Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bullet Holes

One of my hobbies is the observation of, and unsolicited commentary on, automobile accoutrements. In the past, I have written about “Truck Nutz” the plastic scrotum facsimile people pay to have swinging from the bumpers of their vehicles. This week I would like to take a look at bullet-hole stickers, the vinyl paint decals that people attach to their cars to create the illusion that they have been the victim of an attempted homicide.

The vinyl stickers can be purchased in various calibers and quantities so that the customer can create their own patterns. They are designed to blend with every auto surface from glass to sheet metal and can be purchased in sheets of 20 up to rolls of 1,000. A quick Google search took me to where I found quite an inventory of these items and, more surprisingly, some heartfelt testimonials.

J. Speicher of Pennsylvania says:

“I never laughed so hard. I put them on my moms brand new 2002 Isuzu Trooper and when she walked out the house and saw her jeep she screamed!”

G. Mohun from Oregon writes:

“I have a 99 Jeep wrangler that due to paint chips on the front end I put bullet hole stickers over them to prevent rusting. Well I got on the internet and ordered a ton more, and now my Jeep has well over 200 bullet hole stickers on it. It is a traffic stopper people of all ages love it. I need to redo the stickers and found your sight. I am looking forwards to trying out those 50 cal. stickers they are too cool.”
The happiest attempted-homicide victim ever
 The inclusion of testimonials on a website that sells stickers was somewhat surprising given the price-point of the merchandise, but the content proved insightful. For instance, there is nothing funnier than misleading your mother to believe that her brand new car (and by logical extension, her home) are collateral damage in a drive-by shooting. In fact, I believe the site should sell a “prank kit” that, along with the bullet-hole stickers, comes with a plastic cadaver, stage blood, and a Ziploc bag of uncut heroin.

I really enjoyed G. Mohun’s narrative of a vehicle so poorly maintained that he needed 200 stickers in order to conceal his rapidly-deteriorating paint. Along with his requisite misuse of basic grammar and spelling, he insists that his sticker-riddled Jeep is a “traffic stopper” for “people of all ages.” I fear that G. Mohun has confused open ridicule with childhood delight. You are drawing people’s attention because it is rare to see someone treat actual paint damage by paying to cover it with a sticker of imitation paint damage. Also, if you have had to graduate to the .50 caliber stickers to cover your rust spots it might be time to trade her in.

The site even suggests using the stickers on “doors, lockers, and beer cans.” How obsessed are you with being a gunshot victim that you are placing these on your beverages? If there is one person I am not going to take advice from it is the guy who has taken the time and money to adorn his Pabst Blue Ribbon cans with a vinyl sticker. I would love to see a comprehensive breakdown of the type of people that purchase and utilize these items.

Perhaps it says something about the American mindset that there is a market for this item. If I understand this correctly, the demographic for these stickers are people fortunate enough to live and work in a safe neighborhood but willing to spend their disposable income in order to create the illusion that they don’t. I cannot imagine this being a hot seller in Compton. Perhaps they buy stickers that look like damage from an Ethan Allen shopping cart or imitation private school decals to cover their actual bullet-holes.   

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