Tuesday, August 02, 2005


About eleventy-seven million people have already dissected the silliness of vanity plates, so I'm not going to analyze why people would choose to pay the Man an extra $25 annually to maintain an inscrutable acronym/phrase/word on their cars. But a few of these little mysteries have caught my eye lately on the mean streets of DC, and by blogging about them instead of trying to figure out the licensees' message on my own, I think I'll prevent an aneurysm.

1.) "IHOPE4U"
Thus spake an ancient Chevy Citation with puttied fenders and half a back bumper. Whilst I appreciate the hope the driver of this jalopy has for me, I think maybe he oughta use up all of his hope for his own situation. It could be that he's trying to karmically engender hope for his pre-Pimped mode of transportation.

Now, this could have been an ironic statement. Methuselah was hunkered down over the wheel (which, by the way, proportionally looked like a hula hoop in his claws). So I'm dying to know...is "Speedoh" a nickname for his penchant for putting the pedal to the medal? My guess would be no, since he was cruising along at 45 MPH on an interstate. Maybe it's not a velocity issue; maybe he prefers the teeny mankini bottoms favored by Becks? Yick, I Hope4Me that's not the case. No one should wear Speedos outside of an Olympic swimming pool. There's an outside shot that the driver's name is Spee Doh, but even I can't fathom that's true.

3.) "DUCHES"
I wanted to give this person the benefit of that doubt and entertain the possibility that her last name was "Duches." But a search in Yahoo!People reveals that there's not a soul in the Metro DC area with that first or last name. This dearth of "Duches" leads me to believe that this vanity plate is a bastardization of "Duchess." It's beyond me why someone is sooooooo attached to a word or nickname that she's willing to misspell it in metal just to own it. But I guess a huge chunk of society doesn't care about orthography and goes with phonetics instead. And I'd be willing to make an exception for this ML350, except riding just above the vanity plate was a University of Pennsylvania alumni sticker. Come on, Duches -- you're Ivy League! I expect more from you -- either proper spelling OR a clever vanity plate. "Duches" is neither, so I must conclude that you're just being lazy.

That's it for now; I'll let you know if I see any equally inane/perplexing tags. Maybe you have a few you'd like to share?

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