and Other Automobile Oddities


I don't know what it is, but there's always something weird going on out there. All people are different, but there are some folks out there that are really different. Hello class, today's topic covers the odd and sometimes bizarre methods some people use to express themselves by using their cars as their art medium.

You don't see this a lot, but occasionally you will come across people who like to use the rear windows in their cars as display cases. You know the spot, on that shelf-like area behind the back seats, right under the rear window. You used to see alot more of it than you do today. It was sort of an American custom with people and their cars. Why do people do this? Why do they feel compelled to become curators of these mobile oddities? Same principle as bumper stickers, I guess. Products were even made just for that purpose... remember the dogs with the bobbing heads? The presentations vary from pom-poms, ball cap collections, pillows, and those adorable Beanie Babies. I like to call them rear window presentations.

Just the other day, a friend and I were out to lunch and noticed the car stopped ahead of us at a traffic light. There was a Jesus bumper sticker on the rear bumper and a collection of half a dozen bibles arranged very carefully on some sort of sacred cloth in the rear window. I don't have anything against Jesus or religion, but I would rather drive in sin than have multiple Holy Projectiles targeted for the back of my head during a very sudden stop or crash.

Earlier this week, I was driving home from work and some idiot in a loud, gray-primer Monte Carlo cut in front of me a little too close. I noticed that he had two red boxing gloves in his rear window presentation area. I suppose this was to suggest that if you complain about his driving, he'll pull over and beat the crap out of you... using the gloves of course.

A couple of years ago I saw this guy driving a sportscar and he had quite an impressive display going on. In his rear presentation area, he had a couple of big trophies flanking a large framed photo of the very same car he was driving. OK, let's see if I've got it... I sense that he won something by doing something with the car and is damn proud of it and wants, no, demands and deserves your respect and everyone else's on the road.

The strangest presentation I ever saw wasn't in the rear window but was rather the car itself. It was about five years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was once again stopped at a traffic light when I witnessed this automotive marvel. In front of me was a late 60s or early 70s model Cadillac Coupe DeVille, the kind with large fins on the rear fenders. On these fenders were customized lights. I mean light bulbs, the kind you use in a typical table lamp, aligned and mounted along the top edge of each fin of the car... about half a dozen per fin. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it was in the afternoon, and I didn't experience the full wonder of this genius feat of imagination and daring. I was so impressed with this array of lights that I didn't notice if the car had a rear window presentation or not. I'm quite sure that when the magic light button was activated, Thomas Edison would have been proud. On the back of this car, emblazoned in gold and black adhesive mailbox letters, was the name "BIG DADDY." Big Daddy, wherever you are, man, I salute you.

Ideas for your own Rear Window Presentation

Hey everybody, let's keep this great American custom alive. Put on your thinking caps on and let's come up with some rear window presentations for our cars. You can get the kids involved and make it a fun family event. Here are some suggestions to get you started...

  • Recreate the Clinton-Lewinsky affair using posable figures such as Barbie and Ken dolls in front of an Oval Office backdrop. Add a little sign that reads "Why, Mr. President? WHY?"
  • Have an illuminated digital display of a numerical countdown in your back window... as big as can fit. It needs no further explanation as what is going to happen at the end of the countdown. Let them wonder and worry about it.
  • Display a little coffin in your window with a small sign on top of it that reads "Sparky." You might also want to add some little funeral wreaths. Yes, that would be a nice touch.
  • Enlighten and fascinate the masses with science. Have about half a dozen hamburgers on individual plates in your rear window with a title plaque that reads "A Study in Aging and Decomposition of Fast-Food Sandwiches." On a little sign in front of the first plate, list "3 months," on the next one "2 months," and so on until you mark one "today."
  • Get the adrenalin flowing in the driver behind you by mounting twin machine guns in your rear window. Have a sign that reads "Give me a reason."


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