Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, the other day we discussed how the lovely state of California is currently trying to pass a law which will dictate what sort of sheets that hotels will be able to use. Thus, it should come as no shock to you that there are at least TEN people (all collecting a government salary with government benefits) and up to TWENTY people (depending on if there is an appeal) who are involved in determining who gets the personalized license plate that they've requested and who does not get the personalized license plate that they've requested. TEN people. Let's see what their day involves. I guarantee you that it will likely be absolutely nothing like the sort of days that you and I have.

According to NBC Bay Area, there is a four person team that reviews between 200-500 submissions for vanity plates every day. Between 20 and 40 of those plates are up for review by a separate 6-person team. Their decision as to whether or not the vanity plate is acceptable hinges on one question: "Would you find it offensive?" Oh, for cryin' out loud!

What is the point of this? I have no idea. And there are at least ten people who are being paid to participate in this nonsense. Look, I'm probably against any outright profanities on license plates. Probably. I'm not real sure how I feel about it because regardless of what is allowed on license plates, it just seems kind of futile to me considering that you can stick a bumper sticker on your car (right next to the license plate if you'd like!) that says damn near anything and no one can stop you. That's why I'm kind of on the fence about whether or not to allow profanities. I still think I'm against it, but I don't know why.

Back to their rules. There are certain things that they simply don't allow on vanity plates. These are things that I had no idea about and I can't imagine that a lot of other people know anything about either. Like did you know "A few numbers are off limits for plates, such as 13, for its gang association." Thirteen has a gang association? Not just bad luck? How in the world would I know that unless I'm in a gang? And if I am in a gang, is that what I'm going to do? Go get a "13" on my license plate? Because all gangbangers make sure that their vehicle is properly registered and licensed with the state of California? Uh-huh. What else, you ask? Well, "Fourteen and 88 are banned for their connection to white supremacists." What connection is that? 14 and 88 and the KKK? I had no idea. Wait. Now that I know, am I supposed to be offended? 'Cause I'm not. I don't think that anyone is.

But wait. It gets better. They will let you explain yourself if there is a logical explanation. See, "'Ice' can be used for cocaine...So if you're an ice machine repair man, you can send in pictures of your truck with the name of the company." Right. Because if you're dealing coke, the best thing to do to help your business is to advertise it on your license plate! Seriously? What if I just happen to like Vanilla Ice, then what? Do I send them a picture of Robert Matthew Van Winkle with a heart drawn around his head? That just sounds silly.

And in that article over there at NBC, they have a list of 100 banned California vanity plates. I don't even get a lot of them. Like these:

  • OQOOQOO Why is that bad? Are the Q's something bad? What is it?
  • MERKTR I don't get that one. Merkin trader? No, that'd be weird. Hmmm...
  • ETAMPON I don't really want to know what that is, but I would like to meet any pansy ass who would be offended by it.
  • WTF HAXX I don't know what the HAXX stands for, but I'm OK with the WTF. I'd rather see that than the f-word wrote out. (And can everyone please just stop acting as if they never say the f-word. It's not some sort of a mortal sin to say 'wtf'. It's actually kind of polite if you think about it.)
I'm dying to know if the salaries of the at least ten people is easily surpassed by the amount of revenue that is brought in from having vanity plates. I'm hoping that it is. But I'm still guessing that you don't need ten (up to twenty) people to do that job. How could you?

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Ashley said...

I ran across your blog while trying to find the video of the child support sting (the one titled "do I still get my tickets") and I have called my husband reading him your posts multiple times. You say every single thing that crosses my mind everyday. I can almost guarantee that I read your stuff with the same inflection that you write it. I LOVE reading it! The only difference in you and me is that I don't take the time to write it down.
Oh and to top it off, I read the "about me" section on your page and knew exactly where the quote came from! You've got a fan :)

Mare said...

Hey, Ashley.

Wow! Thanks for the compliments. I truly appreciate them and I hope that I can continue to write things that hit home for you. Awesome.

Thanks for reading! (And nice job on the quote! Most excellent!)

~ Mary

Ashley said...

and if you ever need new material, go to Wal-Mart...seriously.

Mare said...

Went to Wal-Mart today! Took a picture. Will be writing about it on for Friday. Good Lord...

~ Mare