…of what I expect will be a very long series. First up, then – personalised number plates. I remember explaining the British number plate system to a German friend, and almost causing him to choke on his beer when I revealed how much people will pay for a particularly apt plate. I suppose if you could get AB 1, assuming your initials were AB, then it might be worth a bob or two, but actually, who cares? Well, quite a lot of people it seems, judging by the lengths people go to in order to have something approximating to a name on their plate.
The worst kind are the ones which have no discernible meaning, but which have to be imaginatively reinterpreted to yield some kind of name. You know the ones – a B can kind of be fashioned by putting a 1 and a 3 close together, or a 5 stands duty for an S. Really desperate ones also use a strategically placed screw with a black cap to sort of make a 1 into an L. I saw one recently where J2NNE was supposed to spell Jenny. How do I know? Because of the most tragic aspect of the enterprise, in which the owner has to put what the plate is supposed to spell in very small letters under the actual registration number.
My all time favourite was one such, although this was not on a personalised plate. No, under a perfectly ordinary plate, someone had seen fit to have added “Jeanina Topping BSc (Hons) QTS”. Maybe the car was a graduation present from Mummy and Daddy Topping…

CC BY-SA 4.0 Little things for which I have an irrational loathing. Number 1 by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.