Wednesday, May 29, 2013

License Plates

          I don't know if this is true of all rural areas, or if it's an idiosyncracy common only to the vernacular architecture of the west, but here is a construction truism that I learned in my earliest youth:

          License plates are a suitable material for siding.

          There are a lot of sheds and shacks in Wyoming and Montana that are still standing thanks mostly to the license plates that clad their exteriors. When I was small I thought this was the coolest way to make a house ever. I wanted a license plate house. My parents, as they are required to do under the terms of their Giant Interminable Contract O' Parenting, stifled any joy I might ever have taken in our house by choosing deadly boring lap wood siding. I think it may have stunted my creative growth.

          K has never allowed me to side anything—even the chicken coop—with license plates, so I just recently got rid of our collection of expired plates because I couldn't think of anything else to do with them. (And also because it was time for the Purging of Things We Haven't Used in Years and Wouldn't Miss if They Were Gone.)

          And then I found this sign on a store in Denver and realized too late that I could do something with those old plates (see what I mean about stunting my creative growth?) and that I did miss them now that they were gone:

I love that they used motorcycle plates, too. It adds to the
jolly chaotic look. Also please to note the iconic bronc rider
from my home state that started my fascination with license plates.

          I did a quick calculation after looking at this sign and I figured that, if I'd kept our old plates, we would only have to move a couple more times and I would have enough letters for a short story.

          Which I would of course write on the sides of an old shed.

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