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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Legacy of the "Assman" *

I like how many work vehicles in NZ are not only allowed to have their plates personalized, but that many companies actually seem to embrace this. Delivery companies, taxis, vet hospitals (ours is the ultra-original “ANMLDR” - and it almost looks like "Anal Doctor" but let's not go there), pesticide companies, even official government use vehicles – I’ve seen examples of all of them with a personalized plate, or ‘registration’ as it’s known here.

Post Haste, a Kiwi company similar to FedEx, lets their drivers choose their own plates for their trucks, all within the boundaries of good taste mind you. Apparently you have to put in quite a long slog in the delivery rooms before you’re promoted to the point where you get your own truck to drive around. This just sweetens the deal for all the Kiwi delivery guys out there, I guess.

There was one such driver whose plate read “DRKMAN”. I assume he means “Darkman” but he may not be aware that it could also be interpreted as “Dorkman”, a decidedly less cool moniker. Today there was also “YWALK2” on a taxi cab (I assume “YWALK1” was otherwise deployed), and I have seen things like “GRNTHM” on landscaping service vehicles.

Mind you, you’re only allowed six slots on the registration plate, so this does hamper the creativity to some degree. It may actually increase the need to be creative, come to that, as you have to think up with something that is clever and recognizable but only in 6 slots. “DRKMAN” (“Drink, man”??) may have failed in this but by and large they all succeed.

As far as personal plates go, I was blown away by seeing “XYZZY”, a particularly nerdy reference which I am ashamed to admit that I got. Yes, I’m about to go off on yet another one of my endless, sidelong tangents, so buckle up!

You see, the mother of all computer games was developed on the huge mainframes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology back in the late 1970s and it was called “Adventure”. It was this text-based game wherein you could wander nearly infinitely (I don’t think the game had a proper conclusion but it did keep score and you could die – and often did). One of the magic words in the game was ‘xyzzy’ and by typing this you could do lots of things you couldn’t before, as magic words are often prone to do. The other big magic word in the game (yes, it had a whole two of them) was ‘plugh’. I have yet to see this particular plate so perhaps it’s there for the taking. Maybe me and ‘xyzzy’ could get together and reminisce about those heady mainframe days.

Anyways, the guys at MIT went on to create the software company called Infocom, their most famous game being “Zork”. And while playing Zork, if you typed in either ‘xyzzy’ or ‘plugh’ you would get a sarcastic response. Still, unless you’re properly in tune with the same dorky circles I am, you are likely still unaware of whatever the hell it is I am writing about.

So let’s get back to the matter at hand.

I also saw a woman driving around a station wagon (with two kids in the back), and her plate said “RUFSEX”. Either she’s a dog breeder or one kinky mum!

Now were I to pay for a vanity plate, I would tend to shun obscure computer game references and of course “DRKMAN” (“Doctor K, man”?!?) is sadly taken. I’d also probably avoid any reference to what it is I do for a living, lest I become confused for a house call service.

I thought of simply “YANK” but that seems rather obvious and might invite some uninvited opinions or criticisms. “BROOKSIE” just won’t fit, and dammit I’m sorry but the nickname doesn’t get abbreviated! “BRUXIE” would just look stupid.

I’m not going to be dim enough to go for something like “LANCER” or “MBISHI” (I drive a Mitsubishi Lancer), as many sports car drivers are wont to do when they personalize their plates with exactly what the car is. I guess all that penis envy has clouded their sense of irony.

“WASHME” could work as I am notoriously bad about keeping up with cleaning the car, but then I don’t think anyone would actually follow through on that simple request.

“BLOWME” would be perfect for those tailgating berks who would just as soon run you off the road as look at you, but this may cause a bit of animosity with the cops. I’m up to two speeding tickets (!) already in just four short months, so no need to tempt fate there.

Ah well, I just might leave my current registration, “LKTITS”, as it is and not bother with personalizing. It is just random and inconspicuous enough to let me keep blending in like I have and I don’t want there to be any confusion or controversy.
*References a particular episode of Seinfeld.


Blogger London Postmaster said...

I have to admit that I'm not familiar enough with your writing to easily identify that last paragraph as 'honest' or fully committed unadulterated sarcasm. I'm now confident it's the latter, cause that is too damn funny!
Nonetheless, I remember a REALLY budget show when I was a kid called 'Bumper Stumpers'. I'm sure it can be held responsible for breeding the sorts of people that now have the crazy character combo's found around here.
I always sucked at figuring them out.

2:18 AM  
Blogger DanaBurger said...

ha ha i was gonna do the personalized plate thing back here in Nova Scotia but i couldn't decide on what on wanted! tough decision and an expensive one tooo soo for now i'm happy with my random letters and numbers that i still should probably memorize incase if i ever leave my lights on or something and they page me at a store to shut them off!

3:30 AM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

haha, hey guys - fancy meeting you's here! :P LKTITS, love it - I bet my boyfriend would love that one even MORE! I just loved this post and although I can't think of any funny ones I have seen lately, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open! On second thought, my mom's old plate said 908FKN. Now, the 908 means nothing but as a kid I always knew which was my moms car cause "I" saw that it said Fuckin' - and that was a naughty bad word, teehee! Anywho, I'M LATER FOR SCHOOL! AHHHH! :P Bye

3:34 AM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

Okay, off topic Questions: You're a vet - maybe you can help me. My cat is retarded. Wait, there's more. They're about 2yrs olf, and as of about 6 months ago, one of them just "out of nowhere" started poopin JUST outside the box. She won't stop doing it. Do you have any suggestions? Oh, and the other is really fat and lazy - they're sister of the same age and the poopy one is small and wirey, the big one fat and lazy.. very weird... i'll see if I can post a good pic of them later! Thanks, any help would be super duper! Byee :)

4:01 AM  
Blogger London Postmaster said...

Discussing this topic with the wife earlier this morning we were reminded of a plate we saw a few months back. Normally (in Ontario anyhow) they seem to screen plates to make sure that there is nothing 'naughty' or offensive, and well we are not sure how this slipped through the cracks... (and the Q's made it even that much better!)...

- - HQQTERS - -

6:30 AM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

hahaha, I love it! That's friggin' hilarious!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Woohoo, lookit all the comments! Thanks for reading and thanks for the compliments. London PM - I remember that game show, Bumper Stumpers! There was one that stumped my friend and I forever, see if you can get it: PABXRHL. Also, it's so ironic that "HQQTERS" got through; somebody on the approvals board has a sense of humor, and the fact that they are Q's is even better. Dana - I know what you mean, those plates are a bit pricey, and it never occurred to me to remmeber the numbers in case I leave my lights on, definitely something I've done before. Lyndsay - WAY too funny there about the "980FKN" plate, I would have reached the same conclusion! Can I email you about your cats? I don't mind answering those questions at all, but it's a bit of a long response hehe

6:37 PM  
Blogger Beechball * said...

yeah sure, my address is beechball@hotmail.com - so simple, and so me :P Thanks Dude! :)

3:44 AM  

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