“You can’t do that!”

That’s the reaction I often get when people see two stickers centered on my car’s rear bumper: YANKEES RED SOX. Bobbie and I wanted to cover up black marks on the bumper, and that was our solution. We’re Yankee fans but don’t hate the Red Sox. Boston fans? They hate the Yankees.

My friend, a Red Sox fanatic, has psychologically adjusted to my bumper stickers. But when I asked her to pose for a photograph, my donning her Boston hat, her wearing my Yankee hat, she screamed, “Absolutely not! My head would explode!” We once exchanged gifts. I gave her a Red Sox decal. She handed me my Yankee decal, holding it with a pair of tongs.

No one gets hostile at the sight of the stickers, just incredulous. Even neutral fans say, “Oh, I never ever thought I’d see that!” Or, “How can you have those two teams on your bumper?” A cop once pulled me over when I made a questionable U-turn. He came up to my window and said, “Don’t those teams hate each other?” After a brief chat, he let me go.

Other rivalries provoke the same reaction. Bobbie has a friend, who works at Trader Joe’s, who is a rabid Giants fan. When she told him she likes both the Giants and the Dodgers, he was aghast: “You can’t do that! That’s just insane!”

My favorite response came from a woman in a parking lot who spotted the stickers and asked, “How can you do that?” I gave my standard reply: “It’s a metaphor for world peace.” “Good luck,” she said, pointing to the stickers. “There will sooner be peace in the middle east.”

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