Friday, October 14, 2005


This endless rain reminds me that soon enough we'll have endless snow. (If we're lucky. My husband gets very sad when the conditions aren't good enough to ski.)

Anyway, walking through the parking at lot at work, I'm once again reminded how you can tell a New Englander's car from, say, a Floridian's. It's the front license plate, of course.

Not the fact that we have them--some states require both a front and rear plate, others just a rear--but the fact that any New England car of greater than one year's vintage has a crumpled front plate. Nearly everyone's cars (including my own) show the dings, bends, and dents of running into snowbanks or pushing into curbs.

You could cover the state name on a Vermont, Mass., New Hampshire, or Maine plate and still guess the region it comes from, based on its condition--just as you can see hail dents on a hood and take a good guess that the vehicle spends a lot of its time in Texas or Oklahoma.

License plates are tough--they bend and bow long before they break. But like human faces, they show their life experience in their cracks and creases.


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