While driving around West Virigina over Thanksgiving, looking for some 'strange', I saw this bumper sticker on the back of a Prius*:
NUKE THE BASTARDS
I spent about two seconds wondering for which bastards this message was intended--the Iraqis, Iranians, North Koreans, gays, activist judges, Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, flowers, out-of-wedlock children--before realizing the answer was "all of the above." It was a catch-all kind of message. Maybe he was browsing his Wireless catalog and, with all the specific "NUKE The..." messages available for purchase, he became overwhelmed and thought to himself, "Good Lord, I only have one rear bumper, and part of that real estate is already occupied by my 'I HEART MY SPOILED ROTTEN CAT' bumper sticker. How can I be expected to make a choice like this? Who am I, Sophie?" Perhaps he even said all of this out loud, and then his wife walked into their home office, fresh from praying next to a pyre made of Harry Potter books, and said, "Who in H-E-double hockey sticks is Sophie, you no-good snake!" and the husband opened a new browser window with Netflix and, together, they added Sophie's Choice to their Netflix queue, right beneath Judgment at Nuremburg and Grandma's Boy, and had a good laugh about the misunderstanding. Finally, when the laughter gave way to deep, satisfying sighs, he just decided rather than play favorites (like Sophie did, that cunt) he would just order up one "NUKE THE BASTARDS" bumper sticker and call it a day.
Then it occurred to me that, perhaps unwittingly, the owner of that bumper sticker is something of a closet environmentalist. By purchasing a bumper sticker with a single, sweeping all-inclusive imperative to nuke unnamed bastards, he's avoiding a lot of squandered energy and raw materials. What if he'd gone with "NUKE the Iranian Bastards?" Then, after we do nuke them (we will), what then? Or what happens when there's someone new that is in dire need of nuking, as there almost always is? Scrape away this sticker, and kill some more trees just so he can slap on a new one, with a fresh nuking sentiment? Kind of wasteful, wouldn't you say? Especially when you can cover all your bases with one wonderfully succinct message for any armageddon-ish occasion. Finally, in the fight against global warming, here's something everyone in America can do together without much of a fuss about "conspiracy this" and "liberal latte-licking agenda" that. I'll tolerate your hateful jingoism if you'll continue to choose your words as carefully and as thoughtfully as this West Virginian.
*Kidding. Of course it was a pick-up truck. Didn't mean to make you do a Pinot Grigio spit take.