I first met the Stickermobile on November 7, 1990. The previous summer I had totaled my Nova by driving it off a cliff near Letts Lake. I had $12,000 from my Grandmother's estate to spend, and a Brown Mercury Tracer Wagon seemed like the best way to invest the money. For some reason the dealership thought they were getting ripped off at that price, so the woman that took me on the introductory tour of my purchase ended up by saying "Whatever floats your boat," and flouncing out. She was clearly saying the Lincoln Mercury Dealer version of "heap big insult."
At that time there were no stickers on it. That didn't last. During the Gulf War, I made a sign that said MEND YOUR FUELISH WAYS to carry to demonstrations and vigils. One time, during a vigil on El Camino in Mountain View, one of the leaders accused me of confronting the people in their cars about their driving. I agreed that I was and decided to make my sign into a bumper sticker. My old friend Anna Flory did a great job on the art, putting every idea in that we discussed into the picture.It wasn't long before I had 1000 of the things, which I decided to move one at a time for a buck apiece as my Gulf War resolution. The first one went on my brand new car.
When I was living in Sacramento the thing slowly became the Stickermobile. First I added the STOP NAFTA. At some point I figured out that the best way to give a talk about my politics was to take my audience on a tour of my bumper stickers. I got a MEGA-DUMPS: BAD IDEA from the eco-justice community. I got a PROTECT CALIFORNIA: BUY RECYCLED from the California Department of Conservation. MISCHIEF IS BLISS came from the pro-hemp fun squad. After I share my little speech with people, I like to ask them to pick one sticker they want to hear the story behind. If you want one, let me know.
I first realized what a dramatically unusual sight the StickerMobile is when I was living near DC. One time my father borrowed the thing for some reason. When he returned it, he told me what happened when he put gas in it. Some guy had come up and said "You must be an interesting person." Apparently the guy was crushed when he found out that it was mine. After that I got a LOVE OUR MOTHER (with a picture of the earth) and had my friend The Cheese Goddess watch me put it on my machine.
When I was working at AOL I found myself thinking about how "politics is a game of perception," and here I was, the Environmental Working Group Coordinator of the Green Party of CA, an enviro-spy deep in the heart of Corporate America. I decided to do some QA on the concept of "Green." I designated a spot on the upper left of the rear for Green Party Members that have won Partisan Seats in the USA. The first two occupants were Hawaiian. First the spot had Keiko Bonk's BONK!, then I put Julie Jacobson's sticker there. After the 2000 election I found out that Art Goodtimes of Colorado had become the fourth Green to win a seat, so on 1/8/1 I put his sticker there. Many times I have told people "for me, the rubber meets the road at the sticker."
There have been some dents along the way. The cheapest accident that cost money was the time I fell asleep at the wheel on they way to Florida with my sister's whole family in the car. I woke up headed straight for the side of a huge truck. I swerved and missed. Then I was headed for a tree. I swerved again. The car went spinning down the bank in the long grass. The damage wasn't much, but my sister and her husband drove the rest of the way to the rendezvous. I ended up having to spend $20 to rebalance and get the dirt out of the tire.