I’ve been driving quite a bit lately, and it reminded me of how much attention I give to number plates. Not only do I enjoy the inane task of identifying the year of release, I also like to spot secret messages in the plates, like I’m reading the vapours, and muse upon why people choose such boring personalised registrations.
When I was younger, before I was old enough to drive, I used to want a plate that read some variation of ‘Metal Cat’. I think in practice this would have had to have been the fairly dissatisfying ME71 CAT. This was in reference to my actual cat. I don’t recall exactly why he was Metal Cat at the time, but I do recall precisely how one had to say ‘Metal Cat’, which was “METAL CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!”…and as for why I wanted that on a vehicle, I mean, who the fuck knows, but why the fuck not, right?
And then I had a boyfriend who thought all the silly things I liked were too silly, and I absorbed that belief because I had no boundaries, and I became very serious. The consensus was now that it was frivolous and, frankly, wasteful to purchase vanity plates. Those who drove around with personalised vehicles demanded derision, if nothing else. There would be no ME71 CAT for me, thank you very much!
The other day, now much older and wiser, and stuck in traffic, spotting all the number plates, I wondered about what message I’d like to broadcast on the bumpers of my Volvo. I’ve never seen much appeal in having your name there, let alone your initials. Although I suppose there’d by something a bit satisfying about C30 YVE. Straight to the point. Is my car. Is me. But I’d really like something that, when spotted by people like me, would make the observer smile. Which probably just means it would have a random, mildly amusing, three letter word in it. Like PEG. Which I probably wouldn’t want to pay for. I’ll keep thinking.
Apparently you can buy POO IE for around sixty grand, so that’s always an option.