Breakfast of Champions 4/29: That was the month that was


It was a dark day.

I was broke. Desperate to make bills so my roommates wouldn't kick me out of our shared house, I turned to my regular capital-generating strategy -- donating plasma. But Alpha Plasma Services turned me away because I'd already hit up the vampires earlier that week, and you're only allowed to donate once every seven days.

The day before I'd been kicked out of a newly-formed punk band because my pal Gabe had found Pink Floyd records in my collection. And that's not punk rock, now, is it?

No band? No money? Only one item of value in my possession? There was only one choice: I had to sell my Epiphone Jack Casady model bass. So this sad panda accepted a ride from his roomie Jackie (being too busted to own a car, but not too proud for charity) and headed downtown to the pawn shop.

Jackie parked. I hopped out of the car, eyes downcast -- and caught a glimpse of a bumper sticker on the Chrysler Cordoba next to us. It bore a venomous anti-abortion message. Next to the message, as if in endorsement, was the image of a smiling, waving two-year-old.

The precise wording of the sticker has long been lost to the dark backward and abysm of time, though the image of the happy moppet has long stuck with me. On one side, the anti-choice message; on the other side, an adorable grinning toddler.


Now, there's not much I hate more than the anti-abortion movement. If being raised the lone son of a single mom doesn't make a feminist out of you, well, I don't know what to tell you. So it should be unsurprising that my bass's case bore the following sticker:

The juxtaposition between our two adhesive placards was clear. The same size and shape, they nevertheless had opposite messages. But the fonts were similar. They might even be the same, now that I looked twice. If you were to replace one with the other, the only difference the casual observer would notice was the moppet's photo. And hey, the stickers were even the same color ...

Being a shy and retiring type with little aptitude for graphic design, I'm not given to random acts of art-sabotage. But for the second time that day, my course was clear.

The dimpled surface of the bass case made it easy to peel my sticker off. There was still well enough adhesive to affix it atop the other sticker, and the divide between the text side and photo side of their sticker made the permutation easy. The finished product looked seamless.

The resulting image was a happy two-year-old waving, seeming to shout: "AGAINST ABORTION? HAVE A VASECTOMY!"

On the vandalism scale of 1-10, where 1 is the Graffiti Research Lab and Dan Savage licking Gary Bauer's doorknobs clocks in at about 7, I'd say this was roughly a 3. But the tiny act of art-sabotage made it a lot easier to get through to my next plasma donation.

I liked to think of the driving around town for weeks, months maybe, drawing puzzled stares from strangers too polite to ask. Who is this toddler? They might be thinking. Why does this toddler want me to have invasive contraceptive surgery?

Not all stories need a moral. But if I had to pick one, it would be simply this: if you get a fake ID, they'll let you donate plasma twice a week.


I tell you this tale in reference to Ben Palosaari's new post about graphic images used by an anti-choice group during an uninvited barnstorming tour of South Dakota. When your allies in political repression over womens' bodies want you turn it down a notch, you might want to switch to decaf.

For images that are more fun, try our April in Photos slideshow. And speaking of April and photos, it's April 29: why does my windshield look like this?

Turns out Roger Waters is a fan of Obama. Takes the sting out of getting kicked out of that band lo those years ago.

This pizza knife reminds me of a Star Trek medical instrument, or possibly a medeival torture device. But James Norton says it works like a charm (if a spendy charm), and he would know.

Heidi's is hot, quoth Conde Nast Traveler. Rachel Hutton has the details.