The 4 Worst Automotive Accoutrements – Adhesive Edition


I’m all for automotive personalization. My wagon’s rear windows are plastered with Reverend Horton Heat, Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics and Liquid Dreams Surf Shop stickers. Hell, half the wagon is covered with woodgrain shelf paper. Nevertheless, there is adhesive-backed festoonery that telegraphs to everyone in traffic that you’re at best, a nitwit, and at worst, possibly a serial killer.

Mailbox Letters

Mailbox Letters

Nothing – other than perhaps an “Ask me about the runaways in my crawlspace” license plate frame – calls out to the general public that you probably shouldn’t be parked next to more than mailbox letters affixed anywhere on your automobile.

Look, it’s 2013. For about four bucks you can have somebody make you an awesome-looking die-cut vinyl decal that will make you look less like you spend your free time stalking soap opera actresses.

Image courtesy

“In Loving Memory Of” Decals

in loving memory praying

I’m sure that if the deceased is somehow looking down from the heavens, he feels nothing but love and pride thanks to the “In Loving Memory Of” decal you so carefully placed on the back window of your 1989 Mercury Topaz with the one primered fender.

I particularly like this one, which features the Calvin-esque little boy – who has been plagiarized to the point that he now looks like an eleventh generation photocopy of Bill Watterson’s Calvin – momentarily taking a break from urinating on a Dodge Ram logo to pay his respects to the fallen.

Image courtesy Decals USA

Stick Figure Decals

 Stick Figure Decals

For God’s sake, honey, nobody cares about your family. Stick figure decals have become the “Baby On Board” placard of the 2010s. They’ve now been perverted to include football player stick figures, stick figures on motorcycles and zombie stick figures, and then reactionary stick figure people with chain saws and fighter jets mowing those stick figures down.



It’s like an arms race of idiocy. The only thing we can do to de-escalate is take a razor blade to the window just like we did when we scraped off the Fukengruven sticker we put on in that week in 1993 when it was cool.

Image courtesy

Chrome Portholes


I was barely paying attention when Buick started slapping chrome portholes on everything it produced for a few years. The good part is, that horrible phase seems to have run its course from new car manufacturers.

The bad news is that now anybody with six dollars and the motor skills required to pull the protective film off some adhesive backing can put them on anything.

I remember back in the 1980s that the big crown air freshener thing on the dashboard was suddenly everywhere. It’s like every IROC grew one overnight. That’s kind of the way these portholes appeared. Where did they come from? Were we visited by bling-applying aliens while we slept?

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Next week: Bolt-on Buffoonery

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