Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Well, today’s commuting obstacle was fog. Wicked dense fog. So much fog that I felt like we were in a Whitesnake video – except we were driving instead of standing around in the fog playing guitars. And nobody has all that big permed 80s hair anymore.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t much like a Whitesnake video after all.

But thanks to the fog, visibility was reduced to basically the car in front of me and the commute was more “stop” than “go.” Thus, my mind had plenty of time to wander. Sure, I probably should have been holding the steering wheel in a death grip in the 10-and-2 positions and I should have been thinking about nothing other than getting to work safely. But…c’mon. I’m a safe driver. I mean, I wasn’t applying mascara or filing my nails or fiddling with my phone even though we didn’t move long enough that I could’ve downloaded the entire Whitesnake’s greatest hits album, had I so desired.

Instead, I spent the downtime looking at license plates – particularly vanity plates. Some people are so creative and others…well…not so much. As a matter of fact, I saw CRE8TIV, which I liked a lot. And then there are those vanity plates that are probably inside jokes because they’re impossible to figure out.

I happened to be driving directly behind 28TEETH this morning. The obvious conclusion is that the owner is a dentist, but it also could’ve meant that he’s proud that he has a full set in his mouth. Interestingly, I was following 28TEETH home a couple weeks ago so we must be on the same schedule and may even be neighbors. Sadly, I couldn’t tell you the make, model or color of his car – I just know him by his license plate.

But since I had a little spare time on my hands, I started counting the number of teeth in my own mouth, which is silly because I know I’m four short. (I had them yanked the summer I got braces when I was 18. It’s a rather traumatic memory – but that’s a story for another day.)

People who have unfortunate monograms should probably stick to generic license plates. For instance, this morning I saw YAK. So is the owner’s name something like Yolanda Alice King, for example – or is she publicizing the fact that she has a large domesticated wild ox at home? It also made me think of a euphemism for vomiting. Yuck. No pleasant images come to mind with a license plate like that.

I’d rather see clever or interesting vanity plates. Or plates with a positive message. Like, for instance, one of my friends has a great personalized plate: NRGVUP. I love that.

I have an attorney friend who used to have the license plate ISUE4U, which was very clever – but he eventually got rid of it because people kept keying his paint job. Maybe the opponents he beat in court were a little disgruntled?

Vanity plates that make me laugh are always good. My funny bone wasn’t tickled by any on the road this morning, but when I Googled photos of vanity plates, I saw a few good ones. Like a plate in Maine that reads: PLNAHEA. Ha ha. And the plate on a Hummer that reads 1 MPG. And the BLOND or BLONDE plates from various states where the plate is affixed to the car upside down.

Some personalized plates just seem to invite trouble. For example, there was a car parked off the side of the freeway this morning that looked like it had been there all night. The license plate was SCOCH. I wondered if the driver had had a little too much of it last night and was pulled over for drinking and driving? Tsk tsk.

But even if the reason the car was sitting there all night was because the driver ran out of gas or something more innocent than driving under the influence, it sends a negative message. A license plate like that is kind of like daring law enforcement to pull you over to give you a Breathalyzer test.

The most foolish plates are on those expensive sports cars with license plates that read something like 2FAST4U. Whenever I see those cars whizzing by on the freeway I always think they should probably keep their license and registration handy.

When I was younger and had a little red sports car of my own, I wanted to get a vanity plate – but all the ones I wanted were taken. My first choice was MEJANE. Eventually I gave up searching for something personalized, which is probably a good thing because I got pulled over twice in that car with my plain old generic plates.

I still have plain old generic plates, but if I did get a personalized one today, it’d probably have to read something like IMLOST or WHEREMI. Truth in advertising, right?

Oh well. At least my commute this morning wasn’t completely boring. And I’m outta here. If you see me FLYNBYA, it won’t be advertised on my license plate. I prefer to, uh, keep under the radar. If you will.

Oh, never mind. I’ll CUL8R!

1 comment:

  1. According to sub-section (6) of section 41,on or after commencement of this rule, the registration mark referred to shall be displayed both at the front, rear and windshield of all vehicles clearly and legibly in the form of security license plate of the following specifications, namely.