flick stick folk


The car ahead duly stopped at the crossing, but the brake lights didn’t come on.

As the driver turned into the supermarket car park, I was still immediately behind and as luck would have it we found neighbouring parks.

Bec, I think you need to get your rear lights checked, I said as we headed up the ramp side by side.

Really? Thanks for telling me,” she said.

She found me five minutes later in the freezer section – a tub of Connoisseur butterscotch and gingerbread ice-cream in hand. That stuff is insanely good!

Umm, thanks again, but I have to ask you, like how did you know my name?”

Well, your car has personalised number plates, and there’s a fair chance that you are one and the same.

I can also be pretty confident you have a cat, like pink, and – if that sticky outline of where your partner decal used to be is anything to go by – are recently single

OMG that’s amazing, are you like psychic or something?” She stepped a little closer and looking around furtively, whispered: “Are we … on television?”

Suddenly I felt myself developing a headache and face-palmed my ice-cream.

It’s not enough that people wear their heart on their SUVs.

Increasingly cars contain the entire social nomenclature of the owner’s clan right down to the family goldfish.

Poor things already live in glass bowls: are they entitled to no privacy whatsoever?

Vehicles have become like a new age form of heraldry, only instead of conveying dragons smote, holy crusades enjoined, it’s about the family members’ occupations and leisure activities in order of height.

But, imagine someone’s bad day just got a whole heap worse when they get stuck behind you in the Burnley Tunnel.

Is it really a good idea to keep semaphoring pig-tailed twins playing violins?

Time was you could provide quite useful information to police just by remembering the number plate was black on yellow.

You could also play endless games on road trips where you’d have to come up with a phrase to match number plate letters.

DWAYNE kind of spoils the fun

These days number plates present such a personalised, customised bewildering range of possibilities you’re more likely to take note of the stick figures on the rear window.

Newsflash: Police are seeking the driver of a gold Forester that failed to stop at the scene of a serious accident. Witnesses report the vehicle owner’s second oldest son hanglides and has a rabbit.

But, even the police don’t like them.

Law enforcement agencies abroad have warned cute car decals may be giving too much information to criminals.

Personally I take no pride in the fact the ubiquitous My Family stickers that now smother the car rear windows of the world – including versions to denote members undergoing national service and a multitude of winter sports for Scandinavian folk – were invented by an Australian couple.

Even the parody versions including geek Star Trek, Zombie and Crazy Cat woman families can no longer raise a smile.

My own car is a studied example of anonymity.

In fact I can’t even tell you exactly what colour it is, other than to describe it as that sort of low-key metallic bronze that passes for beige these days.

Now, I just need to figure out where I parked it.


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