Sunday, January 27, 2008

Out with the old tags and in with the new - booo

My now-retired pair of Maine "Vacationland" chickadee license plates, above, were replaced this week by a single Florida "" orange tag. I miss the old ones already.

I've been neglecting The Offlede recently for the sake of mundane errands and some book reading I've been putting off since I started this blog.

I'm reading Tulane University historian Douglas Brinkley's 600-something-page clunker titled "The Great Deluge" about Hurricane Katrina. I liked it at first, but by page 500, I realized I was being sucked into a void of rambling anecdotes and misdirected criticism. No matter what went wrong in the governmental response, it was President Bush's fault - as if he were a god in control of the weather.

(Dear Almighty Bush: Please make it colder here in Florida. Amen. ...)

"Deluge" does well to dispel the myth that New Orleans was a virtual Baghdad - bullets having to be swatted at like flies - but it's a rather dense conglomeration of liberal rantings. It drowns the reader. No doubt, the federal government was partially to blame. But more of the onus rests on Big Easy Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Katherine Blanco, both Democrats.

But whatever. I'm almost done the book. Like the good ones, all bad things must come to an end, too.

And a month after I first tried to get my Florida license plate, I finally did get the citrus-adorned piece of metal. I had problems transferring the title because my father's name was on it, too.

It's a shame really. I'll miss the Maine chickadee plate, the number on which I had firmly embedded into my brain. Ask me my new Florida tag ID and I couldn't even give you the first number. Or is it a letter? I can't remember.

The other disgrace is that Floridians (me included now, I guess) only get a single plate to screw into the rear of their vehicles. Is this a cost-cutting measure? Wouldn't more crimes be solved if witnesses who saw only the front bumper of the getaway vehicle were able to write down the plate number?

Maine is not cheap like Florida. In Vacationland, drivers get one plate for the front AND one for the back. But now here in the Sunshine State, the snout of my Chevy Prizm is naked, left, covered up only with a smearing of brown dirt and rotting insect corpses that have built up over the years in a place that no car wash brush would fit. Hmm. Another drawback of getting a new license plate: Now, I have to wash my car. Bummer. More mundane activities are in my future.

The idea for this post was triggered by a reader e-mail. Thanks, reader.


Anonymous said...

I personally hate having 2 licence plates. Not all vehicles have an attractive place to put it on the front. Plus, I also view it as either more gov't waste or more gov't price gouging to the average law abiding citizen.

Andrew Knapp said...

Well, fine. I just need something to cover up that naked spot on the front of my car. Maybe I'll advertise The Offlede there.