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Voice: Stick figures — What a nice idea?

August 22, 2001

I recently noticed all the "stick figures" that have appeared in everyone's rear windows. They're in new SUVs, Dodge Caravans, Ford cars and trucks. These little white shapes, big, small and in-between seem to be everywhere you look. There are shapes for dad, there are figures for mom, brother, sister, the family dog or cat, or both. Yesterday, I saw a new shiny black SUV with a shape representing even the family pet pig. That got a chuckle even from a mean old man like me. I also noted that most stick figurines have the names of each family member. How nice.

This has gone so far even this newspaper had a long front-page article, all concerning the same subject: stick figures in your glass window performed by a small store located on the west side of town.

When my daughter saw the article, she thought it was desirable and a good idea to let everyone know what family members were in their new SUV, and went down and had the stick figures of her husband, herself, my two grandchildren, their cat and dog, along with their names, installed.


When my son-in-law came home that night, he was distressed that she'd paid to have the figures installed. Well, that's not entirely right. He was very upset because their vehicle now told the world who they were, how many children they had and everyone's name. My daughter told me later he was so troubled that he immediately went out and scraped the symbols and names from the rear glass window.

I talked with him the next day, and he said there were just too many perverts, homeless people and other bad elements wandering around that could and would use this information. He asked me what people were thinking when they displayed the family members, even noting their dogs and cats and how many family members thieves could expect in each vehicle.

He had just read about a similar situation. Apparently, SUV owners were followed around by someone and later that person used the information to locate where their children went to school, where they lived, how many family members there were and put it out over the Internet.

My son-in-law asked me what people were thinking when they displayed all their private family information with these stick symbols, even listing each of their names. A local pervert could go to school, wait for mom to drop off Kathy Taylor, already knowing dad's name and that they call their dog Mike, then confronting little Kathy after school with all his information. Who knows what would happen?

He/she already knows more family information than anyone needs to know. What happened to privacy? These white stick figures target a family and target their children of all ages. They attract bad elements to innocent, unexpecting people with their shiny new vehicles.

Finally, this newspaper gives the appearance they support this endeavor by proudly publishing the products the stick figure company sells, especially when it appears on the front page and not just an advertisement. I'm sure it leads many to their storefront, along with my daughter.


El Centro

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