Filed under: The Inanity Files
There are some things in this world that are just plain dumb. They’re not really malicious and they don’t cause people any harm. They just elicit a very particular brand of head-shaking bafflement. Let’s begin with a trend in vanity license plates that I’ve observed.
I was driving home during rush hour yesterday when a black Escalade pulled up alongside me. As traffic inched slowly forward, the Escalade moved slighty ahead, and guess what its license plate said? ESCALADE.
Clever. And so original.
This trend seems to be most popular among higher-end cars, as if the driver wishes to take another opportunity to remind the rest of us that his car costs about 4 times as much as the ones we’re driving. And although it’s pretentious and a bit obnoxious, I suppose it’s less stupid when the driver of a BMW does it than when the driver of a Kia Rio does. But it’s not the in-your-face materialistic bragging that bugs me; it’s the sheer idiocy of it. It’s the vehicular equivalent of writing your own name on your forehead. It’s just dumb, and while I think the people who do this imagine a reaction along the lines of, “Wow, that person has a sweet-ass ride, I wish I had his car,” I think the more common response is more like, “Wow, that person is a moron who probably has to write his own name on his forehead so he doesn’t forget it.”
Let me be clear though that I am not condemning the very concept of personalized license plates. Far be it from me to inhibit self expression. Occasionally a license plate even manages to encapsulate a deeply felt emotion that I share, such as the IHATE66 plate that I see on my way home from work most days whilst fighting always-horrendous traffic on, you guessed it, Route 66. I think my main concern about the concept of vanity plates is that I don’t know if it’s wise to draw extra attention to oneself. But perhaps that is just because I’m the only daughter of a man who instilled in me the belief that vanity plates are essentially just gift-wrapped invitations to rapists/serial killers to easily stalk you and determine the most efficient time and place at which to abduct you, thus beginning the process that eventually ends with your bones being turned into a set of windchimes. Still, I have to admit, sometimes vanity plates are damn amusing. Like this one:
I find it hard not to admire someone who so successfully utilizes various aspects of the license plate beyond just figuring out a way to fit his name and birth date into the seven allotted spaces. Thanks to Kim for turning me onto this gem. It’s not her license plate but she does appreciate the sentiment.
And then there’s this diamond in the rough:
You have to admire the sheer balls of the guy who filled out the application for a University of Virginia plate with the UVA logo followed by the letters “agina” on it. I don’t know this guy, but I bet he’d be fun to have a beer with.