At Least the Cotter Pin’s Still There

One of the most desirable skills possessed by mankind, right behind eating and mating, is the ability to intricately express an idea or opinion to another person.

Language is an amazing thing. Pink Floyd suggests in their song Keep Talking that the realization of speech excited the imagination so much that it instigated great leaps in cerebral development, creating a significant turning point in human evolution. From that point on, it was all ideas, all the time.

Now, millions of years later, there is practically nothing that can be imagined that can’t somehow be put to words. Oh, sure, it’s still impossible to adequately relate the experience of an orgasm, but things like Space Shuttles and microprocessors indicate that we are quite capable of acutely exchanging amazingly complex ideas to one another (provided, of course, our audience is intelligent enough to keep up).

Nevertheless, even in the 21st century, there are those who choose to remain cryptic for whatever reason, be it tact, embarrassment, guilt, self-absorption, laziness, stupidity, or what-have-you. Vagueness can be quite aggravating, particularly if seems like the message might actually be pretty powerful – if only the person relating it had just a little more courage and/or cognition.

To wit, I ask anyone who knows more about pop culture than I do to please tell me what message I’m supposed to get from the relatively new and painfully ubiquitous decal depicting a pineapple hand-grenade.

Back in the eighties, when silhouettes of reclining naked bimbos began appearing on mud flaps and rear windows across the country, the message was clear: “The driver of this vehicle is a man who loves the shape of the female form but has to masturbate a lot because he remains positively clueless to even the most obvious of female sensibilities.”

Then, in the nineties, the decal of Calvin urinating on the Ford logo told us quite plainly the person behind the wheel was shallow enough to unilaterally dislike all vehicles made by a particular manufacturer while simultaneously being either clueless or unrepentant about having stolen the intellectual property of one of America’s most beloved cartoonists.*

But this new image confounds me. Certainly these people aren’t saying they have a deep love of short-range weapons capable of maiming large groups of people in mere seconds, right? They can’t possibly be trying to tell me they think problems are best solved by exploding them, can they? And I have yet to hear of any hand-grenade lobbing ranges popping up anywhere, so I doubt this image is the new unifying icon of the recreational target-bombing crowd.

So, what’s the deal with the recent hand-grenade obsession? I open the floor to anyone who can make me understand.

*Bill Waterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, never licensed his characters for anything other than strips and compilation anthologies of those strips. If you see a Calvin and Hobbes product, it’s a bootleg for which Waterson received no compensation.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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19 Responses to At Least the Cotter Pin’s Still There

  1. Lauri says:

    Whoa. Mystifying indeed. And if I were to have to throw myself on one to save loved ones I am sure it would be mist-ifying. Damn. Really. Where are they coming from…..who are they coming from and who buys them? And for fog's sake, why?I have not seen one of these yet, Kirk…at least they haven't registered in my brain that I have seen one…but I'll bet you in the next day or two I will start seeing them everywhere I go. This is Southeast Michigan, after all. *Sigh*

  2. Kirk says:

    Heh, my grandfather did lay on one to save his platoon. Would've killed him had he not put his helmet on top of it first. As it was, he lost the majority of his stomach because of it.Maybe that has something to do with why I'm so sensitive.

  3. Lauri says:

    *jaw drops*What poise and what a great brain (not to mention courage) to put his helmet on top of it and then lie on it. O.M.G.I hope he got medals for that.

  4. Kirk says:

    I'd like to say it was in a war zone, but it was actually during boot camp training with live ammo. One of his guys panicked and just dropped the grenade right where he stood after pulling the pin. I'll have to ask my mom if he got a medal for his valor…

  5. Kirk says:

    "I'll have to ask my mom if he got a medal for his valor…" My grandfather, that is, not the sketchy G.I.

  6. Lauri says:

    Holy crap. That, in a way, is almost braver….although if he hadn't done that he could have died anyway. I can't imagine how many accidents there are like that that we never know about. Was your grandfather able to recover fully?

  7. Lurkertype says:

    I haven't seen these either.

  8. "Grenade" is a brand name line of skater clothing with the grenade for its logo. Maybe these people are skaters? I also read somewhere that it had something to do with street racing, but I couldn't find anything to support that idea, and this certainly doesn't look like that sort of car.

  9. DKN says:

    That was my best guess – must be a band or clothing logo. Suspicion confirmed. …Little Grateful Dead bears sporting grenades would be much cooler, lolz.

  10. Xeyli says:

    The window decal that annoys me is the "In Memory of…"Not that I am trying to put down someone who is trying to express their love of a friend/family member who has passed away… I just think there are much better ways to do it than to slap a sticker on your car window.

  11. Kirk says:

    I wondered if it was a skate or snowboarding thing, but I couldn't come up with an adequate correlation between death-by-shrapnel and extreme sports.I know not all skaters are mindless tools with a complete disregard for societal behavior, private property and bathing, so I'd hate to just assume they ignorantly embrace icons of war. Of course, Independent has gotten a lot of use out of the Iron Cross… hmm…

  12. Kirk says:

    Yeah, but any grenades lobbed by the Grateful Dead's dancing bears would only send flower petals flying everywhere.

  13. Kirk says:

    Then there are these, which ensure that serial killers can take inventory that they haven't left anyone in your home alive. 😛

  14. Xeyli says:

    Dude… that person has a lot of kids!

  15. Kirk says:

    And what a fat lot of over-achievers, too! Geez, brag much?

  16. Lurkertype says:

    One of the neighbors has these; their family seems to be the same as ours — Mom, Dad, two kitties! If I had the $$ I'd maybe get that just to counteract all the crotchfruit stickers. My cats don't accomplish anything but being cute, but that's all they need to do.Speaking of cute kittehs, smooch Deej for me.

  17. Kzinti says:

    Yeah, we skaters at least bathed…occaisionally. LOL

  18. I-Luv-Eeyore says:

    I wonder about those "in memory of" sticker-things on cars, too. I often wonder if the owner is actually thanking the deceased for the life insurance money that the owner of the car used to buy said car.I don't like the stick figure families, either—because that diaper wearing baby won't be wearing diapers in a few years and just because little Suzy is into cheer leading this year does not mean that she will be into it next year.

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