Wednesday, June 19, 2013

License (Plate) to Waste Time

Whenever I pass a car with a personalized license plate, I wonder what kind of thought went into that selection of eight or fewer letters, numbers, and spaces.

A personalized license plate is less permanent than a tattoo, but can be more public as well as more of a reflection of the owner's habits, likes, and personality.

I was driving one day when I spotted this plate:

Assuming the person driving this Cadillac was the owner, I could only wonder what compelled a middle-aged black woman to get ALPACINO as her license plate. Could someone be that much of a fan? Does she have Scarface or the Godfather trilogy playing on her dashboard DVD player?

I went to the New York State DMV's online area, where you can look up whether your desired plate is available. Even if the plate is "available" (it automatically rejects the obvious profanity and bad taste options), be warned:
If you decide to request a combination, you must explain what the combination means or what the combination represents. The DMV reviews requested personalized plate combinations. The DMV is not required to issue a requested plate.
This didn't prevent the DMV from approving a plate I once saw on the Long Island Expressway — and I regret being unable to photograph it while driving 65 miles per hour — which read:


I didn't know what those words meant, at first. Was it some little-known Chinese philosopher? It was when I passed the car and saw the plate in my rear-view mirror that I caught the joke:


Amazing. I wanted to pull the guy over and buy him a beer for being able to pull that off.

For the hell of it, I banged in a bunch of combos to see what I could potentially use on my own car.

Using the year and model of your own car is very straightforward.
This would signify that I'm a "Just the facts, ma'am" kind of guy.

Hey, I'm a big De La Soul fan. AND I'M TELLING THE WORLD.

How do I explain this one? "You know, 'A fifty-five hole five'!
You've never heard that expression? It's a golf term!"

These make me laugh because they're so bizarre and random. So sue me.

There was a bit of hubbub when a guy had 
Amazingly, this one is considered available.
I'd have to say that I'm looking to "get" Obama elected
to a third term not "get" him in a "get Osama" sense.

I like this one because it's up in your grill — in more than one way!

I'm an old fashioned kind of fellow.

This is for when I grow a mustache and drive something like a Saab 900.

If I bought that hipster car, this would be the plate on my wife's vehicle.

The plates that begin with "I" are so declarative.
I think either of these would have the same effect
on the female drivers I pass.

I'll tell DMV that I'm a big fan of Korean War comedies, 
when I'm actually an aficionado of orgies. 

This could sound sexual, but I actually do love soup.

I do luv them wimin, tho!

Won't you please hang out with me? I'll drive!

The fun part will be having people wonder what 
they're supposed to say, and why they have to say it now.

I'd park at a strip mall and sit on my trunk. Whenever someone walked by,
I'd point at the license plate and smile, nod, and go, "Hah?" 

This one is my masterpiece, because it alternates the letters
of the two most popular profanities in the English language.
I can't believe that no one's ever thought of it. Is it pathetic that I've 
thought about this combination since I got my first car when I was 17?

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