A Funny Bumper Sticker That Lends Itself To Discussion, Research, And A Poll Question

I.  Stuck in traffic I laughed out loud when I saw the bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  The bumper sticker said:

ANNOY THE BORING

The car had no other bumper stickers, suggesting this bumper sticker had nothing to do with 2020 politics.  In fact the bumper sticker looked like it’d been on the car for years.

While we’ll never know why this person put this particular bumper sticker on his car it does lend itself to contemplation. I figure we all know how to ANNOY each other without any further investigation, but we can contemplate who THE BORING might be.

‘Tis a fact that you have to define your terms if you want to communicate a useful + meaningful message.  No doubt this bumper sticker was meant to be a prompt for existential thought, a declaration of raison d’être, and a catalyst for conversation.

• • •

II.  So I sat down at ye olde computer to find the dictionary definition for *boring* while also checking what the thesaurus had to say.  Then I did a fast internet search about *boring people* so I might learn about the traits generally associated with people who are considered boring.

Synthesizing this information I created the following cursory list of the types of people who I shall refer to jointly and separately as THE BORING.

INSIPID: talk too much/have unbalanced conversations

STALE: stuck in a rut or routine never doing anything new

LACKLUSTER: have no opinions about or passions for anything in life

QUOTIDIAN: hang on phone or stare at other screen instead of engaging directly with people

TIRESOME: only complain or talk about their disappointments in life, what is wrong with the world

SOUL-DESTROYING: lack, or do not use, empathy/are bad listeners

DULLSVILLE: talk in droning voice, often referred to as flat affect

STODGY: have no sense of humor &/or cannot tell a story/joke

• • •

 III.  Below is a poll question for you to answer.  I listed THE BORING, as defined above, in such a way as to allow you to pick one.  That is, which one of these types of behaviors drives you bonkers the fastest?

Or to put it differently: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO ANNOY THE MOST?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

168 thoughts on “A Funny Bumper Sticker That Lends Itself To Discussion, Research, And A Poll Question”

  1. That was a unique poll, Ally. You would think a quiz on boring people would be . . . well . . . boring.

    I’ve never seen that annoy the boring bumper sticker before. You see the most interesting sights!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. L. Marie, the bumper sticker just appeared in front of me. I couldn’t stop laughing, so I had to turn it into a blog post. HAD TO, I tell you! Plus once I went down the rabbit hole of researching *boring people* I was intrigued.

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    1. Zen-Den, the point of this post was NOT to encourage you to be more annoying! It was to help you | us | everyone come to a better understanding of who is boring. 🤓

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  2. I still remember and love the bumper stickers from Berkeley in the 1970s. I especially liked “Don’t Let Your Karma Run Over My Dogma.” Then, there was “Don’t Send An Adverb to do an Adjective’s Job,” and “Iambic Pentameter Rules.” I don’t see so many bumper stickers these days, perhaps because expressing the wrong sentiment could get a window smashed in.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. shoreacres, I like the sentiments you remember that were on bumper stickers. The karma/dogma one I remember, but the other two are new to me. You make a good point about why people may no longer favor bumper stickers. So much hostility in the world, no need to sacrifice your car to it.

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  3. Is it possible to know a person who is a composite of all of these? Wait…I believe I do know a few…
    I went with tiresome, as there was no all-encompassing category. The tiresome person tends to make me into their shadow and I do not like to be sucked into that frame of mind.

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    1. Deb, I intentionally did not allow for an “all of these” choice on the poll. I want to see which personality type wins. “Tiresome” people used to be the bane of my existence for the reason you mention. However, I’ve gotten better at saying NOPE to them, so they don’t talk to me anymore. I won’t be sucked into their negativity which they do. not. like. at. all.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nanchi.blog, I didn’t know much about the various ways in which you can define *boring* until I did this research. I’m curious to see which definition is the one that the most people want to annoy. 😳

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  4. I struggled between Tiresome and Soul destroying as I don’t care for either. Also, I always feel bad for boring people with no sense of humor; how horrible must that be?

