Monday, March 05, 2007

Bumper Stickers To Challenge Assumptions

So. I was filling my gas tank at the SuperAmerica(TM) and a very old car pulled through. It was somehow squat, as if it were wider than it was tall, and a dingy maroon. The kid of color of maroon that inexplicably I associate wtih Denny's "early bird" dinners at 4:30, and inland Florida concrete housing. The driver was also short, and elderly looking. His glasses were wider than they were tall, but not in a Samuel L. Jackson kind of way. More like they had stopped growing up and started growing out. Given that this is winter time, there was no way that I actually saw what he was wearing, but I have a distinct recollection of a short sleeved cotton business shirt and plaid Sans-A-Belt slacks.

That last may be because this is Saint Paul, after all, and a surprisingly large percentage of our work population wears just that.

Saint Paul is also the Boston of the Midwest. This means that many of our police officers are still Irish and have Actual Irish Accents. Until quite recently, in fact, we didn't have neighborhoods, we had parishes, and families identified themselves by which Catholic Church they attended.

To say Saint Paul is conservative is to state the obvious.

So, when I saw the bumper stickers on this gentleman's maroon Old Man Car, I was, I confess, surprised.

I mean, I didn't expect that. And I found myself thinking--"Maybe this is his daughter's car. Or his granddaughter's car. And he's just taking it in to fill the tank and wash the windows." Which is just the sort of thing nice older gentlemen in Saint Paul do.

But who's to say? Maybe it was his car and maybe they were his bumper stickers. In which case, perhaps we are no longer as conservative as we used to be.

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