Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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A Note on Vanity Plates

[Editor’s Note: I got this email this morning from my friend Lisa, after reading it and laughing quite a bit, I asked her if she’d mind if I posted it to the site. She said “no, I wouldn’t mind.” So here it is.]

I’m not really sure why I feel the need to share this in an e-mail but
I’m going to so just bear with me (or ignore it, I will probably never
know the difference).

I HATE vanity plates. I always have. They bother me in a way that I
cannot adequately describe in words (though I am going to try). Do
people think it makes them special to have dopey, usually
misspelled/truncated words that only sometimes make sense to the
general population? Are they too good for the randomly arranged
combination of letters and numbers that the rest of us make due with?

Today I was particularly perturbed (even irked) by two that I saw on
my way to work. The first one said ‘punk’. Now, I give this person
credit for having a correctly spelled word. However, this license
plate appeared on a brand new Saab. That I saw in the parking lot of a
Starbucks. In Darien. I can only hope that this person was taking a
stab at being ironic. (Although a license plate is certainly not the
place for irony. But I digress…) Either way I feel that ‘tool’ or
‘douchebag’ would probably have been more appropriate.

The other license plate didn’t offend me as much, I just thought it
was dum. (See how I left the ‘b’ off of the end of the word. Because I
know how to spell it, but it’s so dumb that it’s dum. Get it? Look at
how clever I am. Ok back to my point.) This one said ‘burger’. Once
again, spelled correctly (bonus points there). I just couldn’t figure
out why someone would want that as a license plate. Does he/she like
to eat burgers? Does he/she want to be a burger? Does he/she work at
McDonald’s? Was this person called a cow in high school? Does this
‘burger’ have some deep, inner meaning that mere mortals (such as
myself) are unaware of? Is it some sort of riddle? (Although let’s be
honest, license plates are NOT the place for deep thinking of any
sort). Perhaps he/she wants to piss off the people that are stuck
behind him/her. In which case, mission fucking accomplished.

So there. I feel much better now. Happy Friday.


P.S. A note on Starbucks: I am an addict. What the hell do they put in
their coffee? Crack? I literally cannot stop drinking it.

Lisa really likes encyclopedias and Jane Austen novels.

April 1, 2005