By Kevin Aherne
As I sat in the usual weekend parking-lot that is the Mass Pike, I found myself distracted by the numerous personalized License Plates, otherwise known as Vanity Plates, that I could see in my peripheral. I have seen many of these over the years, but never had I given the concept much thought. Now, equipped with plenty of time, as traffic was not breaking up anytime soon, I was going to embark on this cerebral voyage into the world of the vanity plate.
First, my thought was, what kind of plate would I get? Assuming I had the gumption, resources, and/or need, I would have to have an idea first. I am sure the DMV keeps a list of banned phrases, as to deter lewd plate requests. I would also be restricted by the State's character limitations, as well as availability, duplication is not allowed.
So would I go with something simple, like my initials and birthday?
How About something more descriptive:
Or perhaps even more cryptic:
So, after abandoning the quest for my own plate, I started thinking about other peoples'. I thought about the arrogance that goes with the decision to obtain a vanity plate. I am not talking about people who get obscenely arrogant plates like EAR DOC or DADZGRL on a Benz (though those do exist). I am referring to those who get the cryptic messages on their cars, that force us, the traffic-bound, to find the key. Now I am not only stuck in traffic, but I have homework too? I now feel inclined to decipher this riddle before traffic breaks up and the mystery is lost forever. You lure me in with your shiny plate, with a potentially clever message... but you leave me, alone and confused at the first sign of open road.
What Plate Should I Get?
Sitting in traffic for nearly an hour, I found myself stuck directly behind a mid-sized SUV, from out of state, and of course, with personalized tags. However, this plate was more cryptic than any I had previously seen:
It was about 15 minutes between first spotting this gem, and when traffic began to dissipate. In these 15 minutes, I tried not to care, flipping fervently through the radio dial, looking for some other distraction. However, I kept coming back to that damn plate, sitting there, directly in front of me, taunting me, haunting me. Now, as the road begins to open, I see this SUV slipping away. I lead chase, following this SUV until this mystery is solved to my satisfaction. I don't know why I felt compelled to see this through, or why it was necessary for the car to be in view once I finally cracked this god-forsaken code.... But it was.
It had been nearly 30 minutes, 10 of which were in hot pursuit, and still, the mystery of SMF H8N remained unsolved... Were they "Smurf Hatin?", or maybe a "Single Menopausal Female Haitian?" I had no idea, and it was driving me CRZ! So, as I continued on, I realized this quest was doomed, a rest-stop was rapidly approaching, and my bladder was waving the white-flag for me. I shifted lanes to exit towards the facilities, and suddenly... I see a blinker! The Smurf Haitian is fueling up?!
It has been nearly an hour of quiet contemplation regarding this SUV's plate, and I had to know. So, rather than heading directly to the restroom, much to the dismay of my bladder, I headed to the fuel pumps. As the middle-aged gentleman driving the mystery-van emerged from his vehicle, my compulsion kicked in. I rolled down my window and asked:
"Excuse me, I was wondering if you could tell me what your vanity plate is supposed to say?"
He responded with a puzzled look:
"Vanity Plate?! I don't have a vanity plate."
Now that I shared that tidbit, lets take a look at the psychology behind the vanity plate...
There are 4 Major Categories of Vanity Plate types:
*Ostentatious/Obnoxious: Rubbing their accomplishments in your face
*Nice Try Clever: Ahh! I see what you were trying to do here... better luck next time!
*Unintentional Humor: Very Clever... for all the Wrong Reasons
*Clever use of Props: Any sucker can arrange letters, it takes a master to work with the environment.
*Pure Awesome: Enough Said.
HVNSNT (Heaven Sent)
Really Alaska, you were sent from Heaven to ALASKA?!?! God must really love you!
2BG2FAIL (Too Big Too Fail)
For the A-hole who has everything... except key marks on his Porsche
NVERLA8 (Never Late)
Ohhh, what a big man you are! You drive a nice car that goes fast, I am sure the cops love to make sure you are "OFTN L8"
L8R BRA (Later Bra)
I actually like this one, you know the driver's not worth talking to before actually having to talk to him.
RU 18 YET (Are You 18 Yet?)
Thank God for Megan's Law!
IMAQTI (I Am A Cutie)
"OMG! I will text you on my way, hopefully I don't roll my brand-a-new Pink Civic into a ditch and die!"
(That makes one of us)
Nice Try Clever
Strange emotion for someone driving an 88 Corolla with 3 missing hubcaps
BLUBYU (Blew By You)
Wow, very clever. Unfortunately I'll never see this since you "Blew Past Me", oh wait... you didn't
VNTYPL8 (Vanity Plate)
I actually think this one is clever... not "spend 90 dollars on a vanity plate" clever, but still clever.
ANASLEX (Ana's Lexus)
Oh Ana, sweet Ana... you are either naive and love your whip, or your a dyslexic who loves kinky sex. It remains a mystery.
ANALIMO (ANA Limo)
Oh, poor proprietors of ANA Limo, someone at the ali DMV should have warned you. I am sure you clean-up around the porn-convention.
HERBOX (Her Box)
I think he knew what he was doing here
Clever Use of Props
EATTHE (EAT THE Kids First)
Well Done! The bloody children's hand prints make a nice touch!
A55 RGY (Ass Orgy)
Nice use of the Orange, especially for vulgarity sake. There's a Tommy Point!
Irginia is for Overs!
ALC HOL (Alcohol)
Occifer, I swear to Drunk I am not God.
NOT OJ (Not Orenthal James Simpson)
White Bronco owners are actually required by law to self-identify
Roads? Where we are going, we won't need Roads!