Plates

I like looking at license plates. Not so much the standard issue plates, but the vanity plates are awesome. I really like trying to figure out what they mean.

Some, I find, are really easy. They basically spell out a person’s name or inform you that the driver has eight grandchildren.

Some aren’t so easy. Mine, for example, gets a lot of questions. It’s “SMAROG,” in case you were wondering. I was once asked if it was a Lord of the Rings reference and I ran with it. I said it was an obscure reference to the Balrog’s younger sibling, Smarog. They bought it. The real story actually deserves its own post and I’m a little surprised I haven’t written about it yet. Memo to self: tell the real story behind SMAROG. The short version is, it’s “Go Rams” backwards on a Bluefield College plate. Bluefield’s mascot is a ram.

Once, I saw a plate that read “12INDR.” I can only assume the car was owned by a podiatrist. Kinda hope I got that one right.

A friend of mine has the license plate “X118B,” which is the exit for Blacksburg off of the interstate.

This morning, on the way to work, I got behind a car from Pennsylvania whose plate had five simple numbers on it. “24601.”

Why does that number seem so familiar?

I began running through zip codes. I know it’s not Blacksburg, the town we’re in. At least, I think it isn’t. Suddenly I was second guessing my own zip code. No… Blacksburg is 24060. Is it Bluefield? The town that’s home to my alma mater, I’m certain, begins with a 246… but isn’t it 24605?

Then I said it out loud a few times. Then I sang it. 24601

Ah… Jean Valjean… Les Miserables

Now I’ve got “Look Down” stuck in my head. All day.

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