If Wishes Were Horses

manure

If wishes were horses….there’d be a big pile of manure around any significant discussion. We are a strange species, willing – anxious – to deny, or argue what others among us regard as perceived truth.

On my recent, A View Of Islam post, it was all going so well, seemingly, until I got the following response to this paragraph:

‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’

What a load of ****. There are absolutely NO ‘no-go’ zones of any description in the UK. British law applies and is enforced throughout the UK, without exception.  Donald Trump had to apologise after making a similar, and untrue, statement about the UK city of Birmingham. I appreciate that you are only quoting from someone else in your blog but to give publicity to a totally untrue statement is demeaning to your blog and yourself.

I snidely protested;

Enforced the way it is in the barrios of East L.A. or Little Cuba in Miami? In my quiet, well-behaved city of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, two blocks from my home, is an enclave of 75 houses, full of people with beige skin and head coverings. In 15 years of living here, I have never seen a police car enter or patrol it.

That earned me this reply;

 In the UK, British law applies to everyone. ‘No-go’ areas that police do not enter just don’t exist. I cannot comment on Canada, I have only been there twice.

He reminds me of a militant atheist, desperately trying to ‘prove that there is no God.’  He knows what he wants, what he feels should be, what he believes, and what he wants others to believe, and just ignores any evidence to the contrary.

I especially liked his ad hominem attack on Canada, and his implied claim that he is well enough off to have travelled here a couple of times, to set us Colonials straight.

He’s right that British law applies everywhere in the country, but if he truly believes that there are no areas where policemen don’t bother to go, his ass is in the air, right beside the ostrich with its head in the sand.

I recently read a post from a young female who attended Catholic Church, but disagreed with almost everything the priest propounded as Church tenets – no gay marriage, hate and fear homosexuals, no divorce, no birth control, and no married priests.

I congratulated her on her independent thinking, and asked her what she was going to do about her contrary beliefs. Other than her blog, was she going to go public, to the priest, to her family, to the congregation? Would she leave the Church?

“Oh, no,” she replied, “I’m going to keep going to Church.” But she’s not! Now she’s just attending a social club – and there’s nothing wrong with that – if she, and others like her, have the integrity to admit it.

If your cat has kittens in the barn, you can call them horses; just don’t try to ride them.  If wishes were horses, beggars might ride.  These buggers are riding the hobby-horse of their own imagination.

A blonde, who has always wanted to ride a horse, decides to try it one day. She carefully mounts, clutches the reins, and they’re off.  Not used to the powerful motion, she has trouble staying in the saddle.  Suddenly one of her feet comes out of the stirrup, and she falls forward onto the horse’s neck.

She holds on desperately, but begins to slide off the side of the horse. Lower and lower she hangs.  Her other foot is now jammed in the stirrup, and she winds up hanging almost upside down.  Finally, her head touches, and the horse’s strong movements begin to bang it against the ground.

She feels pain, and begins to see stars. Just when she fears that she will lose consciousness and die….the manager of the Wal-Mart rushes over and unplugs the horse.  😉

Read My Ass

It used to be said that, “Vanity, thy name is woman.” but, nowadays, when it comes to specialty licence plates, “Vanity, thy name is Legion!”  Vanity plates are everywhere; everything from obvious, easily understood letter/number combinations, to stuff that just has you shaking your head, wondering what he’s smoking, or where he parked the spaceship.

Many years ago, when the children were small, we owned a small Honda Civic station-wagon.  When I got steady, although not great-paying, employment at the shoe factory in 1983, Ontario offered custom plates.  At first only 6 spaces were allowed.  I splurged, and spent $100 for a set.  They read, surprisingly, “ARCHON.”  They’re a lot more expensive these days.  Someone told me they’d seen another pair, “just like yours”, which is impossible.  I finally located them.  Ed Arconovitch, who worked day shift at the same plant, got a set which read, “ARCON.”

I moved to the auto plant at a better salary, and the wife went back to work.  First we bought her brother’s 10-year-old Chevy Monte Carlo for her commute, then I felt I could afford a used motorcycle.  The Civic sat unused for 9/10 months a year, eating insurance, while I rode the bike, so I took my vanity plates off, and sold it.

