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Friday Slide Show: Truck With a Message Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

16 December 2022

While we were at the Portola hothouses the other day, we came across a statement on wheels that we just couldn't ignore. Or quite decipher.

As we tried to ponder the point, we made out a few distinctive features:

  • An International Harvester Loadstar 1700 flatbed truck
  • An American flag paint scheme
  • A gold missile with fins
  • Painted slogans
  • One bumper sticker

The bumper sticker, our most promising clue, asked the question, "Who would Jesus bomb?"

Well, no one, obviously. There were no bombs in Jesus's day. And he was adverse to violence anyway. With the notable exception of money lenders in the temple.

It's an old truck certainly and the argument it made seemed a bit dated too. There were a couple of bas reliefs of George Bush painted red above the bumper sticker, dating the truck to the Iraq war.

It was not lost on us that the registration had just gone out of date, either.

We did a little research but were unable to find out anything recent about the truck or its owner.

We did, however, see it had been reported as an abandoned vehicle four years ago, parked in the same neighborhood. The description states, "Flatbed truck painted red white and blue with a phoney guided missile atteched." But the complaint was closed when the truck (not to mention the missile) was nowhere to be found when inspectors arrived.

The missile itself has nine hearts painted on it and a big white one with the peace symbol imposed. It also has a message. In blue paint on a green background it suggests, "We Need to Heal."

There are a few more contemporary messages painted on the side of the bed:

  • Health Care is a Right
  • Racial Justice
  • Women's Right to Choose

So it seems to have been getting regular updates since the Bush administration.

It was, we concluded, an uncomfortable mix of conservative images and liberal slogans. If we described it as a flatbed truck with a missile launcher you wouldn't have expected it to be arguing for racial justice and health care. And if we told you it had a bumper sticker asking who Jesus would bomb, you would probably guess it was a Subaru instead of a Loadstar flatbed with a missile launcher.

Which just goes to prove you can't make assumptions about people. Or trucks.

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