One of the interesting details about life in the United States is that different states have different registration requirements for cars. So, if you happened to buy a car, in say, Mississippi, all you had to do initially was attach one (1) license plate to the back. But if you move that car to, say, New York State, you have to re-register the car AND you need two (2) license plates, one on the front and one on the back. The interesting thing about cars purchased in Mississippi, however, is that they do not come equipped with front license plate mounts. Thus the unsuspecting motorist may all too easily find that she has one more license plate than she has legal places to stick it.
The absence of a front license plate mount is nothing that a two hour trip to the Honda dealership in Jamaica (Jamaica, Queens – not the other one) can’t solve. But then have you ever attached one these things to your bumper? It’s conceptually simple – there are holes for a little set of screws to go through already in the bumper, and the plate mount comes with a little set of brackets that snap in place to help the screws get purchase – but in practical terms more difficult. The holes are hard to find, the screws do not want to go in the holes, one is sitting there on the ground on the street in the sun contorting one’s neck around to get a good look at where those damn holes got to and why won’t it JUST GO IN THERE and then finally you get the damn thing on and what do you discover? THE HOLES IN THE PLATE DON’T MATCH THE HOLES IN THE MOUNT SO YOU CAN’T GET THE SCREWS IN TO ATTACH THE PLATE. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.
This is why we have zip-ties, I guess:
So then you roll redneck-style to the auto shop to get your inspection sticker and also to see if they can maybe fix this little license plate situation for you.
And you sing this all the way. Not that my car is actually a piece of shit. It’s a gently used and well-maintained Honda Civic, which means it’s safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and boring, which is exactly how I like my cars. But I couldn’t come up with any vehicle-related opera moments that seemed appropriate.
I mean, there’s a lot of arias about boats, but those are always metaphorical, you know? There’s a boat in the storm, and you’re the boat, and you have to ride out the storm, or trust your pilot, or whatever. There’s never an aria about, you know, “this f^&%ing boat, I can’t believe this boat, why does the f&^&ing Prince of Parma or whatever require me to have front and back plates on this f##%%king thing, son of a bitch license plates, I don’t even care if there IS a storm, I just want to not get a f^&*ing ticket because my boat in this storm is not displaying its f#$%*ing tags correctly,” you know?