I got a chuckle out of this bumper sticker I saw on the back of a pick-up truck in our neighborhood — and particularly the crossed paddles that tie in to the “Shit Creek” reference — but seeing the sticker made me realize that I’ve never put a bumper sticker on my car.

No smiley face back in the days when that was inexplicably popular.  No sticker expressing support for any political candidate, national, state, or local.  Nothing to show that I’ve been to Wall Drug, or South of the Border, or Disney World, or any other attraction.  No jokes or clever sayings.  No stick-figure representation of our family, or disclosure that our kids were honor students — or athletes, or band members — at their schools.  In short, every bumper and back end of every car I’ve ever owned has remained wholly virgin territory, free of any advertisement for any person, place, or thing.

I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve never even been tempted to buy and affix a bumper sticker.  I guess I feel, deep down, that a bumper is a pretty inefficient forum to communicate anything important, that no other driver really gives a crap about where I’ve been or who I support, and that as time passes my tastes and interests might change.  The political candidate I voted for five years ago might be exposed to have feet of clay, and then the sticker would need to be scraped off to avoid embarrassment.  And while the “Shit Creek” joke made me smile the first time I saw it, would I still feel the same way after hundreds of viewings, as the sticker faded and peeled?  Or would I regret that I ever cluttered my bumper with it in the first place?  How many people who affix a bumper sticker ultimately experience bumper sticker regret?

I’m just not ready to make a bumper sticker commitment.