    And, for the record, I don’t understand people putting bumper stickers on their car. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Busy Bee Suz, I can understand your quandary about which of those boring personalities bug you the most. I feel the same way about how sad it’d be to not be able to tell a funny story/joke.

      I’ve never had a bumper sticker on any of my cars. I can’t explain the appeal of them, but they are popular around here– usually for political reasons. 🤨

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    1. Donna, I can honestly say that I’d never thought about how to define a boring person until I saw this bumper sticker. Once I started researching I was amazed by all the information about the topic. Who knew, you know? Thanks for taking the poll. The results will be interesting. 🤔

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  5. Oh, this is a tough one. I think stodgy would be the most annoying to me because I enjoy making people laugh. If no one laughs at your jokes? Ouch.

    Insipid was a top contender because I have so many relatives with Aspergers who will drone on and on about their favorite topic, but it’s difficult for them to modify their behaviors due to their wiring. Plus, I do something learn something. (And also I can drone on with the best of them.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AutumnAshbough, I know what you mean about these choices. I’ve known, or do know, someone who fits each of these types. I don’t hate on any of them, but they are trying to be around.

      I hadn’t thought of the Aspergers variable in description of boring. That would contribute to being insipid but also mean a person might not be aware of it. Food for thought about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting bumper sticker and interesting use of quotidian, which I’ve always seen meaning everyday, recurring daily, as in Le Pain Quotidian, a restaurant with the bread of every day. I think “soul-destroying” could be very different to various people although you defined it in a way that let’s us know how it’s being used here. Bumper stickers are sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, and sometimes so annoying that I want to tear them off. How much do people give away about themselves by the bumper stickers they choose? I don’t have any, but I do have a Chicago Blackhawks license plate holder. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, while researching this post I found many words, like quotidian, that had different meanings than I knew of. I like words, so that was a positive unexpected consequence of seeing this bumper sticker.

      I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car either. I agree that people with bumper stickers do tell you more about themselves than they may realize. Or maybe that’s the idea? A shorthand way to communicate their priorities? I dunno. People be weird.

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      1. I like words, too, but I don’t like when words are highjacked to mean something very different from the original, especially if it’s something I don’t want people to think I mean when I use the word. Not saying that’s what you found, just something that came to mind. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hate that when it happens, too. Miscommunication happens. I try to be clear when I communicate but you can never be certain that your message is received in the way it was intended. People define words differently, more so now than ever.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, is that it? I’ve not seen the Annoy a Liberal bumper sticker, but I bet you are correct. If so, I won’t be seeing many more of the Annoy The Boring bumper stickers around here; we live in a very conservative region. Very. 🙄

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  7. I think I worked for most of these. Although, one boss knocked off several categories. I did try to annoy him. He had “rules” for how things should be in our common kitchen. I would do things like flip the paper towel roll just to bug him.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dan, I worked for a man who was obsessive about the way in which a paper clip was positioned on docs. I get your need to flip the paper towels over and good on you for doing so. When the opportunity to annoy the boring arises, one must go with it.

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    1. Nancy, while I entirely agree with your description of our so-called President, the poll is set up to determine which ONE type of boring person is the one who deserves to be annoyed the most. According to my readers, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kari, I haven’t looked at the result of the poll thus far, but I’m glad you’ve found kindred spirits.

      [This is a WP website upgraded to business level. The polls are available for free under “Feedback.” They’re easy to make, but not much choice about how they look.]

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting. Right now soul destroying seems to be winning, so to speak. I would take it off the list though. Soul destroying is annoying, aggravating, or completely horrible – and a family trait at least within the male part of my family. But it is not boring. It triggers great passion in me.

    I fear being tiresome. No matter my good intentions to get back to writing on my blog, my life feels tiresome. It bores me, it will bore others. Thank you for not being tiresome.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Zazzy, I used a thesaurus to arrive at the words I used to describe the various ways in which a person can be boring. I take your point about how soul-destroying could be defined differently. And therein is the trick of written and verbal communication; it’s all in how you define your terms.