When we traded up to a better car for the wife and kids, I tried to put my custom plates on it….and bureaucracy struck.  The car was in her name – but the plates were in mine.  We could transfer the car to my name – and pay a 15% tax on the book value.  I could sell her my custom plates!  Oh, no says the DMV, the plates must be surrendered and offered to people who have put in a request for that particular set.  Screw that!  I put them in a bag under my work bench, and the son can turn them in for a refund after I die.

After a couple of years’ gainful employment for both of us, the wife got her own set which read, ”3 TEASE.”  It might mean, “Terrible Tori the Terror,” from her childhood, or it might mean, “Terribly Terrific Tori.”  It might just be the third time we’ve messed with your mind!

I knew, when I went to get my plates, that the DMV could be a little suspicious, and had my story of, Why Archon? carefully rehearsed.  Sure enough, the middle-aged matron wanted to know all about it, to prevent evil from entering our streets.  Even as I was drawing breath to defend my unique personal expression, the much-younger male manager piped up, “That’s from the original Star Trek episode, Return of the Archons.”  I’d been hauling the handle around for 15 years before that episode was broadcast but, if it gets me my plates with no hassle, “Yeah!  That’s right!”

My neighbor, Tom, owned a Buick 88, and applied for TOMS 88.  Ontario plates were three letters and three numbers, like ABC 123, and you couldn’t get those combinations.  The DMV clerk told him that the O of TOMS was a zero; therefore he couldn’t have his choice.  I told him to appeal, but he didn’t want to fight city hall.

There are two kinds of bureaucrats; the one will find a rule to deny whatever you request; the other will dig through the rulebook to find you the exception you need.  Sadly, the first type outnumber the second, a hundred to one ~ or maybe a thousand to one.  In an ongoing campaign to prove their importance and power, Ontario DMV clerks continue to deny thousands of applications.  Custom plates are now up from six spaces, to eight.

Custom plates may not be obscene, derogatory or racist.  They may not refer to drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, criminal activity, law enforcement, public figures, politics or religion.  Nearly a third of the 3315 rejected applications in the last three years, have been refused on the criterion of “clarity and readability.”

If I’m a nihilist, who just wants a random collection of letters and numbers which no-one else has, I don’t see how or why it’s any of the government’s business.  The government, being the government, makes it their business.  Everything is forbidden, unless they specifically allow it.  This rather nebulous category has eliminated such seemingly clear and readable requests as HO5ER, A.BATMAN, 2THF4IRY, and ST4RG4ZER.

Predictably, the second and third most-censored categories were plates that referred to religion and sex.  DMONSEED and LUC1F3R were deemed too evil.  NIHILIST and AGNOSTIC were too honest, and JAWS2GOD and APOKLPSE just too unthinkable.

No doubt drug dealers were disappointed when plates such as GOTSPEED, B.JUICED, ILOVCOKE, and SPD4WEED were rejected.  Government clerks will seize any opportunity to flex their bureaucratic muscle, even reversing previous decisions.

In 2007, United Church Rev. Joanne Sorrill became a political cause célèbre, after the Ministry refused to renew her, “REV JO” plate, because, it claimed, “rev” could encourage unsafe driving, and because Rev is an alcoholic cooler-type beverage.  I’m surprised it wasn’t rejected on the “No Religion” rule, but the clerk was probably a Christian.  It took a newspaper humiliation campaign before the Provincial Premier personally authorized the renewal.  He called the Ministry’s behavior, “laughable.”

The Ministry issued a statement, saying, “This is a difficult job, being done by sincere people, but it is an imperfect science.”  They went on to say that employees use resources such as Wikipedia and UrbanDictionary.

I’ve got mine, even if I don’t use them, and I see lots of others around.  A beautifully rebuilt 1947 Ford Business Coupe, at the downtown summer Cruise Night had a pair which read, B DRULN.  Do any of you have vanity plates?  How much did you pay?  Have you seen some amusing or confusing ones?