October 26, 2004

Slap a Yellow Ribbon on my ol' Cam-ry...

I've started seeing a lot of these ribbon stickers on the backs of cars recently.

At first I thought they were a nice, simple way to show your patriotism and all that. But then two things happened. First, they got really popular. Like, Vanilla Ice popular (well, during the early nineties, anyway). In a mall parking lot last weekend I counted one out of every 15 cars had one. I don't think 1 out of 15 cars has a working parking brake, yet they have these silly ribbons. Second, people began doubling up on them, which just mystifies me. "Support our Troops", "God Bless America", "Prevent Hangnails" -- it's getting out of control.

At about $4 a pop, that's some serious cash. Now that I know that someone is probably getting filthy rich off these things since they're so popular, I don't like them so much anymore. Also kinda like Vanilla Ice.

But they've at least given me an amusing game. On the way to and from work now, I play "How Patriotic are We?" Points are scored by spotting these ribbons. Here's the deal:

Ribbon - One Point
Small Ribbon - Half point
Two Ribbons - 3 points (2 for a big/little combo)
The elusive triple ribbon - 5 points (4 if any are little)

4 or more - No points, I'm obviously hallucinating
2x Bonus for a Kerry bumper sticker (since my guess is that more Republicans have these ribbons)

There's a half-hour time limit, because I can't count very high, and because that's about when my stomach starts to turn.

This morning's score: 24.

Originally, I thought this would make a great drinking game, but I don't think that the fine men and women of the New York State Police would agree. Not to mention that I'd be drunk before leaving my driveway.

P.S. I don't mean to question the good intentions of anyone that has one of these ribbons -- on the contrary, I think it's great. It's the phenomenon that I find so mystifying.

Posted by Kevin at October 26, 2004 09:36 AM

whoa.. culture shock

I didn't really understand what is written on these mysterious ribbons, and I have a hard time relating, since the french are not very patriotic.. nor do I have a car myself.

Erin had a hamster named Ribbons when we were litte. Just a sidenote.

Posted by: Katie at October 27, 2004 07:18 AM

I scored a 12 this morning. I wasn't able to check oncoming traffic for fear of an accident.

Posted by: CDog at October 27, 2004 09:33 AM

"Fear of an accident"??? Wuss!

Just kidding, I'm glad you played! 12 is a good start. I had a 33 this morning, but I think it's because I've learned where some of the best cars are parked. (There's a "triple" at the bottom of the hill across from the train station.)

I have to start taking a different route. Oh, and I also have to get a life.

Posted by: Kevin at October 27, 2004 09:41 AM

It's so trendy that I refuse to be patriotic now! That would mean that I've associated myself with the masses. That can't happen. No Lance Armstrong bracelet on my wrist. I hear they're on backorder. I like the thought of raising money, but I think I'd rather play ring toss with the bracelet than be trendy and wear it.

I have a longer commmute, if I can remember the scoring system, I'll play tomorrow.

Posted by: B at October 28, 2004 10:41 AM

Did you see the Uber ribbon on the outfield wall of the World Series? How many points is that?

Posted by: CDog at October 28, 2004 11:25 AM

I had 24 on the way home, but 37 points on the ride in. I got really good at driving and looking through my rear view mirror to catch traffic going to other way. That's the key to get a high score.

Posted by: B at October 29, 2004 01:03 PM

I'm impressed. I tried the rear-view trick for about 100yds until I started drifting out of my lane.

Oh, I feel I should say this: I take no legal responsibility for accidents that occur while playing "How Patriotic Are We?" Play at your own risk.

Posted by: Kevin at October 29, 2004 01:20 PM

You may think you were hallucinating at the thought of 4 ribbons on one car, but I saw TWO cars today with 4 ribbons each! One had 3 large and 1 small, but a van had 4 big ones and a barrel bolt holding the driver door shut. If the driver's window got jammed shut in an accident, he'd never get out, but he'd sure go down patriotic!

I couldn't keep count for the whole trip because I was too stunned at finding a double quadruple.

Posted by: Barbara at November 8, 2004 01:01 AM

OK - you might think I'm making this up, but it's an honest and truthful number. In my 17 mile commute home today, which took a little under a half an hour, I got 103...and a half....

Who knew Northen NJ was so patriotic! I saw a few triples, but no quads or Kerry bumper sickers+ribon. I was able to get some in the rearview mirror, but I too started to drift as well.

Posted by: Laura at November 8, 2004 03:53 PM

103 ?? Amazing! There must have been a ribbon convention in the area letting out for the day or something.

Posted by: Kevin at November 8, 2004 03:58 PM
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