Prentiss Riddle: Austin

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Bumper sticker cut-ups: secret word, ripped radio, itchy gringo

A fine tradition in Austin and Houston involves rearranging the letters in well-known local bumper stickers to say something new.

Austinites do this with free Waterloo Records stickers. On my car I say:

secret word

The Houston tradition involves bumper stickers for KTRU Rice Radio 91.7 FM, which on my car turns into a plea to save Austin's community station from the quasi-stalinist gang that took it over a few years back:

KOOP 91.7 FM Ripped Radio

You'll note that these stickers are not necessarily anagrams. In fact, the rules of the game permit constructing letters which are missing from the original sticker. I took this to an extreme in what may be a first, a cut-up of the sticker of the well-heeled garage band Titty Bingo which buries Austin in piles of its swag every year during SxSW:

itchy gringo

Then there's the minimalist approach. A "discover" sticker from the Austin Children's Museum becomes simply:


Do other cities have similar traditions of bumper sticker folk art?

austin 2003.03.18 link