There was a car parked in front of my house the other day sporting a vanity plate that read "IL SUE U" (pictured). And I thought, "wow, that guy must be a jerk." Which got me wondering, who would want a license plate like that -- that would almost force people to make (often negative) assumptions about you without even meeting you? Why would you want to telegraph, via the bumper of your car, that you're litigious and greedy? (Note to guy: please don't sue me.)
Then again, depending on what's on the plate, I suppose it's kind of like wearing a silly tee-shirt; it all depends on what you want to telegraph about yourself. (In the case of our mental_floss shirts, you're telegraphing how cool and smart you are.) So I got my Google on, and found out just how outrageous vanity license plates can be. More than anything, it made me wonder who's approving these things -- some are NSFW!
It's amazing to me that this stuff gets by the DMV. But if it's appropriate for our nation's highways, it's appropriate for this blog!