A few months ago, when I went back to the hometown for a wedding, I noticed that everyone had these yellow ribbon things on the back of their cars. Big ugly yellow ribbons. At first I thought they were stickers, but it turns out that they're magnets.
Even my mom. On the back of her soccer mom van. And I haven't played soccer since 2nd grade when I was in the "munchkin" league. But that's a whole 'nuther thing.
So I asked my mother, "What's up with that?" And my mother said, "Well, you put one on your car if you support the troops. They used to cost more money and the money went to the troops, but now you can buy them at the dollar store, so I don't think any part of that dollar is going to the troops."
No doubt my mother got hers at the dollar store.
But, still, I was confused. I mean, first, you put one on your car if you support the troops? What does that mean? Are there people that don't support the troops? You may not support the war, but everyone supports the troops, right? Second, if you're buying them at the dollar store, what's the point? And, finally, if they cost a few bucks, why not donate the few dollars to some actual troop (whether through an organization or just your own "see a guy in uniform, give him a buck" campaign) and skip the big ugly sticker-that's-really-a-magnet?
At the time, I was going to blog about it, but I thought (or perhaps hoped) that it was really only something they did in that one little suburb. And, without some kind of camera phone to document it, I thought that all my readers would say, "Ribbons? Magnets? What the heck is she talking about?"
People just don't have ribbons sticker magnets in the big city. Probably because they would just get stolen. (Actually, to be honest, that's what I was thinking when my mom was telling me that you could buy them at the dollar store: Why pay a dollar when you could just take one for free off any car in this lot?)
When I returned to the hometown for Christmas, I saw that not only had the phenomenon not disappeared, it had actually grown. In fact, I saw one car that was all ribboned out. It had a pink ribbon, a yellow ribbon, a flag-themed ribbon, an anti-abortion ribbon, and even some kind of ribbon with a soccer ball pattern on it. What does that mean? You support soccer?
But, finally, someone is doing something about these lame magnets. And, I, for one, support that. Please check out AntiMagnet, it's hilarious.
Special thanks to ai for the link.
Update: I just saw this post on Andrew Sinclair about the magnet ribbons, and he raises another good point. What's up with the crooked and sideways magnets? Morevoer, I agree that people with ribbon magnets are just fad bandwagon jumpers.