      I know what you mean about life right now. It’s not like much good is happening anywhere, but I do try to not get sucked into all the negative. Some days I succeed, other days I don’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have much more interaction with quotidian these days than with any other type. My next one would be people who talk too much, and turn the conversations to themselves all the time. We had some like that at lunch(when I worked) and no one wanted to sit with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I’m not fond of people who don’t interact with the person or people right in front of them, instead staring at a screen. That seems boring as well as rude. Yet it’s everywhere anymore.

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  10. Why not make a list and annoy them all! That would be fun. Kind of like a scavenger hunt. You could write the person’s name who fit the description beside the adjective and then write what you did to annoy that person. FUN!!!!! If you decide to make this a game on your site, count me in. The first one to win gets? I dunno. It’s your game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mona, you are hilarious. I like your idea for this game. I bet everyone could quickly find a match between the adjective and a real life human being, then to add your own personal way of annoying that person would be great. In fact, there were many other adjectives for *boring* that I didn’t use here, so they could be for extra points. You may be onto something with this idea. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oooh, this was a fun one. Well, perhaps I just like it when you do polls. 🙂 But I do see every single member of my family (siblings, their spouses, and their offspring), so that made it enjoyable. I chose “insipid” because it’s the one trait I worry about having. Back in college, we had a drinking game that asked people to name the one personality quirk of your parents that you most feared replicating someday. It was good fun, or at least it was until we all woke up the next morning. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, polls are fun to do here in this blog. I enjoy creating the content for them– and seeing the results, of course. I cannot imagine that you are insipid. Say it is not so!

      I don’t remember that drinking game, but I can see how it was/is kind of a scary look into your future. Now, of course, I’ll have to think and drink on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love taking polls! I was torn between lackluster and tiresome. The lackluster folks are probably “nice” people (like me) who really don’t want to “offend” anyone with my opinion, but hit my passion button then I let my feelings be known and sometimes not so nicely! Guess I am somewhere in-between an introvert and an extrovert personality – I think it is called an ambivert? In your poll I chose tiresome, because it gets old real fast when these folks open their mouths. There is still too much to be thankful for in this life even though times are tough for us all. Not happy about yesterday….then make it better today!

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    1. Savoring Sixty and Beyond, oh I love your thought: Not happy about yesterday….then make it better today!. Yes, yes! I agree whole-heartedly, meaning get over your negative self, please.

      I just recently heard the term ambivert, and I suspect that I am one, too. I was told by a therapist years ago that I was an introvert with an extroverted personality when necessary. Ambivert is a much better way to state that.

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    1. Deborah, yes, you’re right. Tiresome whining people do suck the life out of you. I picked soul-destroying but tiresome is a close second. Kind of the same thing, but different. Thanks for taking the poll.

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    1. Barbara, you’re right about how many of these types of people get to you, me, everyone. It’s not that I dislike anyone who is boring, but until I read this bumper sticker I’d never thought about how to define people who are boring. The things you learn!

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        1. Excellent point about people being lonely and not meaning to be boring. I’m a good listener, so like you I do let them talk for a while, hoping they feel less alone. But it’s difficult to know if you’re helping them or enabling them. 🤷‍♀️

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            1. You’re a good person to listen to them when you can. I listen to many people say many things, things I often disagree with, but they need the experience of being understood more than they need my opinion about things.

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  13. I suppose every one of us is boring at times. I know I am. I’m wondering if it’s possible for a person to be boring all of the time? Even one of my most boring friends (the husband of a good friend) occasionally shines through with excitement and aliveness and joy that makes my heart go pitter-pat. It’s just the other talk about carburetors and engines that can glaze these eyes after awhile. Am still contemplating “Annoy the Boring”. One of my spiritual teachers says that we get bored when we’re too identified with our thoughts instead of in the present moment. So when I’m bored I try to remember to drop into the body and the present moment. Oh just had a funny thought–my mom thinks I’m boring when I start talking endlessly about spirituality and larger awareness. HER eyes glaze over and I know it’s time to shut up. Like maybe now? Thanks for all this reflection and your thought-provoking post, Ally Bean!

