For some people, a bumper sticker just isn’t enough. They have to say it officially with their license plates. That’s ok. We like the creativity you see on the back of some cars. And we like a good challenge. With many customized license plates we have to figure it out how many words, where the breaks are, then what those words are, and what you mean by them, all at 60 miles per hour. Just remember, no texting a mobile shout out for help.
Some people like to put their occupations on their license plates. Usually it’s just a trio of initials and a recognized abbreviation, like ABC RN, or DEF MD. Recently He of We was driving behind a basic American made sedan with CO PILOT on the plate. He wondered who was actually driving.
Some plates add a bit of whimsy to the road. INDULGE might mean the car’s owner indulged himself or herself on the purchase of the vehicle or maybe the car owner is also owns a boutique, or an ice cream stand, or a salon, and is trying to ply a bit of subliminal messaging.
There’s always a message to be delivered in plates. The big pick-up truck that passed us on the highway had the plate DSL PWR which we figure to mean Diesel Power. Sometimes between the delivering and the receiving, the message gets blurred. Was he proud of his diesel because he was maximizing his fuel dollar in such a large pick-up? Was he proud of his diesel because he had a pick-up truck worthy to be in the truck stop next to the big rig? Or was he reminding whoever was behind him driving uphill on a cold morning that it might take a while?
Sometimes there is too much frankness on the road. We recall seeing the plate ALIMONY. Although it was on a fairly pricey vehicle it wasn’t on a true luxury car so maybe the owner could have worked out a still better deal. An oft-spotted vehicle for She of We on her way to work is one heralding the owner as CONTESSA. We wonder what kind of work she must be off to every morning. And what might be a sign of total excess might have been on a top of the line Mercedes, convertible of course, with the plate EXPNSV, just in case there was any doubt.
Then there are some that defy explanation. Just this past weekend Both of We walked passed a car in a parking lot with the state issued plate proclaiming BEETLUV. A perfectly great plate to put on a VW Beetle. But it wasn’t. So the only thing we could think was that particular Jeep owner loved beets. We didn’t try to guess if they were pickled, boiled, or roasted. A few days ago He of We was passed by a sub-compact bearing the plate DDAY. The driver wasn’t old enough to have been in military service on the famous June 6. Nor did he look like the world’s oldest fraternity brother of Animal House fame. What was he saying? We’ll probably never know. Nor will we know the meaning of GRMLIN1. If it was on a 40 year old American Motors compact we’d think the owner proud of his or her very well preserved car but it wasn’t and we already went down that road with the beet lover.
Sometimes the owner wants you to know where he or she is from. We think TRACI CA must be from California even though the plate isn’t. Is the 412 in FROM 412 the owner’s area code? Or maybe street address? Apartment number? Rural route? Maybe they aren’t always clear.
So do we have vanity plates on our vehicles? Nope. Thought of, yes. And perhaps someday. Till then we’ll stick to the bumper stickers, window decals, tire covers, and magnets to express our likes and not so hidden messages. Besides, the best one has already been taken.
Seen on an older, but well-kept every day driver. PAID 4. That’s a classy plate.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?