Saturday, January 31, 2015

Poetry Prompt #13: Bumper Sticker Philosophy

Bumper stickers are interesting things, but you'd probably never think to write with them, right?   But that's what I'm encouraging you to try this week!

Living in a tiny town along the Appalachian mountains, I surprisingly see quite a few bumper stickers.  They range from political jargon to humor, some are even a bit depressing.  I suppose bumper stickers (and car decals) are only as diverse as the people that drive them.

Personally, I try to be careful with things like bumper stickers.  Usually people in passing cars are viewed to me as 'anonymous' persons.  The people you pass on busy streets, intersections, and long strips of highway could really be anyone.  In fact, I've been known on long car rides to invent lives and character sketches for the strange faces I pass....the old man standing beside a fraying 'STOP' sign at the corner of the street, and the middle-aged woman who sits center of a bench alone at an empty park midwinter.

Who are these people?  What homes do they return to?  Who do they love?  What are their life stories?  When you see someone pass in a car with a bumper sticker, chances are whatever that sticker says will allow you to invent an idea (or judgement, if you will) of who that person is...or, rather, what kind of 'person' you think they may be based largely upon on the contents of the bumper sticker.

The idea here is to use bumper sticker slogans as inspiration for creative writing.  You can write a characterization of  who would have a specific bumper sticker.  Or you can use the bumper sticker jargon as a line in a poem, even a title.  Write a story that portrays what the bumper sticker says.  If you find yourself struggling, just write the bumper sticker contents at the top of your page and do a ten minute free write and allow the words to take you where they will!

I have compiled for you a list of unique lines/words/jargon found on bumper stickers.  Take one (or more) and write away!

Random Bumper Sticker Jargon:

-The best things in life aren't things.
-No one has ever died from over-exposure to education.
-Those who do not move do not notice their chains.
-Don't believe everything you think.
-Never do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics.
-Change starts with you.
-Art:  The best mistake of my day.
-YES this journey is absolutely necessary!

I think this is one of the more fun prompts we've had at Pink.Girl.Ink. so allow yourself some leniency, be funny, laugh.  Write something humorous or silly, if you please.