December 24, 2008

Merry F*@%$#& Christmas From the DMV

I was feeling the Christmas love until I got to the bottom of the mail pile today. In addition to a few Netflix (yay! Christmas love from Netflix!) and a Christmas card from my aunt and uncle in Cincinnati (yay! Christmas love from Cincinnati!), there was an envelope containing some brand spanking new license plates from the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.


My husband recently purchased a new car, but he transferred his plates, so they couldn't possibly be for him. My vehicle registration expires at the end of December, and I sent in my check for $75 bucks a few weeks ago, and I got the paper registration certificate in the mail with a note saying my stickers or plates "(if applicable)" would be coming in a separate envelope. Given that I was just renewing my plates, these new ones couldn't possibly be for me, either.

Someone must have made a terrible mistake.

I was quick to assume it was the mailman's fault. Don't even get me started on our mailman. If there's the slightest breeze, he will refuse to deliver packages. He'll drop off a "We tried to deliver a package but you weren't home" notice in a pile of mail that he *hands* to me if I happen to be outside when he approaches the house. (These notices also rarely indicate whether the package will be at the post office or if he will "attempt" to redeliver the next day.)

But I digress.

There I was, thinking ill of our mailman. Thinking he'd deprived one of our neighbors of their new license plates on Christmas Eve. But then I noticed the plates were addressed to me. And I looked more closely at my registration certificate, which no longer bore my familiar plate number, TTT-***. The asterisks denote numbers that I shall not reveal here, but I will tell you that the first and third digits are the same, which adds a nice symmetry to the numeric portion of the plate. And of course, my first name starting with a T, I really enjoyed having TTT start off my license plate number. It was as if my car was calling out my name (three times!) in a vast parking lot of non-me-related vehicles. TTT-*** has graced the front and back bumper of five cars I've owned or leased since 1997. Eleven years is a long time, people. I'd really come to identify with that license plate number.

All that goodness has come to an end, thanks to the DMV. Those bastards sent me license plates with some crappy-ass new number that involves no Ts, no easily recognizable acronyms, no numeric symmetry, and does not lend itself well to a januty song. I'm not saying that I *always* sang my license plate number, but sometimes I did, and it made me happy.

What was their justification for foisting these new P.O.S. license plates on me? The letter contains a reference to an unnamed "Wisconsin law" that supposedly requires the replacement of "older plates." Cite me the statute, you jerks! And what constitutes an "older plate", pray tell? "Older" as in, "It's been a while since we charged you for new plates...let's do it!"? Or "older" as in, "Your plates have the letters first and the numbers last; we'd prefer to change that up on you. Because? Because we can. Because we've got 'Wisconsin law' on our side."

Frankly, I think this is one of the sad, seldom-told consequences of prison over-population. They've got too many inmates making too many license plates, and inventory storage costs being what they are, what's a DMV to do? Ship out new plates to unsuspecting citizens, citizens like me who had grown (perhaps unreasonably, I'm willing to admit) fond of their plate numbers. Oh the humanity!

So now I'm left with no choice but to affix these stupid new license plates to my car -- under penalty of "Wisconsin law." And what's the new plate number? ***-PGN.

PGN? WTF is more like it!

I did a quick Google search to see what products, organizations, or scientific concepts use PGN as their abbreviation, and here's the short list. It's pretty bleak.
  • Philadelphia Gay News (for the gay Pennsylvanian in me)
  • Portable Game Notation (for the chess geek in me)
  • The NYSE ticker symbol for Progress Energy, Inc. (for the savvy investor in me)
None of these really speak to me on any level. But what's a girl to do? I'm sure my elected officials have bigger fish to fry than to intercede with the DMV on behalf of a saddened constituent. I think my only shot is to complain to the DMV that "PGN" offends me because I don't want my car to be a rolling advertisement for the pagan lifestyle.

Merry Christmas, indeed!

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