Known Johnson

February 19, 2008

Stomaching? Ferociously.

Filed under: General — Tom @ 6:27 pm

Another gem of a title plucked from the seemingly boundless untapped potential of spam comments. It was found at lunch time, and so it was fitting.

I’ve mentioned my feelings about the vinyl “dedicated to”/”in memory of” stickers that adorn many car windows these days. I don’t like them. I think they’re classless and meaningless. But today on the way home I found myself inexplicably moved by a simple statement made by a woman’s license plate and it’s surrounding piece of plastic, whatever that thing is called. The “whatever that thing is called” bore a girl’s name on top and on bottom it said “I believe in angels.” What got me was that her license plate read “MISSHER.” I felt incredible sadness – obviously, this woman’s daughter is gone, dead, and this was her way of paying some sort of respect. Maybe I was feeling particularly vulnerable today, I don’t know, maybe it didn’t help that David Bowie’s somber instrumental “Warszawa” was playing at the time, or maybe it was just that this was an unusually novel way of dealing with grief that hadn’t been exploited by a cottage industry the way the vinyl stickers have been, but this felt much more genuine. Afterall, she has to pay more for her plates every year to make this statement, and not only that, it is a much simpler, humbler message. I mean, it’s a pretty big difference between this and the guy who drives around with a full-color portrait of his daughter on his back window, full name, birth and death dates, and some phrase that I cannot remember, not to mention a plate that matches. I understand the grief, I just don’t think the method by which he’s opting to deal with it is particularly mature. But maybe it’s just me.



  1. We had this conversation once on a board I visit and many people feel the same as you — me being one of them. I just don’t understand the “I stuck a piece of plastic on my car to honor you” idea. I don’t get the connection.

    The plate you mentioned reminds me of one of the plastic sticker ideas that was brought up by one woman that DID seem to make sense. She lost her son just before he was to be born. In her back window where some people have the little people stickers, she has a little angel baby as well.

    For some reason that one seemed to make sense.

    Comment by Lisa — February 20, 2008 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  2. Those truck memorials just kill me. I thought it was strictly a Southern, redneck thing. It always embarrassed me a little and made me feel kind of sad for the person, not because they lost a loved one but because they were so unsophisticated so as to think this was some sort of moving tribute. I realize that makes me sound like an elitist prick but I assure you, that’s only half true. I’ve got nothing over on anyone else, except the part of not putting memorials on my truck.

    Comment by Josh Hathaway — February 21, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  3. Oh, and “Stomaching? Ferociously” is a great grouping of words.

    Comment by Josh Hathaway — February 21, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

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