Dolphin With Rabies

Life on beautiful Cape Cod.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Massachusetts License Plates for Cape Codders

What does your license plate say about you?

Red, White, and Blue Plates
aka "The Spirit of America" plate, aka "Dukakis' Folly"

Congratulations! You're probably a Cape Coddah! Or at least you look like one. You live here year round, and possibly have never lived anywhere else.

You might vacation in Florida, but nowhere else. Oh wait, you might have been to Maine or Block Island.

You might own a scanner, and listen to it frequently.

When you encounter local cops in the grocery store, you bring up specific incidents that required their presence, and tell them what they should have done differently.

The administration at your Town Hall rolls their eyes when you yet again walk in the door.

You fret about your property taxes, and enthuse about finding good stuff at the dump.

Your vehicle was purchased used, is probably American, and is either a pickup truck or SUV actually used for your work, or an oversized sedan with no pretense to character.

Green and White Plates
aka "Is that old thing still around?"

Everything said about the owners of Red, White and Blue Plates also applies to you, but more so.

You don't like change of any kind and you don't like to spend money.

For the love of all that's holy, you haven't bought a new car since Dukakis! Damn, but you're cheap!

Right Whale Plates
aka There's a whale on my license plate.

You're probably a washashore, because no real Cape Codder would spend extra money on a license plate.

In a previous life, you may have been a young urban professional.

You know there are spices other than salt and pepper, and sauces other than ketchup.

You know your house has been assessed accurately, and your property taxes are fair.

You live here year round, but your neighbors can tell that you're not from around here.

They think you may have had something to do with pesky regulations preventing them from disposing of oil in their backyard, and shutting down the yearly Piping Plover fricassee.

But they're afraid to say anything to your face, because they'll probably work for you one day.

Your car is either a visibly new foreign compact, a gas-guzzling minivan with a Cape Cod Museum of Natural History sticker, or a rusty beater held together by environmental stickers.

Cape and Islands Plates
"Look at the cute lighthouse! Isn't it cunning!"

There are two types of people that own this plate.

The first,

You're probably a non-resident taxpayer, and should immediately sell your overpriced mini-mansion to a real Cape Coddah.

You're way too into this whole Cape and Islands thing, and have redecorated the entire house, the front yard, and the cat in a "nawtical" theme.

You would have decorated the children, except that they don't live here. You never let anyone forget that the children don't live here because you're always complaining about your property taxes supporting local schools.

The second,

You're probably a local business owner in the service industry, proud that your license plate supports the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

You believe all that hooey the Chamber publishes about Cape Cod's recreational options rivaling the combined efforts of the French Rivera and Disneyworld.

You also believe that Cape Cod motels are actually hotels, and that fine dining is a way of life here.

Either one of you might drive a laughably overpriced land yacht American luxury sedan, a laughably overpriced giant SUV or a hideously expensive European sports car.

For both types, local service people cringe when they see you coming. You know everyone by name and you're a larger than average fish in a small pool.

Woe betide the counter person that doesn't know your "usual" or the drycleaning clerk who asks for payment in advance, because you'll probably call up their boss and bitch.

The Brook Trout Plate
aka the plate with the big fish on it.

You like to fish.

A lot.

It's your life.

Stop it, you're scaring us.

Other than that, everything said about the owners of Red, White and Blue plates applies to you.

Vanity Plates
There are two types of people that own vanity plates on Cape Cod.

The first,

You're not a real Cape Coddah! No suh! No real Cape Coddah would waste good money on a vanity plate!

The second,

You're a successful local business owner that has the name of your business somehow expressed on your vanity plate.

For the ultimate in the battle between old money values and modern conspicuous consumption, the acronym of your business's name may be so obscure that no casual reader can figure it out.

Other Massachusetts License Plates that you'll rarely see on Cape Cod.

The Blackstone Valley Plate "Isn't that somewhere over the bridge? Near New York?"

Invest in Children Plate "My property taxes already support local schools! My kids are out of school and I already pay too much money for children that aren't even mine! Them lazy teachers should be grateful for their jobs!"

Olympic Spirit Plate "There's an Olympic license plate? I love that figure skating, them figure skaters are something else."

There's also three new plates that have just been issued, but I haven't seen them enough to get a feel for who requests them. Give me time, give me time.