Bumper stickers that read "Shit Happens..." were once a common sight on the streets of Grand Rapids. They take the already existing "shit happens" slogan and apply it to a local issue.

Origin of Cooptation

Drawing upon the locally known ethnoecological phenomenon, in which excessive rain causes Grand Rapids's common storm/sanitary sewer to overflow treatment plants and be discharged directly into the Grand River, many area automobiles were once known to sport bumper stickers stating "Shit happens... in Grand Haven whenever it rains in Grand Rapids" or "Shit happens when it rains in Grand Rapids". The meaning of these stickers was that Grand Haven (the community located where the Grand River flows into Lake Michigan) had to deal with the repercussions of its upstream neighbor Grand Rapids's sewage infrastructure. The person who first came up with the idea was a woman named Kawni Saric, who was really easy going about the sewage overflow. This calmed the citizens down and everytime it happened, there was a "ohh well, shit happens" saying that spread from one city to the next.