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A dashboard figurine is a small statue, usually plastic or ceremaic and often painted, that attaches to the top of a vehicle’s instrument panel and serves as a sort of figurehead or mascot for the vehicle much as the carving of a mermaid or other nautical figure serves as the lucky charm for a ship. One of the most popular dashboard figurines is the dashboard Jesus.
The main character of the film Cool Hand Luke refers to such a figure when he sings of his “little plastic Jesus”:
- I got my little plastic Jesus
- Sitting on the dashboard of my car;
- He don’t slip, and he don’t slide;
- His little feet are magnetized. . . .
Jesus, who is mustached and bearded and dressed in a white robe with optional detachable red or purple sash for more formal road trips, is four inches tall and stands upon an adhesive spring base, allowing him to dance to the tunes of one's favorite CD. For those who want to spend a little extra on the Savior, glow-in-the-dark models are also available.
Manufacturers of the Son of God Dashboard Jesus say that just the presence of the little guy will give the driver and any passengers a sense of “peace,” although the figurine should be removed before attempting any hot make-out sessions in out-of-the-way parking places, as Jesus doesn’t countenance such behavior, and the figurine’s presence could put a damper on a date’s ardor, especially if she is a Christian girl.
A popular ditty suggests a replacement for such occasions:
- When I'm goin' fornicatin’
- I got my ceramic Satan
- Sinnin' on the dashboard of my
- Winnebago Motor Home
- The women know I'm on the level
- Thanks to the wild-eyed stoneware devil. . . ..
Other Dashboard Figurines
Besides Jesus, other popular dashboard figurines include topless hula dancers, about which there are no songs, and Christopher Columbus, the patron saint of tall ships.
The Hula Girl Dashboard Figurine jiggles to the music of your choice (it doesn’t have to be Hawaiian). Previous dancers could get stuck in repeating endlessly a “loop” of swivels and jiggles, but this bug has since been repaired, and she now dances fluidly and smoothly, and an optional feature allows the buyer to choose the speed and sway with which she gyrates her hips. Some manufacturers contend that the topless hula dancer model would be “an ideal companion to the plastic Jesus dashboard figurine.”