Thursday, March 01, 2007

It all started with "Slug Bug"

Parents have enthralled their children with road games for generations. The reason being, of course, to keep the kids occupied and (relatively) quiet while the parents are driving, cutting down on the potential need for lines such as "Do you want me to come back there?" or "Don't make me turn this car around." These games, by and large, are visual recognition, ranging from seeing who can spot the most license plates from different states, or how many red cars with hot blondes have driven past while Dad ogled out the window.

Over time, as children aged and stopped being as responsive to the notion of being told "Good job for seeing more birds than your brother", the games took on a new rewards system, which quite often involved being able to punch the other player when they didn't spot something as quickly as you did. While this was easy when spotting VW Beatles or cars with a burnt-out headlight, it certainly became trickier when the game of "Spot the Fake Mustache Wearing Celebrity" was introduced.

Thankfully, the state of Ohio is thinking about introducing a new element to their roadways, under the guise of increased safety. The state is considering a plan to deliver fluorescent green license plates to identify convicted sex-offenders. Other states already use specially colored plates to label convicted drunk drivers, and Ohio feels that this is the next logical step towards improving the safety of the roadways.

Of course, this plan has its opponents, who are eager to point out that the license plate would stigmatize anyone who drove the offending vehicle. They don't feel it would be fair to the offender's spouse or children, let alone the police officer who may have to commandeer the vehicle in order to engage in high-speed pursuit. But really, the plan's enemies seem to be missing the point.

People have grown tired of simple games like "Slug Bug". They want to move on to "Skunk Drunk" and "Sex Offender Finger Bender", where they can take their outrage over the crimes of the plate owners against their friends in a playful way. If this plan goes off without a hitch, we can all one day be able to identify everyone around us and make judgements over our desire to ever speak to them, simply based off of the color of their license plate.

Here at the CSM, we still make our decisions based off of the ringtones from their cellphones. Sure, it may be just as shallow, but there's only so much credit we can give someone when their ringtone is the latest song from Justin Timberlake.

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