Having survived college, southern New Jersey and several copies of Penthouse magazine, there are very few things that "gross me out" any more.

But a guy in a tan Plymouth did the job just beautifully the other day.

Actually, it wasn't the guy himself, although I always worry about anyone who grips the steering wheel as hard as he can -- one hand at 10 o'clock, the other at 2 -- and stares straight ahead.

No, this guy's real problem was the two bumper stickers his car bore.

The first one said: "WARNING: I Don't Brake for Liberals."

The second one said: "More People Have Died in Teddy Kennedy's Car Than in Nuclear Power Plants."

You could tell, too, that this was squinty-eyed ideology at work, not wide-eyed playfulness.

The guy had pasted the stickers on the car itself, not on the bumper.

In case you've never studied the gum they put on the backs of these babies, that means sticker and car have been joined till death do them part.

It also means that everyone who passes this Plymouth will get to think about whether Free Speech for Bumper Stickers should have limits, and if so, who should enforce them.

I would never advocate squads of cops, armed with chisels, trying to chip offensive messages off cars in the dead of night.

Not only would that be too close to bookburning, but the only thing that looks worse than a tacky bumper sticker is the "crater" you leave in a car's finish when you tear it off.

Nor would I suggest that bumper sticker "taste" be monitored by yet another federal agency.

Not only is that dangerous to the First Amendment and not only is there great doubt about whether the federal government knows what taste is, but it could be hilarious.

The new agency would spend much of its time accepting congratulations for being honest by naming itself the United States Bumper Sticker Agency.

Congratulations? Well, you see, everyone would assume that the "b" and the "s" in USBSA's stood for the product must federal agencies produce most often. Thus, not much "official" BS would ever get transacted.

Maybe the best answer in this case is for Brother Kennedy to run for president and lose.

Then liberals won't be seen or heard from much, and won't need to be flattened by apparently Republican Plymouths.

At the same time, Chappaquiddick will go back to being a sleepy island, known for its wildlife rather that its celebrated accidents.

Give us this scenario, and our man in the Plymouth will be moved to change his car's looks by that Washington danger-to-end-all-dangers:

Appearing passe.