Saturday, April 10, 2010

They're Called "Vanity Plates" For A Reason

A site that I look at regularly had a post recently about the road trips of the author's youth.
The post was really about modern road trips,
wherein each whiny brat has his own personal DVD player
and doesn't have to interact with another family member the entire time.

I thought about the road trips of my own youth with my sisters.
Remember arguing with each other and yelling "Daddy! She touched me!"?
And Daddy saying "Don't make me stop this car."

We had bubble gum chewing contests with my mother on our way to the beach.
And we slept in the back seat leaning against each other like toppled statues.
This is me & my sisters on our way to Ocean Isle, NC.
Looks like that awkward stage again, huh?
The slide is old & faded, and I don't know how to fix that yet. Sorry RAD.

We would load up my father's Bug and go to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware
to stay at a big old rambling hotel owned by friends of the family.
That's us with some of them in this picture with my father behind the camera.
See the girl in the white shirt, 2nd from the right, next to the girl with the long blond hair?
She is now hugely famous, and not always in a good way.
Click on the picture to enlarge it and see if you can figure it out.

Remember playing the Snug Bug game?
I think the kids are playing that again, complete with overly hard arm punches.
(In fact, I think BS still does.)
Although now they call it "Punch Buggy".
What do they know?

Remember playing the license plate game to see how many states you could find?
Wasn't hard to do since most states had easily identifiable tags.
There were unique combinations of letters, numbers, colors, state mottos & sometimes an image.
We could tell a Colorado plate from way down the road by its green & white mountain design.

Pennsylvania had that odd mustard colored plate.

Florida was "The Sunshine State" . . .

. . . and later the state's outline in unmistakeable orange.

(license plate pics courtesy of this site)

Can't do that anymore, as each state has about 1,496 different patterns available.
Look here at just of a few of the ones you can get in Virginia.

And, of course, all of these road trips were taken in the summer.
With NO air conditioning.
They are some of my fondest memories.
Take THAT, spoiled modern kids!

But I digress.
This all got me thinking about the idiotic vanity plates I encounter on a regular basis.
Are they nuts?
They pay money, every year, to announce this kind of stuff?
I saw these in the last week.

Dude, THAT I don't need to know about you.
And yes, it was a young man driving, but I had no way of verifying his claim.
Darn. But something tells me I didn't miss much.

Does anyone else share that high opinion of yourself, Missy?
She had on an overly tight shirt.

Excuse me, but aren't we all?
Didn't see who was driving.

Another young man.

I found one on the internet machine that said "COPBAIT" on a little sports car.
He'll NEVER talk his way out of a ticket.

Here is a link to a few more.
The first one says "IDIOT".
I have a feeling that announcing it on your car is redundant.

Some were so borderline profane, I won't show them here.
But go see for yourself, or here, and mock them to your heart's content.
If they make you feel intellectually or smugly superior, don't worry.
It's not vanity.

Leave comments with your guess as to Mystery Girl
and the worst vanity plates you have encountered.
I'll post the answer in a couple days.

update: I confess.
After looking at the VA plates available, I want one.

I am ashamed of myself.
And I know what I want it to say - a personalized plate.
I am doubly ashamed of myself.

I have been sucked in.
But I won't be announcing my questionable physical attributes or obvious mental deficiencies.


dle1004 said...

I am gulity of having a vanity plate..but it is neither profane,or full of innuendo.It simply says...

I have no idea on the mystery girl...not good at guessing games.

Kathy said...

dle - I KNOW! After looking at some of the designs for Virginia, I admit to wanting one of them. Mine would say "WNDRLST" for my incurable desire for a road trip. I like yours too.

Kathy said...

Or maybe our old 6-character call sign from the ham radio we had in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Vanity plates do not bother me, but I wonder why it is so important to folks that they pay every year for those tags. I understand that some are for various causes, but those that aren't still cost extra every year. No thanks, I pay enough taxes to Richmond and Washington. I don't want them to waste more of my money on their bad legislation. [stepping off my soapbox]
BTW, your vote was too late. Mark insisted on instant gratification, and the votes occurred at work. He lost. ;-) You know how graciously I accepted the win. Only rubbed his nose in it a little bit....

Sista G said...

Ooh, ooh, I know who that girl is!! Oh, wait, I guess I can't play, since I was there!

Ohboy, those pictures sure take me back! You're right - road trips back then were worlds away from the pampered trips today with all the audio/visual technology at our fingertips.

I have to admit, I have a Margaritaville tag design that is also personalized -C Life. Kinda a two-fer for sea life and see life (from the road).

What are you thinking of for a design?

Kathy said...

Sista - I am successfully talking myself out of shelling out extra money for a personalized plate. But if I were to commit such a folly, it would be one of 3 - Chesapeake Bay blue crab, Virginia lighthouses, or the Shenandoah Valley.

And no, you can't play, because you KNOW who he is.

Sista G said...

Who HE is??? OMG - she has fallen off the deep end now!

I like the Lighthouses, Shenandoah, and the Northern Neck one, too.

I can't stand personalized tags that you can't figure out for the life of you - what's the point??

dle said...

...I first got my vanity tag when I started working in the Emergency Dispatch field. 23 years later I still have the same tag and still am working in that field...I need all the Humor I can get !!!

...mine is rather jaded and warped!

Anonymous said...

So, who's the chick? Paris Hilton? Don't leave us hanging!

Kathy said...

Anon - sorry. I forgot all about giving the answer. Put up a new post about it.

Delores said...

I have had vanity tags for a long time. original reason was to spot my husbands white van on the road. We worked together.It was a big help (do you know how many white vans there are?)
Then I started getting ones with my animals names on them (my favorite is the lighthouse ones). My cat was named "Bruce" but could only get "Brucie"! Had people pass me and yell "fagot"? No, I'm not!
The funniest was on a trip with my husband along near Boston. The toll collector said "Are you Brucie"? My construction "he man" said xllzy!
(not writing what he said, imagine) then from the back seat my two big black just groomed St. Poodles stuck their heads out the drivers window. Told my husband to just give up! :)

Kathy said...

See, none of the plates mentioned in the comments are calling attention to anyone's questionable physical attributes, doubtful sex appeal, overstated intelligence levels, or imaginary talents. So they are okay, and not what I would consider 'vanity plates'.