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    1. Kathy, I’ve no doubt that you’re right about how each of us, in certain situations, can be boring. I like your spiritual teacher’s take on how to deal with your life when you feel bored: get out of your head/ego, get into your body/heart. That makes sense to me. As for the advice on the bumper sticker, I take it with a grain of salt basically because annoying people seems like too much work for me. I have better things to do. But I am curious to find out which personality type my readers want to annoy the most, hence the poll question.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. HA! I take your meaning. I feel the same way. Life is too short to intentionally decide to be annoying every day. Of course I reserve the right to once in a while annoy someone. Let’s call that balance.

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  14. Oh, I have problems with “lackluster” people. Those who have no passion for a single thing make me nuts. I especially dislike when they say condescending things like “Tell me how you REALLY feel” after I say something with passion or intensity. Or, even worse, “Do you feel better now?” People like that–the truly boring and flatlining–make me want to grab some jumper cables. You know?

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    1. nance, I know what you mean about lackluster people and jumper cables. I’ve had people say those condescending remarks to me, too. Like I’m wrong to care about something, then talk about it. I figure lackluster people live in fear and the idea of making yourself emotionally vulnerable is too much for them. Therefore they try to nip passion in the bud.

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  15. Hmmmmm…. I identify with four of those traits (One only kind of… because I don’t have a phone to stare at, but I rarely engage people). So I didn’t vote for any of those choices, obviously… but STODGY would have been the runaway winner anyway. No sense of humor is a no-go for me…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, I like how you know yourself well enough to know who to not vote for. I couldn’t be around a “stodgy” person either without annoying them. Really, if you can’t make other people laugh once in a while, what is the point of life?

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    1. Eilene, I figure that everyone knows how to annoy– and that it’d be annoying for me to tell you how to be annoying. And heaven knows I don’t want to annoy you. Therefore this post is focused on defining THE BORING.

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  16. Once when I was a little girl I complained to my grandmother that I was bored. She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, “You know what people say, don’t you? If you’re bored that means you’re a boring person.” I contemplated that idea for days and never again dared to say, “I’m bored.” To anyone!

    I had trouble deciding between insipid and tiresome. But how on earth would you even go about trying to annoy such a person? Unless avoiding them annoys them, which is all I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara, I like your grandmother’s wisdom. I’ve not heard that idea before but can agree with it. As a child I never dared say I was bored because my mother could always find some household chore for me to do… so that I wouldn’t be bored. 🙄

      I’d guess that avoiding insipid and/or tiresome people would annoy them. After all they get their energy by stealing it from you as you pay attention to them. Therefore give them no attention, they are annoyed?

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    1. Ann, I chose “soul-destroying,” too. I quickly tire of anyone who isn’t empathetic or is a bad listener. Then like you said, if that person is looking for something to criticize, well– I would call that boring to the nth degree. 🤨

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  17. I love it – so many great minds thinking alike! I was a little surprised so many people gravitated to “soul destroying” but maybe it is the time we are living in right now as it demands that you must occasionally listen to another person whine or spill their guts out and have a little empathy for them. We simply cannot exist with a sink or swim attitude anymore … something has to give a little.

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    1. Linda, this bumper sticker got me laughing, then curious about how to define THE BORING. Obviously there is no consensus, but talking about the why and wherefore of what makes a person boring is enlightening and a good way to create empathy.

      I chose “soul-destroying” because if you’re not listening and attempting to understand the person right in front of you, then perhaps you’re the type of boring that deserves to be annoyed [schooled?] by the good people who listen and have empathy. Like you said, something has to give.

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  18. Very interesting definitions. I wouldn’t have considered some of them as boring before, but come to think of it, they are. I voted for Insipid, but in day-to-day life I think of a boring person as the Lackluster sort. I don’t particularly care to annoy them though – they are usually happy enough and not doing anything to bother me! But the talkers – oh they are the ones I want to annoy.

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    1. Arlene, I’d never thought about how to define *boring* before I saw this bumper sticker. I started researching and was surprised by the various subtle differences in meaning. Hence the list.

