Some days are more surreal than others.
Every weekday I go over to Not Bad President Elementary School to pick up Lauren. I park in my usual spot, just up the road, and I wait for the bell to ring.
Usually I read my book while I wait – it’s one of the prime reading points in my day, where I quite literally have nothing else to do with my time, and I treasure it for that reason – but sometimes I poke my head up to see the cars going by. A couple of times a week my Cowboys fan buddy will pause as he drives past, and we’ll talk football. I’ve come to recognize quite a handful of other vehicles too, as the usual suspects parade by.
Recently I’ve noticed a car that has a fairly distinctive bumper sticker. It’s one of those pink breast cancer ribbons that you see all over, only it’s just a pink outline. And in further outlines there is a pair of wings, a head, and a halo, combining in all to form an angel.
It looks a lot like like this:
I’m guessing that the significance of this sticker is that someone has lost somebody they knew and loved to breast cancer and would like us to think about that, either as a call to action to keep similar losses from happening to others, or simply as a memorial. I’m okay with that. It’s kind of touching, really. Part of me wants to take off my baseball cap as it drives by, the way you would to show respect at a funeral.
Part of me, however, looks at that bumper sticker and thinks, “Man, that angel really needs to pee.”
It makes me feel like a heel, but what can I say? The person who came up with this particular bit of graphic design really didn’t think this one all the way through, I think, and that kind of mixed signal sort of detracts from the message of the thing, at least for me. Surely there is a better graphic for this purpose than that.
But you can’t really go up and say anything to the people in the car – “Did you know that your angel looks like she’s three large coffees into an all-day road trip?” – because they’ll think you’re not taking their cause seriously enough or, worse, actively being a jerk about someone they loved.
So I sit there as it drives past, wondering idly about the flaws in the design process that allowed that particular image to go unchecked, and the flaws in my thinking process that allow that design to impinge on my consciousness in precisely that manner, and the days pass slowly by.