Saturday, March 14, 2009

Christenings and car ornaments

I was out and about this morning to attend a baptism of the Roman Catholic variety. 021

Always a good show in my opinion with the fancy windows and the robes and the water pouring and the oil anointing etc. Only takes 20 minutes too.

Here’s one shot just to give you a wee glimpse of the proceedings and of the beautiful brand new Lily Louisa Jane. Lily’s dad (holding her in the picture) is one of my oldest and dearest friends.


I called in to the supermarket on my way home and parked next to a Honda that had about 10 little fluffy stuffed toys decorating the back window sill (is that what it’s called?) and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I utterly do NOT get the whole car ornaments thing. If there’s anyone reading who does get it, please don’t be shy, share, please, I’d really love to know. Honestly.

Is it perhaps just stuff that couldn’t fit in the house and overflowed out to the car?  OK now that sounds like I’m taking the p*ss but I’m not, well perhaps just a tiny bit :-)

Do these sensitive souls have houses packed to the gunnels with bric-a-brac? Perhaps they just really, really like dusting and having only the house to clean each week leaves them wanting more? Maybe in Honda's case her new man insisted the stuffed toys be gone from the bed and a mass migration event to the garage proved necessary in an effort to save the relationship?

It got me thinking.

I decided I had to see how many examples of car ornamentation I could find between the supermarket and home in an effort to quantify the issue in my town. When I visit others towns I might undertake the same ‘sampling’ experiment in order to understand whether south Auckland is geographically more or less predisposed to having car ornamenting types residing here. Maybe I could start the research and sell the idea to someone for an anthropological thesis topic? Cha ching!

So I left the supermarket and headed home.  Only after I had counted another 2 examples of ‘pimping by stuffed animal’ did I remember that I had my camera in my hand bag because I’d taken it to the baptism. These photos were taken while I drove so please excuse the lack of quality. Some cars were parked while others I had to actually chase to get the shot – nobody ever said the pursuit of knowledge was going to be easy.

As usual, you can double click for a closer look.





…and below is the piece de resistance spotted in a parking lot.

All this stuff was in the FRONT of the car! Well at least I think it’s the front – can be hard to tell with Beetles.

Double click to see how much stuff there is – it blows my mind!


My initial analysis of this phenomenon suggests that;

  • south Auckland may well be the preferred haunt of the species known as genus ornamentalist
  • they drive all sorts of cars but prefer those with a boot (trunk) rather than a hatch – the rear window sill being the preferred site for exhibiting the booty
  • the ornament most preferred is a dog (in fact most often many dogs)
  • the drivers of said vehicles looked ‘normal’ though I am certainly not accepting that without categorical evidence.


  1. Ah boy, you'd crap your pants if you came to the States and saw what people do here. But, since you're a world traveler, I assume you have been here, but perhaps you just didn't take notice?

    American drivers love to put stuffed animals, baseball caps, graduation tassels and signs that say things like, "Baby on board" in their car windows. It's very common. And, it's not called a sill, it's called a dash, as in a dash board. The space where people can put things beneath their car windows. I personally used to put college football team caps under my back window. My team is Notre Dame. Great post, Lou.

    PS: Any chance you can email me with your own email address? Would like to chat personally. :)

  2. Actually Tim I've never really spent any time at all in the States. Obviously had stop overs there but one day I'd love to have a look around there. Rent myself a '65 or '66 pony and cruise - that's my dream anyway.

  3. I saw a car with loads of Wallace & Grommit figures all in the back window.

    I used to have a Garfield that I stuck to my bedroom window (Dad wouldn't let me put it in the car) I was young and impressionable!

  4. I own a huge pile of litte bears, dogs, critters. As a matter of fact I just bought another one this week. Each and every one of them comes from a charity that supports things like childhood illnesses, cancer in all forms, training guide dogs, the list just goes on and on. I haven't counted the soft toys lately but the matching badges that go with every single one of these charities, I would easily put in the 240 -250 range.
    And with every purchase I donate real money in the same amount. That is one reason why some of us collect this stuff.

  5. Those pictures are hilarious!
    Like you, I don't get the need to use the back "window sill" of your car as a display shelf....or the mirror and sun visors or the windows.

    Now, I will admit, however, that after my Mother passed away I took some rosary beads with a small cross on them and hung them from my rearview mirror.
    I am not a religious man; my mother was not a particularly religious woman. But I feel better with them there, like my Mom is in the car with me.

  6. I guess the car animal thing is a way of expressing oneself? My mom used to have that when my son was very little, but once she got a new car her infatuation with it stopped dead in its tracks.

    Glad to see you like our baptisms! (I'm a RC :)

  7. Helen I know I also saw quite a few spider man figures stuck onto windows with those suction cup thingies but I couldn't get a photo.

    Wow DD you're an absolute treasure. I am very big on supporting a number of charities as well but I do it a little differently obviously. I make monetary donations direct to the organisation. I have quite enough trouble keeping on top of 'stuff' levels already in my house :-)

    I get that Bob. When I lost my sister I kept a jersey of hers that had already been in my car, in there for months. Taking it out felt like letting her go and I wasn't ready to do that yet.

  8. doanli that was actually the best reason I could come up with as well. A version of a vanity plate or a non-standard paint job perhaps? We do all like to feel different than the mob.

    Thanks for comments all

  9. Ps I am actually an RC too though so very lapsed that it doesn't even feel like mine - awful ay? My Irish parents are most ashamed.


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