November 14, 2009

I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 24, after I’d moved out of New York, so most of my notions of what cars should be like have their roots in cars I observed on the streets of Brooklyn while riding my bike. And since cars are basically just angry, moving hazards for cyclists, most of the cars I saw didn’t make an impression on me, except for the ones that hit me, which did leave an impression (don’t follow that link, by the way – it’s a totally gross shot of my face after slamming into the pavement when I was T-boned by a car one time).

The thing I always did notice and appreciate about cars was tough / goofy customizations, usually in the form of sayings plastered along the top of the windshield. I used to keep a list of my favorites, which included “Mario’s Shit,” “La Enbidia [sic] Mata” (“Envy Kills,” misspelled in Spanish), “Murda Dem,” “El Bajapanty” (Spanish for “The Panty-Lowerer”), and “Who Am I,” (which seems angsty and existential until you realize that I saw it right around the time that Beenie Man’s “Who Am I” was always on the radio).

But every now and then, I come across a customization that should not have happened, mostly because it’s not tough enough. I used to think that the best example of this phenomenon was “Sad But True” across the windshield of a nondescript minivan:

Ghetto Windshield Slogan

But yesterday in New Haven, I found something so not-tough, so utterly nerdy, that it might actually be a coded message indicating that the car’s driver is a true gangster:



2 Responses to “Customizing”

  1. The Norse Hustla said

    Remember that one I saw, I think it was “Ya Tu Sabes” or something? which I incompetently translated as “Already You Know” but you said “Now You Know” was the better translation. That one was my favorite.

  2. Rich said

    It looks like the trend of adding elaborate memorials to dead people in the windows of cars is fading. I’m glad, because 1) they only serve to bum living people out, and 2) I wouldn’t want such a tribute rolling around, certainly not one on a car.

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