Tuesday 18 May 2010

Finding your pack...

Us humans like to "belong". We like to add little labels to our ego to help us fit in with a group. We like to belong to a pack.

There are many ways we do this.. with our clothing, body adornments such as uniforms and tattoos, wedding rings, and ways of speaking.

Did you ever wonder why a doctor says "I want an MSU and an FBE, and throw in a FOB STAT"? It's not because it's quicker, it's because its esoteric, identifying him or her as a member of an elite group who uses language to identify that they are somehow different from the hoi polloi.

And we all do this in some way.

Some of us (well, not me!) like to identify with sub-groups that most of us wouldn't be seen dead associating with. The anti-intellectualism of racist bigotry and misogyny done up as nationalism is one that springs to mind.

Then there is that other one.

The redneck.

I drive to work along the busiest arterial road in Melbourne and every morning I see a van, a hotted-up ute proudly displaying the esoteric identifier of Australian rednecks everywhere.

The bumper sticker.

Only this chap is clearly OVER-identifying with his pack, because the entire tailgate and back window of his car is covered with said bumper stickers.

I know about the Denny Ute Muster, the Yakandandah B&S Ball ("It's an Aussie thing!"), No Fat Chicks, An R. M. Williams sticker and even an Eureka Stockade flag, topped with a fetching wide-brimmed Australian-style cowboy hat. Did you know that Mountain Cattlemen Care for the High Country?

Now I take no umbrage at any of these sentiments, not even the fat chick one, because, as a fat chick, I personally wouldn't go anywhere near you and your car. In fact I am GLAD you deny fat chicks the use of your vehicular mode of transport, as I'd rather dress in blackface and crash a KKK convention than sit in your piece of shit crap-box . I'd bet a dollar to a bent penny any "chick", fat or otherwise that you graciously DO allow in your car would be expected to put out for the privilege and I wouldn't shag you if you were the last man on earth and I could borrow a Linda Lovelace flaps-on-it-like-a-circus tent, actively diseased ladypart to do you with.

Anyhoo. .. I digress.

So, the owner of this fine specimen of vehicular pack mentality got me thinking.

All sorts of packs have bumper stickers. The Christians have got their smug "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" or their fish symbol (giving rise to the term "freaky fish people" in our family lexicon). Hell, even the athiests have their scarlet A or their Darwin fish. Pagans have their chirpily nauseating "The Goddess is Dancing" and "Magic Happens" (I am all for Tim Minchin's response to these stickers, BTW) and then there are the "Poverty is owning a Horse" crowd and the "Baby on Board" brigade.

Bumper stickers are designed to identify us to like-minded souls. Maybe they are some sort of mating signal?

So (and here we come to the point of this post).

Why aren't there more foodie bumper stickers? Why aren't there any at all, actually. I can honestly say I've never seen a food-related bumper sticker. I once owned a Long Gully Winery bumper sticker, but I couldn't put it on my car, as it was grammatically incorrect. "Life is to short to drink bad wine".

I mean, the foodie and the word nerd in me battled it out, and unfortunately the word nerd won.


Even a quick google only throws up one obvious food quote on a sticker:

"I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian".

Not even remotely funny, IMHO.

Google for "Beer bumper stickers" and you get thousands of hits, same with "Relationship bumper stickers", but "Food bumper stickers"? not to much. As well as the above vegetarian one, I also found "You mean chocolate is NOT one of the four food groups?" and it was cross referenced under "diet and weight loss".

So here are some I want to see on the back of your hybrid cars in the near future, ok?

Your Mise En Place or Mine?

Your Pad Thai or Mine?

Hollandaise can smell your fear.

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. ~G.K. Chesterton

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. ~ Erma Bombeck

Maybe we need a symbol.. you know.. like the pink ribbon, or the WWJD bracelets. JUST so we don't feel so left out of the mob-identification thing.

My choice would be:

And yours?


Elke said...

ok, this not original but I love it:

RED meat isn't bad for you ..... GREEN FUZZY meat is BAD for you.


Anonymous said...

Love this post Ella. I'm a long term believer in the notion of 'tribes'.

'Eats own weight in food' is my American Indian name-could that be a bumper sticker?

ZenJen11 said...

Well there is a PETA sticker that says something like PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals.

If Dave could make one it'd say something like "any meat seared by flame is good to eat".

Completely off the food topic but on the bumper sticker topic... I came across one the other day - a map of Australia with the words "Fuck Off We're Full" printed on it. On further inspection, I would have to say with 99.9% accuracy that the driver of the said vehicle was a Kiwi......


purple goddess said...

American Indian name!!! I love it! I am pretty sure mine would be "Eats Anything Once".

And Jen, it's often the way, isn't it. Some of the most xenophobic people I know.. that prescribe to that mentality are the sons and daughters of migrants! (without going into the whole "we;re actually ALL migrants" thing. )

ZenJen11 said...

Actually I think what he does say is "any ANIMAL seared by flame is good to eat".....

BTW I'm not a migrant. I was born here. Doesn't that make me indigenous????


Griffin said...

"Hell, even the atheists have their scarlet A or their Darwin fish." ... We do? Why didn't anyone tell me? Not that I have a car so no bumper for me to put stickers on.

Personally I wouldn't want to join any tribe that would have me.

How about, 'With Cake, size matters.'