Every once in a while I come across something that just seems like it could never be surpassed. There just simply is no way to top it. Well, just the other day I found myself behind a beater of a pick'em-up that made me reach for my camera. As I crept up on his bumper at a railroad crossing...being careful not to annoy or otherwise piss him off, in view of what I was looking at....I almost could not believe my eyes.
It should be noted that there have been bullet-hole decals and stickers in auto-parts stores for decades. Apparently there is a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about at least having the appearance of being shot at. I'm not exactly sure why that should be so. Is it the implication that a jealous husband took a couple of whacks at you as you drove off into the night...his wife's panties flagging from the rear-view mirror? Is it--even more daring--that the cops were chasing you and, unlike Bonnie and Clyde, you escaped with only a few large caliber perforations in your truck. BTW: it is always a pick-up truck that has these faux missile impacts. They even make decals that simulate bullet-holes in glass, with all the little spidering around them. Pretty cool, huh?
But, as I drifted perilously close to this truck the other day, I could clearly see that these were definitely real bullet-holes, most likely from a .38 caliber or 9mm pistol. So, I naturally began to wonder how they got there. Was it indeed an angry rival in a love triangle? It seemed too far-fetched that he'd be casually riding around town in a truck that had been involved with the discharge of a cop's gun. I imagined a variety of titillating scenarios, and, then ........ I noticed how evenly spaced the holes were, and how conveniently they missed anything of functional relevance. In fact, they were placed just about where I would have put them if I were putting DECALS on a truck. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the driver of the truck had most likely shot his truck himself. Maybe he'd had a little too much Allen's Coffee Brandy, the 'anti-freeze' of choice in these parts. Maybe he took a good hard look at his ride and realized it was a rolling shit-heap. Perhaps one of his buddies remarked how cool the old Dodge Ram would look with some 'gen-u-ine 9mm holes' in it.
Whatever the case, as a piece of art it succeeds magnificently. It is a statement about rural America, about backwoods Maine, about trucks and the proudly red-neck dudes who own them. It is even a clear-cut statement about the Second Amendment. It is also extremely capable of evoking a strong reaction from anybody who finds themselves behind this vehicle....as I did. I mean, do you really want to piss this guy off?
So, real or not, shots fired in anger, or just some coy tinkering around with a pistol, I give this guy good marks for being creative and making a gesture that communicates so effectively....accompanied by the license frame, which lends an even more cryptic and yet authentic feeling, "I'd rather be getting TATOOED".
Which, on reading it, cause me to ask, "Do you mean you'd rather be tatooed than shot...or rather be tatooed than driving your shit-heap around town?"
Ah, folk art, eh?