ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: License tag enlightenment

© Another Day in the Country

There’s a file on my laptop that says “Ideas for Another Day.” It’s my attempt at being organized with all the scraps of paper that I jot ideas on. On a slow day I write a sentence or two regarding the idea and file it away.

There is one idea called “License Tag Enlightenment” that I’ve been tossing around for quite some time.

I heard a passing comment by someone who said that you could get a quick read of how you were feeling or what was worrying you by putting together a phrase with the letters you see on a license plates.

I tried doing this near home and got very frustrated. For one thing, it’s hard to read license plates on country roads. You don’t meet all that many cars, and when you do they zip by or you pass them and drive off into the sunset.

I did see one, because it was included with the note for the idea for this column: BPY — Be Patient (with) Yourself.

Since it was hard to find license plates to jumpstart this article, I said to myself, just wait until I get to California! Napa Valley is the perfect place to see different letters on license plates because you often are caught in traffic and instead of just getting frustrated you can amuse yourself and psychoanalyze yourself at the same time.

This time, I grabbed my phone and started writing them down. We were caught on the freeway, heading to Sacramento to visit friends, and the traffic was moving about 10 m.p.h. That makes for a long commute! There was no apparent reason for the slow pace, but we were just creeping along. Plenty of time to read license plates.

“There’s one,” I said to my daughter.

“RRU — Really Reliable Underwear,” Jana said with a grin.

Mine was “Restless Redundant Underling,” because my grandson was jiggling his foot against my seat in his frustration over the slow pace.

The fun of this game is that you get to know people. It tells you something about your state of mind and is a conversation starter.

Another day I found LAM — Literally About Money, and the next car was EMW — Easy Money Wins. Then there was NDS — Not During Summer and UQK (a tricky one) — Understanding Quirky Kooks.

The idea is not to think about this but just to blurt something out. As I recorded letter combinations (and my response) for future reference, I wrote BIKE automatically, then stopped.

“That’s longer than usual,” I said, then realizing it actually said MYBIKE. It was someone’s vanity plate.

On subsequent trips I found WBF — Why Bother Father (it was around Father’s Day), and NMP — Not My Problem.

The plates with an X or a Z in the equence are the most difficult. Take EXX, for instance, I was stumped. EZX also was a difficult one.

AWZ was tricky but I came up with Always Wild Zebras. While I was in the traffic jam, I recorded a bunch that I didn’t put phrases to: YTD, SPS, EZX, WBZ, STD (two bits you said Sexually Transmitted Disease, so come up with something else) IMG, and BCA.

I know this is silly, but it is better than complaining about traffic!

You may want to try this with your kids in the car and see what they come up with. It’s one way to get to know your family and a great way to pass time when you are in the car. My big tip is BCH — Big City Helps!

It’s another day in the country, and I’m staying home for now; but you just might want to take a drive and get some therapy in the process!

Last modified July 28, 2016