Thursday, January 6, 2011

Licensed to Baffle

One of the great things about living in Arizona is that we get to keep the same license plate numbers for as long as we own our cars.  That's a big help to those of us who have difficulty remembering numbers.  In addition, the cost of personalized plates is very reasonable, and the state has a great website that lets owners renew their registrations quickly and easily.  For this reason, so-called "vanity plates" abound here.

A lot of these personalized plates mean something important to their owners but qualify as puzzles for the casual observer.  Yesterday I sat behind one at a stoplight and spent several minutes trying to decipher it.  The plate said DOOHBOY.  As some of my younger friends say, WTF?  I couldn't decide whether it should be read as:
  • Do, oh boy! or
  • Doughboy, or
  • Do'oh! [as in Homer Simpson] boy, or
  • Do HBO - why?
I suppose it could also combine the owners' initials in some way.  Who knows?

I guess I always thought the purpose of a vanity plate was to broadcast a message to the rest of the world, but maybe not.  Maybe it's the car accessory equivalent of one of those printed affirmations people carry in their pockets or their wallets.  I'm clinging to that explanation because otherwise I'll have to admit that I am totally out of touch, and I was hoping to avoid that for at least a few more years.

"EEEEEK" ~License plate on a driver's education vehicle

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