Washington is more vain than California

The immense scale of Los Angeles boggles the mind. Sunday was forty miles of futile searching along Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards for either Fuddruckers listed in the April 2006 Yellow Pages. Both have since closed. Their corporate web site wasn’t helpful, or the location is employing a class-4 cloaking device. I just can’t find it. Sunday, I settled on a “Fatburger,” a very disappointing hunk of pseudoprotein. Last night, I biked to the In-And-Out near UCLA campus. (Okay burgers, fries were good and fresh.)

Monday morning started with a customer visit in Huntington Beach. The customer said budget an hour for travel that time of day. My coworkers were skeptical, suggesting I allot at least two hours each way. Or stay at a nearby hotel Sunday night. The customer was correct: travel time was 50 minutes plus an additional five-minutes to stop at the donut store for a toroidal breakfast.


The San Diego Freeway doesn’t actually go to San Diego, but does offer six lanes of highly-aggressive driving in each direction. It’s best enjoyed listening to Rimsky-Korsakov. Even at 5:45 a.m., it’s a jolt as drivers of all skill levels ply the roads. I’d hate to see what this is like during rush “hour.”

Along the way, I noticed the cars displayed a surprisingly limited number of personalized license plates. Sure, some employ parts of the Wingdings font — hearts, a star, a plus-sign, and a little hand — but there were no skulls, mailboxes, arrows, or clovers. (What’s up with that?) During the time I’ve been on the road, I’ve counted about a dozen different types. For comparison, Washington state has been issuing affinity plates like it was some kind of pyramid scheme. A good citizen might have his or her selection of the following designs (some, like Pearl Harbor Survivor, are obviously scrutinized more than, say, Southern Washington University):

Civil/Armed services:
Army
Air Force
Amateur (Ham) Radio
Coast Guard
Law Enforcement Memorial
Marines
National Guard
Navy
Medal of Honor
Pearl Harbor Survivor
Professional Fire Fighter and Paramedics
Purple Heart

Parks and Nature:
Endangered Wildlife
Washington Lighthouses
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Washington’s National Parks
Washington’s Wildlife Collection – Bear
Washington’s Wildlife Collection – Deer
Washington’s Wildlife Collection – Eagle
Washington’s Wildlife Collection – Elk
Washington’s Wildlife Collection – Killer Whale
Wild on Washington

Universities:
Central Washington U
Eastern Washington U
Evergreen State College
Gonzaga Alumni Association
U of Washington
Washington State U
Western Washington U

Random
Collector vehicle
Helping Kids Speak
jimc.in (just kidding)
Keep Kids Safe
Restored vehicle
Share the Road
Ski and Ride Washington
Square Dancer
Stadium (Mariners)
We Love Our Pets

It seems excessive, but with technological advances, I think everyone can have their own affinity plate. I therefore challenge you, gentle surfer, to suggest areas that haven’t already been issued..

11 thoughts on “Washington is more vain than California”

  1. It’s amusing to me that the San Diego Freeway doesn’t go to San Diego and certainly doesn’t exist in San Diego county.

    Fuddruckers is good, I guess I don’t think of them as SoCal exclusive because they were in Portland too. I follow the cliche of InNOut (mmm, animal style) when we go back.
    http://perljam.net/travel/socal/innout/

    -ted

  2. I bet Alien Abductee would sell too. I, of course, must suggest library themes – librarian, library lover, etc. 🙂

    Have I not visited in a looong time, or is that user pic brand new? It’s very disconcerting – it’s just not you! Well, not yet anyway, if you know what I mean!

    Rachael

  3. How about:
    “Possum Patrol”

    I like the idea of punitive vanity plates, such as:
    “DUI Conviction”, or
    “Caused an accident by:”
    -Talking on a cell phone
    -Eating a Mondo Burrito
    -Reading the paper
    -Playing with my GPS
    -Putting on Mascara
    -All of the above (simultaneously)

    I’ve got the Share The Road plates myself.

  4. “Punitive vanity plates” and bumper stickers have been done before. They work as a form of “Scarlet Letter” and have been upheld in court.

    How about requiring a driver to display the number of accidents and/or tickets they have received? Require the numbers to be displayed on the front and back. Look in a the mirror and spot a high number… watch out! :’)

  5. Would they be subject to truth-in-advertising laws?

    If not, I can see a whole lot of plates with words such as “sexy” and “goddess” and “smart” used quite inappropriately 🙂

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