I’ve always wondered, if it came down to it, if I’d be one of those people who would be remembered as standing tall for what he believed in. Someone who cared outside of the comfort of his couch and computer or cellphone.
Then I found stickers, the best way to articulate to strangers what’s important. I didn’t use to be a sticker guy. Maybe because I didn’t believe in anything enough to pollute my vehicle with unpaid sponsorships, or I just didn’t believe in anything enough.
Then came the Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Farmed Salmon sticker. If I were to make one statement to all those driving near me on California roads and highways, it was that. Shortly thereafter was the Pebble Mine sticker, and the dam broke. (Read what you want there.)
University of Arizona block A — my school. Simms — my wader brand. A Sage sticker on the tailgate, not the window to add variety.
Now, I almost feel like one of those dudes who overshares — hunting stickers, association affiliation (Backcountry Hunters and Anglers) what’s next?
But who cares? Really, no one. You just get stickers whenever you buy something, so what do you do with them? You put them places. If you get wound up enough to get political beyond opposing Frankenfish, you can put on a sticker that, four years later, someone will see and think, “Huh, I wonder if that dude still feels that way?” In addition to celebrating the right afforded by those who came before us, voting comes with a sticker that is so much cooler than the impersonal sticker form other states, it’s worthy of being posted on social media. When is the next election?
Then you have the obvious stickers that implore us all to coexist, which I’d assume most people are cool with though it seems some have antagonistic methods of achieving that end.
Some people are confrontational in their stickers and choose to mock sticker use … with stickers. I saw one in which a scene involving carnivorous sticker was eating an entire sticker family. The goal apparently was to mock sticker families or stickers. So, the person with the soccer mom van not only had stickers, but stickers of stick figure families.
There was no coexist sticker on the bumper. For those who are not wordsmiths, there are intellectually advanced stickers of someone making pee on what they don’t like.
I’ve stayed positive in my unpaid advertisements and come to terms with the fact that no one cares.
Exactly zero people will ever see me park at the store, walk up to me and say, “Hey brother, what kind of Stone Glacier pack do you run?”
It will never happen. It’s just a sticker.
There’s a fine line between looking the part and being the real thing. Not that we should be too concerned with it, but a set of stickers does not a good Alaskan make.
Still, stickers are heading my way no matter what. I ordered a hammock. Sticker. I ordered a rain tarp for it. Two different stickers. Puffy camo jacket on sale — sticker. Buy flies in Juneau — get a sticker. Visit a fly shop in Tucson, Arizona – get two stickers.
It was when I ordered something that didn’t come with a sticker that I realized how entitled I had become.
How dare you company, from which I will never again order, include a copy of the receipt you emailed to me, but not a sticker?
Fine, I didn’t want to advertise without you knowing anyway.
• Jeff Lund is a writer and teacher based in Ketchikan. “I Went To The Woods,” a reference to Henry David Thoreau, appears in Outdoors twice a month.