Pass on the Party Plates…

When we moved here a few years ago, I said to Mike, “What the hell are all these people from New Mexico doing in Cleveland?”
What led me to think that Cleveland was a popular destination for New Mexicans was the bright yellow license plates with red letters. Although this IS the New Mexico license plate color combination, in Ohio it means you have been busted for a DUI. That’s right. A scarlet letter for repeat offenders. Drive drunk, get caught, and you can be branded for a long, long time with a yellow and red license plate. (It sucks if you are really from New Mexico. Everyone must think you are a drunk driver)
They call these license plates “Family Plates” officially, but natives call them “Party Plates.” I admit that when I see a car with these plates I try to catch a glimpse of the driver and I totally judge them. Some of them seem to still be driving around a little schnickered up. Some I feel bad for, as they look like they are working hard to pay off the big fine that goes with the plate and jail time. Others, I am convinced, just got busted for a few too many cocktails after a long day at the firm (ala Boston Legal).
Last Saturday, I was behind another party plate owner that was not any of these. This dude was in a red 1980ish Firebird with the roof off/open, blasting ACDC and playing the airdrums. I think he would get a vanity party plate if he could. Maybe it would say “TAKILLYA”. He was rockin’ out in his black muscle shirt. “She was a fast machine she kept her motor clean..” All I could think was, “Man, I hope you’re keeping YOUR motor clean.”
But it’s not looking good.

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