We were driving back from Milwaukee Airport the other day and got stuck for a while behind an old Civic with a license plate reading DON HNLY. It puzzled me. Are there really people, in 2009, whose commitment to Don Henley is so strong as to demand a personalized license plate? EAGLES, all right, I can see, they still sell out arenas. But solo Don?
Then I started to wonder — what if it is Don Henley? I didn’t have a fully worked-out theory for why Don Henley would be driving an old Civic on westbound I-94, but the idea was appealing. If I were Don Henley, I could totally imagine buying a modest vehicle, registering it with a personalized license plate advertising myself, then enjoying the reaction whenever I climbed out at a rest stop — the magnificent triple-take from “That guy has a Don Henley license plate!” to “That guy with the Don Henley license plate is a ringer for Don Henley!” to “Can it really be….”
So I cruised along behind the Civic, in no hurry, enjoying my fantasy, until everything was ruined by the Impala in the passing lane with the MENTORS plate.