Vanity plates help drivers express certain aspects of themselves to others on the open road. But what they mean is both in the eye of the beholder and the intention of the creator.
So, let’s play a little game here.
Imagine what you could do with it and how it would affect others around you when they saw it. Think about what the driver of a car with the vanity plate IMACOP could and would do with such a self-imposed title.
(I’m gonna wait here for you to think about it, for just a little bit…)
(Seriously, this piece isn’t going anywhere without you…)
This isn’t exactly an American Psychological Association-approved Rorschach Test, but I do think it can serve as an Alignment Test, a Dungeons and Dragons grid that categorizes based on one’s ethics. Even if you haven’t heard of an Alignment Test, you’ve probably seen it in a meme:
So where from ‘Lawful Good’ to ‘Chaotic Evil’ does your IMACOP fall? Let’s take a joyride through the options.
Your IMACOP car is letting others know they have an ally on the road. People in need of help may expect you to be there for them, and that is part of the vanity plate’s job, even if it means you need to make extra stops.
Your IMACOP car is a hopeful deterrent to bad behavior. If others see your car, they may slow down and drive more safely, but in the end you aren’t expected to provide roadside assistance just because of a vanity plate.
Your IMACOP car is here to make sure that no one is getting ahead of you. Thanks to intimidation tactics and playing off of societal fear, when others afford you an inch, you take it every time. You are happy to cash in on the power of others thinking you are authority.
Your IMACOP car might occasionally disobey a “No Turn on Red” sign, but only if nobody’s around. You aren’t out here to make sure everyone is playing by the rules, but you hope that your presence might steer people into making unselfish decisions.
Your IMACOP car has nothing to do with anyone else. To be honest, you can’t be bothered to care how others react to driving near you. Maybe they think you are a cop and will drive a bit more hesitantly, but maybe they will understand that a cop would not likely broadcast it with a license plate and be in on the joke. You really can’t control it and dont have any intention of doing so.
Your IMACOP car enjoys messing with people by driving up next to them and ahead of them just to see them squirm. On occasion you may even break out the old “You know I’d have to tell you if I was actually a cop…” game on paranoid bystanders. What’s really wrong about seeing how much you can get away with?
Your IMACOP car listens to Rage Against the Machine and dares the actual cops to pull you over and question you about your license plate even though you weren’t doing anything. You are always prepared, knowing your rights, and engaging conversation with a chipper, “What seems to be wrong, officer?”
Your IMACOP car derives pleasure from confusing cops and civilians alike. There’s something perversely satisfying in seeing the way so many people change their behaviors, even if they were never doing anything wrong to begin with. It’s really a pretty interesting social experiment, don’t you think?
Your IMACOP car is happy to use perceived power anywhere and everywhere. You will speed around others, watch as lanes clear around you, and leave hysteria in your wake. You wonder if you can take it to the next level and try to pull someone over.