Auto shows-out

How this pick-up shows personality

When looking upon the belongings of the modern day teenager, catching a glimpse of a sticker has become commonplace. Plastered on the sides of water bottles, backs of laptops, or the occasional bottom of a skateboard: these adhesives provide small windows that look into the interests of adolescents.

Rain Mendyuk, senior, takes this show of identity a step further with the back of their car. The old Toyota Camry, a hand-me-down from their older brother, sports the images and phrases of a multitude of proudly displayed bumper stickers.

“I have one that says “How am I driving? I’m not, this vehicle is driven by 700 Rats,” and that’s funny,” Mendyuk said. “Then I have one that says ‘don’t tailgate me I have rabies,’ one with a giant duck cartoon that says ‘darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream,’ […] and then there’s one with a big frog that says cannibalism.”

Some of the other stickers also boast lines such as, “ask me about my lobotomy”, and “When I die, I may not go to heaven, I do not know if they let cowboys in.” Paired with pictures of characters like Garfield or pop-culture icons like Guy Fieri, the humorous stickers decorate their car with a touch of what Mendyuk calls their “silly” personality.

A factor that allows the senior to put so many stickers on the car, is the fact that their brother gets in “probably one accident every three or so months,” so the car is already “dented everywhere” and has little resale value. Despite this, even if Mendyuk had a car that was expensive, they say that they would “probably do the same thing” as they “just see a car as a way of getting around.”

Though they purchased most of their stickers, Mendyuk has designed some of their own. One of these designs states, ‘I parked badly on purpose,’ alongside multiple depictions of Barry B Benson tilted slightly sideways. With this particular sticker, Mendyuk hoped to get featured on the feed of the Instagram account LZHS Bad Parking (@lzhs_bad_parking).

“I spent so long trying to get on [the page.] I parked so badly for several weeks, like the worst ever, and they just did not put me on there,” Mendyuk said. “I think it was one of my friends who submitted me finally because they wanted me to have peace.”

Little anecdotes like this are part of the reason Mendyuk finds such joy in decking out their bumpers surface. The amusement that comes through other people’s reactions to their vehicle is something that they get a kick out of.

“One of my favorite things is if I’m in a drive thru or at a red light, I always see people in their cars through my mirror, leaning over and trying to read them,” Mendyuk said. “Then sometimes they take photos, and sometimes old people just get really pissed off looking at [the stickers.] I think it’s funny.”