Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Memory of Nigel

For those of you who don't know me, know this one thing. I was raised in a small town in KY, which considers itself a Southern state, but we are ever-so-pointedly sniffed at when the "real" Southern states get together to talk over iced tea on the front porch, bless our hearts. (Protip: You can never say nasty things about someone in the South if you say "bless his/her heart" before or after saying the nasty thing.)

One of the oddities of living here are the back window memorials, like these. You'll be driving down the road in that traffic zen fugue that takes over every driver, when all of a sudden a big "muddin'" truck cuts you off and on the back there states that the driver had a beloved Pawpaw who lived from 1937 to 2003 and their favorite appropriate Bible quotation.

I don't get it. It seems like it's a pretty recent thing but I just don't get it. To me it's like driving every day of the rest of your life with your lights on in the daytime, going 15 miles an hour because that's what you did in the funeral procession. I can't imagine a person passing on and having their last wish to be that their epitaph be pasted on their loved ones' cars. There's even an entire Facebook page devoted to how tacky folks think these stickers are.

I doubt that I'll ever get the urge to immortalize my loved ones on my car (for one thing, explaining it to my two Grannies is not a prospect I relish when I see them again), but if I ever do, I'm going to make it appropriate and pay homage to my first car, a 1987 Buick Skyhawk T-Type Sports Coupe that my mother named "Ladyhawke" and I renamed "Nigel." I have never loved any car as much as I loved Nigel, even though he had a terrible habit of blowing through expensive aluminum head gaskets. I eventually had to turn Nigel over to my uncle, a GM master mechanic and all around automotive genius because I couldn't afford to keep him. So here's my proposed automotive memorial sticker:

You could've won that drag race if it hadn't been for the State Trooper


  1. Those stickers confuse me too! Love your post!

  2. I'm honestly on the fence with the memorial stickers but now the family/pet stick figures that plaster the back of minivans and monster SUV's...THOSE are annoying to me. It's an accident waiting to happen trying to drive behind them and figure out how many kids there are, what their hobbies are, birth order, name, sex and type of pets are!

  3. I remember the first time I saw one of those "back-window-memorials" I figured, "I guess they spent their inheritance on an SUV and wanted to give dad credit". Either that, or they figured the tombstone was more expensive than a new vehicle.


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