Sunday, March 21, 2010

Self-Expression Gone Wrong...

In this digital age, we have an infinite number of ways to express ourselves. And I would argue that nobody cares what we think the vast majority of the time. We all know people who tell us about a dozen times a day what they're doing, whether it's on facebook, twitter, a blog, or whatever else is out there. As if this wasn't already too much, we still have a staggering amount of people who need more ways to call attention to themselves.

Some think of a clever method of self-expression, while others are not so creative. For those folks, we have personalized license plates.

At some point in our nation's history, I'm guessing these were innovative and creative. One day, many many years ago, I'm sure somebody realized a 1, a 2, a 4, or an 8 could be used to replace a word or a part of a word. What baffles me is that people are still making this revelation even today.

I saw a license plate today that read "CR8TV1". Is this a person who packs and ships televisions? It must be, because it's saying "CrateTVone"...right? Oh wait! I get it! You're the creative one! I've always wondered how the world would be alerted when the Creative One was discovered. I should have known that it would be with the groundbreaking innovation that only a personalized license plate could provide. That's not ironic at all.

Many people (too many, I submit) like to tell us what they're driving, as if we couldn't read it on their vehicle. Not long ago, I saw a Toyota Camry with plates that read "TCAMRY1". Thanks. Sometimes we need confirmation, because you never can trust the words the manufacturer puts on the back of the vehicle. I drive a Camry and I think it's a great car, but I don't think anybody's too impressed with it. Not this guy...apparently his Camry is a show car. What's disturbing to me is that he tried to pick "CAMRY" but it was taken. The next best pick, obviously, was "TCAMRY". Taken, as was "CAMRY1". Undeterred, Mr. Creativity went with his fourth choice.

And just today, I saw a license plate that exclaimed "TOY4ROX". Like, this is a toy...and it's for Rox, or maybe Roxy. Maybe you didn't get that one, so I'm here for you. I know genius when I see it. When you see "Toy" on a car that's not a Toyota, you'd expect it to be on a fun, recreational vehicle, something like a Jeep or some sporty car. This was on about a 10-year-old minivan. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a 10-year-old minivan, but a toy? That's not what I think of.

One of my all-time favorites was on an enormous, jacked-up truck here in Montana. I'm probably going to get killed for making this one public, but it's too good to pass up. With "GETRDUN" and "GITRDUN" obviously taken, the obvious choice was to reverse it. So the plate said "DUNGETR". Done Get 'er...get it? Brilliant. But the best part was when someone's young son looked quizzically at the plate and finally asked his dad, "Dad, what does 'dung eater' mean?"

The worst, to me, are the ones where someone tries to squeeze an entire sentence into seven characters. The other day I saw a truck that was apparently owned by a person who loved said truck. The plate said "LUVMYTK". Or maybe they have a pet tick at home that they love.

I'm not saying all vanity plates are bad. For instance, when I was in California, I saw a white Bronco with plates that simply stated "NOT OJ". I couldn't help but laugh at that one. And sometimes it's a nickname that all your friends know, and who cares what the rest of us think? I'm fine with that. But keep in mind that most people are either making fun of you or just plain confused when they see your vehicle. Check with a few people first, and if it's not great, think of another way to express yourself. Please.


  1. When I lived in Billings - there was a car that drove my same route everyday - so forever I was stuck reading this license plate: FULANRG

    Seriously - it took me almost a year to figure it out - then I wanted to punch them for wasting my serenity of my drive home.

    Having said that - I'm guilty of doing the same thing - Gordy wanted Ben's first words on his license...I know - it's kind of like having to watch someone's home movies. Ben's first words were 'ohhh maaan'... I went to the Blue Building and got OOH MAN on the plates...

    Sorta confusing for some ~

    Then there was me trying to put McDonald and Sanchez together - Mchez - It came out looking like something from the Golden Arches menu...

    FULANRG....Ugh ~

  2. Dave, once again, you have me laughing so hard I cried. Excellent waste of time sir! Keep the deep thoughts coming!

  3. oh david. I'm glad there are so many things about me you don't know because you would make short work of turning me into an even bigger idiot. i love it!! actually there is a part of me that would like a private session, not to be revealed to the public.

  4. I saw one yesterday that said "MYWEWE1" on a little subaru outback. Really? And the little old man driving had to be like 85. Maybe it says something other than "My Wee Wee"...but I can't think of it. I only would picture this plate on an oversized lifted truck with ridiculous tires...
    I took a picture to prove it.
    stephanie v.