Most American states have pithy slogans printed on their vehicle license plates. But do the slogans truly represent the state? I think not.
Note to the humor-impaired: this article is intended as humor. If you have no sense of humor, you will probably be offended. As they say on some other website, if you find something in this article that doesn't offend you, please notify us immediately so it can be fixed.
You've got to feel sorry for the people in West Virginia, with all those movies depicting them as mutant hillbilly cannibals. These movies have a common theme: a bunch of ordinary people from elsewhere (known to the locals as "thin rich people") go camping in W.Va. and one by one they're turned into vichyssoise by nose-picking, cousin-marrying mutant cannibillies in rusty pickup trucks with no mufflers who chase them through the redwoods and ... wait a minute ... redwoods in West Virginia?
If West Virginia ever gets the bomb, you have one guess which state will get it right between the Academy Awards.
A recent study showed that, in fact, more than 95% of the people in W.Va. are not cannibals. It made big news out there. So why, they ask, does every movie about W.Va. have to have cannibals in it? I myself have driven through the state several times, and I haven't been eaten once. However, I did get bitten a few times.
Oh, and another tip for the makers of these movies: West Virginia does not issue front license plates. They may or may not all be cannibals out there, but let's get the automotive details right, okay?
Original: Wild, Wonderful
New: Nuke Hollywood
There's a line of thinking that says license plate slogans should reflect the most common phrases that drivers say to each other. In New York, known as the Birthplace of Road Rage, that falls into two equal camps: those who say, "Get out of my way, a**hole!" and those who say, "Drop Dead, A**hole!"
Original: The Empire State
New: Drop Dead, A**hole
New Hampshire unquestionably has the coolest license plate slogan. The image in the background is that of the Old Man of the Mountain, a granite cliff that collapsed and died in 2003. So you know they're not kidding around. Not only that, but many of them are armed. In New Hampshire, the license plates aren't made by prisoners as they are in other states. But that's because of outsourcing, not because the prisoners are all dead. How about, "Give me liberty or give you death!"? No, not as catchy.Original: Live Free Or Die
Many other states are inspired by New Hampshire's slogan. In 1985, the State of Wisconsin asked the public for suggestions for a new one. Unfortunately, although they received over 46,000 suggestions (of which several had something to do with license plates), "Eat Cheese or Die" wasn't selected, and "Got milk?" was already taken. So they were stuck with "America's Dairyland." It could have been worse: Oklahoma's license plate used to say, "Oklahoma is OK." That's one step above, "It doesn't suck too much." That's a subjective assessment.
Original: America's Dairyland
New: Eat Cheese or Die
Pennsylvania's slogan used to be, "You've got a friend in!", which sounds like one of those local colloquialisms that people in Pennsylvania always say, like "We want paid!", "Drink some wudder", and "Get Us the Hell Outta Here!". "You've got a friend in" didn't quite fit with a state that nobody loves. Even their own elected representative in Washington, John Murtha, hated them. Yet, even after he called them a bunch of dumb racists, they re-elected him. Like the people in nearby PNCburgh, they are so used to being insulted, they don't even notice it anymore.
It's a definite improvement over their short-lived "Save Wild Animals" license plate, featuring an image of a Bengal tiger, which is only found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. It was a nice try, but too late: the last time a tiger voluntarily set foot in Pennsylvania was 11,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene era. It was probably killed off by the Pennsylvania Kangaroo or the deadly Pennsylvania Platypus.
So they changed their slogan to Pennsylvania's Web address. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough space to write the address that 99% of the people use when searching for stuff about Pennsylvania on the Internet.
And if some Hollywood producer out there is thinking of making a movie about mutant Pennsylvania cannibals chonking their way through a flock of sex-crazed teenagers, just remember: there are no front license plates in Pennsylvania, either.
New: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q= pennsylvania&aq=&aqi=&aq=f&aqi= g10&oq=&fp= 52e6b42fd182dbd5
Alabama's slogan--"Large Objects From Outer Space Fell On Us"--explains a lot about why Alabama is the way it is. The large objects, of course, are stars, not asteroids or frozen chunks of restroom debris from UFOs, which is surprising considering how many UFOs have been spotted there. But you've got to consider, what's the alternative? The Refrigerator On Cinder Blocks in Our Front Yard State?
Original: Stars Fell On
New: Large Objects From Outer Space Fell On
In honor of National Chain Gang Week.
New: What We've Got Here Is
"Aloha" means both "hello" and "goodbye." So what Hawaiians are really saying with the phrase "The Aloha State" is, "Yankee Go Home!" And notice the rainbow icon: many people are not aware of the fact that everyone in Hawaii is gay.
Original: The Aloha State
New: Yankee Go Home
Here in the USA (motto: "We're number 25!"), we take pride in our skill with foreign languages, even French. The slogan for the Canadian province of Quebec (pronounced "Q-beck") is "Je me souviens," which means either "I remember myself" or "I see my rear end."
Original: Je me souviens (I remember)
Most of Mexico's license plates don't have slogans. Of course, who needs stupid slogans when your states have names like "Chihuahua"? You'll have a chance to get used to Mexican license plates: if our politicians get their way, the US-Mexico border will be in South Dakota before long.
Original: Tierra de Encuentro (Land of Encounter)