It is a cultural bias, I suppose. Something attitudinal ingrained by
habit and experience. In my case probably the phrase 'allergic
reaction' describes it. But it is a reaction which leaves me quite
content on the cusp of irrational. So more accurately, this ambience
is a distress that contains a form of happiness. A place to wallow
like a hippo on a hot afternoon.
of course to the "vanity plate". A rare sight in the hills
and dales where I live. Here, except for the young people and those
who have yet to condone the expression 'late for work', my sense of place
has a harmony with slow. Occasionally progress is further delayed by
older vehicles pausing to discuss the price of yurts, perhaps. An
exchange were usually a third, or fourth opinion is welcomed, and for the
sake of harmony what difference might ten minutes actually make.
But some weeks ago I travelled the roads to another place. There,
life is very different. There life is what I will call, 'a harmony
with self, exemplified by the vanity plate'. This is a juxtaposition
that promises a quicker solution than that offered by the fans of
eugenics. In short, I have decided, there is a connection between
the 'vanity plate' and civil mindedness. In such a court I would
serve as the hanging judge. And I say this because I am old enough
to understand there are a few precious exceptions to every rule.
On Interstate 81, in the commonwealth of
Virginia, I found myself beside "ITS DEB". "ITS
DEB" had a cell phone, a happy meal and a penchant for maintaining
control of the fast lane. Behind "ITS DEB" was
"5 OV US", a shiny red thing which appeared to be trying to mount
"ITS DEB", because I could see no distance whatsoever between the
respective vehicles. Worse "ITS DEB" encouraged these amorous
advances. She responding to flashing lights by slowing down.
Behind "5 OV US" was
"TROTSKY". A reference I decided to Horsy-culture.
Because "TROTSKY" had pink ponies in the back window. In
direct succession came "ABC ME", "CUTEIM", and "AEG
97". All of them in lather of passion for "ITS DEB" I
guessed. Their behavior was absolutely appalling.
It was the public spectacle I
think. An example of a sense of self unallied to any notion of
traditional decency. An assertion of importance that does not go well
with 'look at me' unless the world I know is quietly coming to an end.
Vaguely, I understood why the orthodox are prudish. Worse still,
my view of the median strip was completely disrupted through that part of 81
where stands of Vipers Bugloss are in June at their most glorious.
Today, having made the trip into town -
one manure spreader - one hay baler - one two vehicle and lawnmower conversation
- one 'Bush Quale' sticker - and a road crew.
Imagine my sense of gloom when I spotted a "4 DEB" in the parking
lot at the Post Office.