      I’m with you that in daily life it’s the “lackluster” people who seem exceptionally boring to me. However, overall I find the “soul-destroying” people to be the worse. Those are the ones who I want to annoy, should I be of a mind to do so.

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  19. I clicked on “soul destroying” and very quickly too for those are who I would like to wreak revenge upon, but I did ponder on how accurate it would be to call them boring. For while they’re energy vampires for sure, and can be deeply unlovely, I’ve previously considered boring to be rather grey & dull, without character or purpose. That said, I think it would be the perfect insult to give a narcissist to dub them as “boring”, so I’m right with you there 😀

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    1. Deb, I went with “soul-destroying” too. I take your point about the definitions of these various types of boring people. Before I did this research I, too, would have described boring people in the way that you did.

      However, if’n you look in the thesaurus you’ll find many great words that mean *boring*, words that heretofore I’d not have used. So for snorts and giggles I used those words on the poll.

      In fact, now that I think on it, maybe the best way to annoy the boring is to describe them in a nuanced way! 🤓

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  20. I love me a bit of word research – such a fascinating subject. It’s one reason I absolutely adore my Kindle, you come across a word you’ve not heard before, you tap it, it brings up a dictionary & hey presto – new word added to your vocabulary. I’ll admit many are ones I cannot conceive of ever using, but still it’s nice to have learned of them, for we’ve got to keep the old brain cells active 😀

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    1. I know what you mean about many of the words I read. I don’t see them as being part of my daily lexicon, but it is fun to know their meanings, especially if learning a few new words keeps my brain clicking.

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  21. It’s kind of funny that you’ve generated so much interest in the contemplation of boring people. Your poll had me quite stuck for a while because they all seem intolerable. I almost went with “lacklustre” because those kind of people frustrate me, but they are relatively harmless, so I went with “tiresome” instead. But now that I think about it more, the tiresome lot are probably best avoided altogether – not worth annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pistachios, ha! You’re right about the interest in boring people, a topic I never thought to contemplate until I saw this bumper sticker. The choice between “lackluster” and “tiresome” seems to be one that many commenters have, well– commented on. In the end I agree with you that it’s probably best to avoid these *boring people* altogether instead of annoying them. Too much work to be annoying says I, a natural-born slacker.

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  22. I live my life to annoy the boring…

    I have two different answers to your two versions of the question. 😏 Soul destroying people who lack empathy drive me wild. It’s what is most wrong with the world. But I most enjoy annoying the lacklustre ones and forcing them out of their comfort zones.

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      1. MOSY, you’re an inspiration to us all. I should be as sure of my ability to annoy as you are, yet I am not. I fear I’ve become complacent about being annoying. 😉

        That being said, “soul-destroying” people are the ones who get me the most irritated, but I like your idea of trying to force the “stale” ones out of their comfort zones. There’s something to be said for being a catalyst for change.

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  23. My sister is boring – I cannot pinpoint it. I think it is because she cannot think outside the box and she STILL cares way too much what our parents think. My other sister is not far behind. Humorless people are the group I struggle with the most, that and Debbi Downers. If you can’t laugh, you are no fun to be around. Period. If everything is a downer, can you at least put a funny spin on it? If not, boring.

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    1. Ernie, you said it: “If everything is a downer, can you at least put a funny spin on it?” I agree and try to do that, not that everyone appreciates it. I’m sorry your sisters are like that, but it happens. Boring is a problem, of this make no mistake.

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  24. I am, by my nature, stodgy and occasionally stale. Personally, I find people who only talk about the surface of things to be terribly boring. I annoy them by talking about topics heavier than the new furniture so and so bought and how lovely the weather has been. I wonder where I can get my own bumper sticker!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Katie, I agree about superficial conversations. I’m not one for small talk, which bores me to tears, yet is part of all business social events. Fortunately with this virus going around, all socializing like that is off the calendar. Maybe for good. 🤔

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    1. Markus + Micah, good answers. In some ways those two personality types are about the same– not paying heed to the person right in front of them. Most annoying, both.

