When I had a car that I drove regularly in New Jersey, I used to buy bumper stickers with the intention of putting them on. I never put them on, partially because of something my brother said about having your car stick out. What makes it all the more interesting is that I was ultimately glad that I did not put a sticker on the car because of an observation that I made while attending Phish shows from 1995-2000.

I would often see cars pulled over by the police. They almost always had stickers on them that made jokes related to drug usage. I wondered about how many people were pulled over that had those stickers that also had actual drugs in their car. It seemed strange and almost stupid to me to advertise an interest in doing something illegal so publicly.

I was reminded of this all when I was walking down the street the other day and I saw a man wearing a shirt on which the words “If you see the police, Warn A Brother” were printed very prominently. To me, this is basically the same as having a shirt with the words, “I am a criminal: Please find a reason to arrest me” printed on it.

What is the reasoning behind advertising your own illegal activities? Do people feel that it makes them appear “cool” in any way? Maybe the “I’m with Stupid” arrow should be pointing right at the person wearing it if they are trying to announce how fantastic it is to do things that are illegal.


  1. Hilarious article, Gordon! I’ve never understood the appeal of the bumper sticker. I do wonder what message people think they’re sending when they wear obnoxious shirts. I guess they think they’re rebelling against society and they enjoy the attention.

  2. One of the few “message” shirts I have has “There” “Their” and “They’re” printed on it. It gives me a good giggle.
    I also wonder if people think they are being clever by wearing such shirts.

  3. Yeah. I got that from Threadless mainly because a lot of my friends accuse me of being very strict with grammar. 🙂

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