One Word?

>> Monday, August 11, 2008

As I commute to work each day, I do various things to pass the time: audiobooks, catch up on phone calls, read bumper stickers and license plates.

Vanity plates have always fascinated me. How do they choose what to write? They reduce everything that is important to them to a word or small phrase. I don't think I could do it.

Sometimes people use their names or nicknames. I recently saw "BOB O" and "MEG Z 79". People also will use something about their parenting roles. I have seen many references to motherhood, like "1 JOCK MOM"and the amusing, "I GOT 241".

Then there are also the messages to others. I like the "PASS ME" and the "THX DAD" on a shiny new convertible I was behind recently. Of course there are the cutsie, "RUNN L 8", "1 LQQK", "C YA" and "PURSEN" plates. I also chuckled when I saw an older Crown Victoria saying, "NOTACOP".

The ones that describe the car and owner are a little irritating; "PEGZ BMW" and "SUZJAG". Couldn't they have come up with something more original?

But I think my favorites are the plates that tell me what the occupants do for a living. The more interesting ones I've seen include: "ESQ 5", LPPRO 1", "I NSUR U", "ACTR 12" and "I SUE U".

(I always drive extra carefully around the lawyers.)

My plates could be "BLGR 26", "WRT 4 U", or of course, "NTXCLF". But really there's more to me than that. What about "RDR 26", "LV BKS", "NTR LVR" or "RGNC 26"? I could also use "E85", "SF DRVR", "LV SMMR" or "LFZ GD". But I also like the idea of "MAGS 26", "MMAD" or "MAGMAD".

I could go on and on. The point is and always has been, I'll never get personalized plates in my nontoxic life. Hey, I'm a writer, and 9 spaces is too limiting.