Badges? I ain’t got no stinkin’ badges.* by
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Alas, I have no buttons, pins or badges. Well, I do have a David Bowie pin, a couple peace pins, and a Save The Whales pin. But ever since I got flipped off and practically run off the road because of the “Make Love Not War” and assorted bumper stickers along a similar vein on my ’68 VW bug, I’ve pretty much kept my politics to myself. It’s personal, and there are people I care about who don’t see things the way I do.

My husband and I just returned from a little trip up the coast and we were heartened to see several signs as depicted in my featured image posted around town. Always a fan of wordplay, however imperfect — Bye Don = Biden, well, kind of — this seems like the perfect place to share it.

*And in case my title makes no sense to you, it’s a play on what’s actually an oft-misquoted line from the 1948 movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” with Humphrey Bogart: “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”

Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

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Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. I don’t got no stinkin’ pins or badges either Bebe, , but I did get me a BIDEN – HARRIS bumper sticker for my car.

    (The CLINTON – KAINE sticker is on there too – never had the heart to peel it off!)

  2. Suzy says:

    Love your title, didn’t need to look at the asterisk to get the reference. I’m a Bogey fan from way back. In fact, someone else I know was thinking about using that title, but he will have to come up with something else.

    Funny that you and Marian both say you don’t have any buttons, pins, or badges to write about. How did we end up with this prompt? I guess Laurie and I were so enthusiastic, we didn’t notice your silence. And actually, I do want to read about the David Bowie, peace, and save the whales pins that you admit to having. I bet they would make a good story.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    Love that sign. Barb. Very clever. Some in my household love to wear all manner of stuff defining ourselves (me) and some don’t (my husband). It’s all ok because our hearts are in the right place. Was this a flash piece?

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    Just seeing your title make me laugh, Barb (I got it)! And I’ve seen your Featured photo sign around town. I, too, enjoyed the word play. Aside from our Black Lives Matter sign in front of our Vineyard house (a first for us), we’ve never had a lawn sign either, nor any kind of bumper sticker. I totally get it.

  5. Marian says:

    Love that sign, Barb, and a good concise story. I have seen one “Dump Trump” sign in the neighborhood, but I must say everyone’s been very civilized here.

  6. Risa Nye says:

    Way back in the day, a dj on SF station KSFO (Al Jazzbeaux Collins) created a pledge in Spanish that I can still recite: No tengo que enseñarle ningunas chapas malditas! Now you can say it in two languages!

  7. I just passed that exact sign (BYe DON) in front of a small farm about a mile from my house on a bike ride in my little town in the far reaches of Western Mass.
    More about your travels in your VW bug covered with bumper stickers? I look forward to those tales.

  8. John Shutkin says:

    Good for you, Barb. Unlike me, you don’t disclaim any buttons or badges and then go on and on. True literary integrity.

    And thanks for clarifying that quote. I occasionally will say, “We ain’t got no stinkin’ _____,” but was never sure of the origin or what was originally referred to.

    • LOL! Back in the day I used to quip, “Matches? I ain’t got no stinkin’ matches.” But just to clarify, here’s the actual original quote: “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and chinga tu madre!”

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