Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Your Vanity Plate ACTUALLY Says.......

I drive around town a lot, and that means I sit for a bit at plenty of lights, which gives great opportunity to notice people's Vanity plates. I guess they are called that because you get to pay money for them, which makes them more valuable and thus feel more important than the kind that are randomly allotted. More likely,the Vanity is embedded in the message you have crafted for all the world to see. Seems to me the majority of V-plates radar something about character, passions, beliefs, character, and of course, names (people, places, things). What I wonder is this: is the message I receive about you the one you actually want me to get?

I try to remember the funny, clever or cute V-plates I see, but I never do. So I decided to keep an eye out for two weeks, making a list (yes, sometimes while I was driving) and now I'm going to share it with you. You can either read the plates and do your own interpretation, conjecture or puzzle-solving or you can read on and perhaps be enlightened by my musings about what the rest of us actually "get" about who's driving.

Let's start with a relatively easy read, one I spotted at the Worthington Public Library parking lot: I LV ASPEN. My first response: well, isn't that nice...this driver spends every vacation in Colorado, skiing. Then I thought, couldn't it also mean that the driver LIVES in Aspen, but then, why would the v-plate be from Ohio? Maybe he/she is the owner of two homes, one here and one in Aspen... As I neared the vehicle, the puzzle solved itself: above and to the right of the V-plate was the SUV model---yup, you guessed it, it was an Aspen.

OK, let's try again: ASL USER. This time I wasn't stopped in traffic and I had to speed up and slow down to read it again, because the only message I got was USER. Wonder why someone would advertise THAT? Of course, once I added the first three letters I had it---this person has that awful syndrome called ASL! No, I think that's ALS.... It took only a millisecond more to get to the root of this one: American Sign Language USER. Good for me and good for you!

Sometimes the size, shape and color of a car is a pretty blatant hint. This one was attached to a small, sporty red car, music blaring and head bobbing: YOBAYBE. No explanation necessary. And then there was one my passenger noted: MY KIWI---on a lime green SuperBug.

This next V-plate had me using my vocal as well as mental skills: MA CAR. It could mean that the vehicle that is NOT owned and driven by PA...but the most likely story is that the driver is someone of the Southern persuasion that wants you to know that YOU are not the owner/driver---- HE/SHE is. Got that?

Sometimes a V-plate can be deliciously mysterious: WKD WCH. This conjured up visions of some middle-aged female whose friends decided to celebrate her 50th by giving her her very own v-plate! (Hey, it's just a joke...who cares what the other drivers think?? ) Or maybe an actor/singer whose favorite role was in the musical "Wicked." Probably not. I guess it could also be a literal label: someone belonging to Wikken... I would never have known for sure, except that in the middle of my musings, the driver and passenger came out of a store, hopped in and drove away: a middle-aged woman (yes!!) and her teen-aged son(oh...).

Not to beat a dead horse (or a horse to death?) but again, the car can be the clue. In this instance I sort of "get it" but not completely (and maybe I don't really need that closure). Here goes: SPNKEE. Yes, I think the driver likes to be called "Spanky" and also likes the karma of the car--small, modern, "green(isn't today earth day?)" and oh so cute.... You put it together. I'm just going to respond by quoting this unique V-plate message: WOO YAY! Then I'm going to get a good night's sleep, and in the morning take the advice of this car owner: RYZNDYNE.

How do you feel about V-plates?


  1. My favorite vanity plate experience involved almost getting run over by an impatient drive while crossing the street from class to class in high school. I was pretty perturbed that someone couldn't just SLOW DOWN and let all the little high schoolers cross the road, until I saw their plate: STRESSD. It all made sense and I just got to laugh to myself.

  2. I enjoyed this post. What would you put on a vanity plate if you had one? I've thought about this off and on over the years and have never come up with anything I really like. Maybe that is why I have never gotten one.

  3. Great story, Leigh---maybe it's better to have a vanity plate like that, that says it all.

    So Steve, I guess mine would read:

    That should cover about anything I'd do....:)

  4. Got your perfect plate -- Better methinks than the one you concocted. How about: BKRSLADY? If I were willing to spend the time and treasure on one, I think I would go for: YHELVME. yah

  5. Saw one today that I don't think I got: CYMRU UK Any thoughts? Is this for a university or something in the UK?

  6. Funny post mom. One of the plates I remember seeing was IMLSTRU. Obviously they didn't have a very good sense of direction.

  7. I always forget good ones and it takes me awhile to get many of them...I concur with steve--I really enjoyed this post!