just a toddler back then.

This whole stick figure family decal thing has me wondering if celebrity families do the same thing.  Do Jon & Kate Plus Eight have ten little figures on the back of their Econoline van?  If so, has Kate scratched Jon off so there is now only nine figures?  Does Rosie O’Donnell’s car have a large lady, a thin lady and four confused-looking kids?

I wonder if there is a niche market for custom-made decals for celebrities.  If so, I think I would be a great designer.  Check out the one I designed for Elin and Tiger Woods:

Tiger Woods 

I also made one for the TomKat family as well.  For those of you who don’t read People magazine while you are in the checkout line in Walmart, TomKat is the nickname of the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes family.  Tom Cruise, a devout L. Ron Hubbard fan, is 16 years the senior of Katie.  Tom, like his mentor Hubbard, is on his third marriage to progressively younger women.  Like Hubbard, Tom also left children without their dad along the way.  Good luck, Katie!  Hope he sticks around when you hit 40!

Tom Katie 

If you aren’t really into the family thing, you have other decal options.  There is the ever-popular Calvin peeing on a Ford symbol.  In fact, you can get Calvin peeing on just about anything you want, except, perhaps in a urinal.

IF you are into hunting and you are a Saints Fan, you could get one of these:


If you are serious about making your ride recognizably yours and you have a testosterone deficiency, you should try Bumper Nuts.  Very classy.  Nothing says sophistication like Bumper Nuts. 

In any case, I have found an even better way to find my car in a crowded lot even though it is decal-free.  I hit the panic button on my key fob and follow the sound of the honking.  Sometimes I will do that even if I can see my car, especially if kids are walking by it.



  1. Shonda is in the oak grove ward, honey. I'm friends with her on FB. Also- bumbernuts are NOT ok! I like the idea of hitting the panic button when teenagers walk by :)

  2. I certainly do not have a testosterone deficiency, so you don't have to worry about my getting bumper nuts!

  3. Ha! Hattiesburg must be pretty freakin' small is Ernie is poking fun at innocent little Mormon mommies that you actually didn't know you know! Ha! You guys are so stinking funny! Ernie - I love the post. You should have been a columnist. BTW, feel free to comment on my blog anytime!

  4. I have this problem all the time when I drive Matt's car. He has a Yaris ( = tiny car) and if I park in between two SUV's I am pretty much screwed!

  5. Does the Yaris have a key fob?

  6. of COURSE not. When you are buying the tiniest car available, are you really going to spring for the power locks?

    On the plus side, Matt feels like a REAL MAN driving around in a hatchback (and it's silver, so it looks like the escape pod from a really bad '50s sci-fi [like there's any other kind])