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  25. This was a toughie, Ally, but I chose ‘insipid’. They not only drone on endlessly, squeezing every last morsel of detail over every minor incident in their day, they also happen to be soul-destroying because they simultaneously have zero listening skills. Even if I do manage to squeeze in a comment or two, they quickly wrestle the conversation back to themselves with a new anecdote or twenty.

    As you can gather, I have a mild, lukewarm opinion on this subject 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I like your reasoning on this issue. I know exactly what you mean about “squeezing every last morsel of detail over every minor incident in their day” in an attempt to keep on talking. To me “insipid” people seem like they want to talk, but don’t know to converse… meaningfully. 🙄

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      1. This Covid exercise has put a spotlight on real friends. Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion that a few on mine view me as less a friend and more an audience. I have no time or patience for that anymore.

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  26. Fascinating. I can forgive people who are dull and stodgy, since I identify with them and know there’s more below the surface. But the most boring person I ever met was a man who talked about himself for hours and never asked me about me own self, life, ideas. And (get this) he was madly in love with me, had been for years. I tried to teach him the rules of conversation but it was hopeless. We all have our quirks of the brain. Most can improve ourselves a wee bit. But this was a Class A soul destroyer.

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    1. Rachel, what an interesting experience with the man who talked for hours. Under the circumstances his behavior doesn’t make sense, but obviously it was who he was. He definitely was a soul-destroyer which is sad, but it happens. I’m glad you moved on.

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  27. Ooh! I love this poll because I was at the top! Haha! Tiresome people, oh woe is them, oh gloom despair and agony, oh what a pity, what a sad lil rock they live under, thinkin even if other people might have problems, their problems are the worst. I strongly suspect they wouldn’t know gratitude if it kicked them in the teeth. Unfortunately, my work involves many such peoples, so all clients who are not tiresome are my favorites! 😀

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    1. joey, yes I tire of tiresome people, too. I agree they live under a “sad lil rock” and have the worst problems ever. I’m sorry you deal with them often, but am glad you realize who they are and what they’re all about.

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  28. In answer to your question, I would choose “soul destroying”….

    Love the deep dive here prompted by a bumper sticker. Funny how a word or expression can occupy us and stay with us for hours or days and sometimes even years. There are some things that just “stick”.

    Peta

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    1. Peta, I, also, picked “soul-destroying” because I am forever peeved by people who don’t listen and don’t show any empathy.

      This bumper sticker definitely caught my eye and made me laugh. *hallelujah* It was so different from the usual ones around here that are political, contentious– and often vitriolic.

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  29. It’s interesting that a single word could have so many nuances to it. And this is why I love words so much. Tiresome and soul-destroying were my top choices. I tend to soak in the feelings radiating from people and felt lack of empathy would feel empty as compared to doom and gloom which would make me feel ill…so tiresome it was. I do love polls! 🙂

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    1. Amy, you’ve said what I was thinking: “interesting that a single word could have so many nuances to it.” I’d never considered *boring* before but once I did I was down the rabbit hole of research. I like your logic about why you picked “tiresome.” The last I looked at the poll it was winning.

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  30. Oh dear, I had way way too much fun with this blog post. And I’m late to the party and I see that many many others did too. I voted, but it was not easy to choose. I used to laugh and say that my guy and I were boring. But after reading your list I’m happy to say that we are not boring. Phew! Love the bumper sticker and love your post here. 🤓

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    1. Pam, thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I had NO idea there were so many nuanced ways to define the word *boring* until I started researching it. I knew you weren’t boring, but am pleased you realize that now, too. It’s been fun to read what people had to say about this bumper sticker.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. J, the bumper sticker caught me out of the blue and got me laughing– and thinking. I’m with you about soul crushing people. Too many of them run wild and free anymore. 🤨

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  31. Hi Ally, A very funny post! Yet, thought-provoking. My immediate answer “soul-destroying.” It looks like I came in a close second. Not bad. Fun! By the way: You are not in any of the categories.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica/Erika, I picked “soul-destroying” too, but I understand why “tiresome” is the winner. The whole impetus for this post sent me down a path I’d never thought about before. Thus is the joy of blogging!

      Liked by 1 person

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