One of the best ever letters to Viz Magazine has to be the one from a Mr. KWZ 625V of Hull, who suggested “rather than buy an expensive personalised number plate, simply change your name to match your existing one”.
It makes sense, especially as the UK numberplate system is that much more inflexible than the Yanks (unless you want to have “OPECFU”, in which case the DMV, their version of our DVLA, will send you a nice letter saying “fuck you“), forcing many people to use numbers as 73tter5. So unless you already have numbers in your name then you are going to end up with something a bit crap, like “K3VIN” or “TRA6Y” (in an weird font to try and make the “6” look a bit more like a “C”).
Not that the incoherence stops people shelling out large sums of money for a crass symbol of someone with bad taste and too much money. Looking at the DVLA’s site, they start off at £600 for ones that are utterly meaningless. You want one that actually resembles a word? That’ll cost you the price of a small hatchback. Furthermore, they usually require weird letter spacing and black screw heads to actually make any sense at all and besides, all the good ones have been bought already.
But surely the most pitiful sight I’ve seen recently was on the back of a BMW X3 penguin killer. It read thus:
It was so crap it required an explanation underneath. I’m not joking; underneath the jumble of alphanumerics was written, in brackets, what it was supposed to say. That’s pretty piss poor by anyone’s standards but why have the explanation at all? Did she (I assume it was a she) think that anyone following her would be seriously wowed? “So the 4 is A and the 1 and 3 run together to make B, which leaves 7 which is a bit like an L… Holy shit! that car is being driven by mabel!” For those who already know her name, the need for an aid to decipher her personalised plate is less than impressive and I could be going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that the people who don’t already know her couldn’t give a diseased rat’s arse what her name is. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I felt cheated that I’d used a percentage of my brain’s power to decipher a useless, pathetic piece of information that I never wanted to know anyway.
In case you are thinking to yourself “well, it must be worth it to Mabel because she’s now got her own blog entry”, I’d like to point out that the name has been changed. Not to protect her identity, but because I really can’t remember what it was. Her name has gone and all that remains is the memory that her car’s personalised plate was so appallingly convoluted that it needed an explanation under it.
Well done, whoever you are. That’s money well spent.