Monday, September 03, 2007

The Fox and the Hounds

#289 The Fox and the Hounds

People are forgetting what kinds of cars they bought. There was an Audi just up ahead the other day and its license plate said “Fox,” which is the name of the model. Makes it easy for the hounds with the flashing red lights on top of their car to remember. Always a good idea because the Fox is foxier than a fox.

Another guy had “Camry” on his license plate. The car was … yes… a Toyota Camry. Good thing he had that license plate to remind him. The manufacturer puts the name on the body in only seven different places. The eighth time’s the charm.

Fortunately, most car model names are short. You can only put so many numbers and spaces on a license plate. And you pay plenty extra for the right.

There probably is no Oldsmobile with “88” on the plate. There are several good reasons for that. One is that they don’t make Oldsmobiles any more. Second is because some state official probably has that number and third, it’s what the Neo-Nazis use instead of “HH,” eight being the eighth letter of the alphabet. And only an idiot would advertise that on a license plate.

“Studebaker” has two too many letters for a license plate. But given the cult status of that brand, there’s likely to be any number of plates that say “STUDE” followed by a digit or two. Or, even better, “STUD” followed by a digit or two.

And be on the lookout for a white Fiat Uno with the license plate “BENTLEY.”

How forgetful we’ve become.

Pontiac fits on a plate. But Deusenberg doesn’t. (Do they still make Pontiacs? Yes, apparently, but not many.)

“FORD” works. So does “LINCOLN.”

All this is helpful when you’re in the box store parking lot and can’t find your “’VETTE-21,” or your “MIATA 345.”

Some people like to put their company names on the plates. There has to be one somewhere that says “WAL MART.” Too bad Nordstrom’s doesn’t fit. Eight letters or letters or numbers and spaces in most states. That’s it.

Even cutesier than car or corporate names are the “lovebird” plates. Something like “BK AK.” Of course, this could be a Burger King freak with who owns an AK-47. But more likely it’s Bonnie Klein and Alan Klein.” Lovebirds.

And the hobby plates. “SKIBUM.” “COIN GUY.” “DEADHEAD.” “TREKKIE.”

In olden times, we had a Chevy, “703 NYP.” Means “New York Press.” Pretty tough to get in those days. Lots of paper work. Most people thought it meant “New York Police.” Scared daylights out of some miscreants. Special parking zones in Manhattan where you weren’t supposed to get tickets when you parked, but did anyway – especially around the end of any given fiscal quarter.

Silly stuff. The present plate is the letters “GLK” followed by four numbers that happen to comprise a year. Not any special year. Just a year. Chosen by the state at random, as are those of most of us who don’t want to pay the outrageous fee for the “special” plates or who can remember the brand of car they drive.

But various people have tried to make words out of those letters. In one instance, they are said to stand for Good Luck King. Nonsense. In another, the letters are a compression of “GLOCK.”

You better watch out.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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