Note to Self

Ever since it was announced that there would be an Arizona Diamondbacks license plate I have been eager to order one to show my support for the team. When our annual renewal period for our right-wing, gas-guzzling, environmentally-irresponsible Chevrolet Suburban came due the Diamondbacks plates were still not available. Within 2 weeks after that the state of Arizona announced their availability. This happened to align very well with my more left-wing, gas-miser, eco-friendly Honda license renewal. Given the fact that I have named my car “Chase” (since that is primarily where it goes), it seemed appropriate that I would have a Diamondbacks license plate attached to that car. I braved a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles and ordered my plate. All that was left now was to wait.

I was told when I ordered the plate that it could take 6 to 8 weeks before it arrived. This was very confusing to me. I try to read the paper regularly and from what I had been able to understand from the Arizona Republic newspaper crime was up and so were prosecutions. That would seem to suggest that prison populations were also on the rise hence more labor was available which could be used to make license plates. So from my calculations, the amount of time between ordering a new license plate and receiving it should actually be getting shorter rather than longer. I just don’t get Department of Motor Vehicle math. Asking for an explanation at the DMV is equivalent to requesting that the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office please translate the rules of baseball into Latin. Sure it would be interesting to see what the Designated Hitter rule looked like in a dead language but probably not the best use of anyone’s time. Instead I sighed and succumbed to the fact that I probably would not see my new plate until All-Star break. I was therefore surprised to find an envelope from the Department of Motor Vehicles in my mailbox when I went to retrieve the mail.

There it was an envelope the size, weight, and stiffness of a license plate sitting right on top of my June issue of D-backs Insider Magazine. D-backs Insider Magazine; awesome I have been waiting for that! I immediately grabbed the mail and rushed back to the house to begin reading D-backs Insider for the inside story of my favorite Diamondbacks players. I was totally mesmerized by the cover that featured a picture of Randy Johnson in the white home jersey and Sedona Red hat. It was not a picture I expected to see, Randy was smiling! At first I thought maybe someone at the Diamondbacks had gotten a copy of Adobe PhotoShop and did a vertical flip on Randy’s mouth but the picture didn’t look like it had been modified. This photo was as foreign to me as an American League pitcher in the batter’s box. The other thing about the cover photo was that Randy was wearing a Sedona Red undershirt under his jersey. I have been searching for one of these Nike or Under Armour shirts all season and I’m still looking. There it was mocking me. I rushed to Trina to show her the Diamondbacks magazine and to give her a none too subtle hint that I really would like one of those Sedona Red undershirts to go under my Diamondbacks jerseys. Trina seemed pretty passive towards both the strange photo of Randy smiling and the Sedona Red undershirt dilemma.

From that point on I began reading D-backs Insider cover to cover. I had completely forgotten about the other mail (and about shutting the front door which resulted in Trina again asking if I had been born in a barn. I have no idea why she keeps asking that; she has seen my birth certificate and it clearly shows no barns were used in the birth of this baby). While I was reading the article on Livan Hernandez Trina found the other mail strewn across the table and asked if the DMV envelope was my new license plate.

I had totally forgotten about that so I set the magazine down and went to see. I opened the envelope from the State of Arizona and inside was two personalized Diamondbacks license plates. They were the coolest things I had ever seen. My license number boldly stood out in black letters on the Sedona Red and Sonoran Sand background with the watermarked “D” logo. At the top was “Arizona” while on the bottom was centered the word “D-Backs” both in the new team script font. The upper left had the new “A” logo in Sedona Red and black. In the upper right was the area for the renewal sticker which was included with the plates. There are actually 2 stickers. The first is the yearly sticker which shows when the plate expires. The other sticker shows the month that the plate expires. On the back of these stickers are instructions of how and where to place them on the plate. The year sticker stated that it goes in the upper right hand corner and that the plate should be cleaned of any dirt or debris before installing. I grabbed some rubbing alcohol and one of the towels hanging in the bathroom and cleaned the plate. After allowing the alcohol residue to evaporate I affixed the sticker and admired my work. I went to show Trina who became very agitated. I had no idea a license plate with a sticker was so exciting so I was confused by her response. It seems it was not the plate that had her fired up but rather the fact that I used her good “show towels” to clean the plate. This is something that guys just don’t get. Why in the world would you have a towel set out that you are not supposed to use? Towels should be utilitarian and fair game for whenever you have wet hands or need to wipe the grease off of something. We don’t have the patience for categorized towels.

While Trina was searching for an “appropriate towel” for me to use to adhere the second sticker I was reading the instructions to make sure I put it on correctly. The back of the month sticker said to place it in the upper left hand corner of the license plate. I looked at the Diamondbacks plate then re-read the instructions again. Something was not right. If I followed the instructions as outlined then I would be installing the month sticker directly over the top of the Arizona Diamondbacks logo. That was completely messed up! The bottom two corners of the license plate had absolutely nothing on them but the DMV in their infinite wisdom decided to cover up the team logo. It was obvious that these instructions were written by a Yankees fan. That was the only explanation I could think of. This was completely unacceptable. There was no way I was going to do that. Trina warned me that deviating from the prescribed sticker location could have legal implications. I responded that covering up the Diamondbacks logo could have mojo implications and I would just have to explain that to any policeman who stopped me and asked me why my sticker was incorrectly adhered. Quite honestly, if I get pulled over for sticker misalignment then we have way too many policemen with too much time on their hands. I’ll take my chances and affix the sticker to a lower corner of the license plate. With this done I installed the plate on my car and stood back to admire my car with its new plates. Each neighbor that came out I motioned over so that they too could admire how well the team plate looked on my car. Not once did anyone of them mention the fact that the sticker was in the wrong place so I am wondering how important that really is. I went back in the house to return to my D-backs Insider magazine proud of what I had accomplished today. I also made a note to myself to send an email to the DMV and the Governor’s office suggesting that they modify the law for license plate sticker location and/or fire the Yankee fan who is writing these bogus instructions.

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