What is wrong with people?

Never mind, don’t answer that. Don’t even try, because I’ve given up.

Instead, I’ll just complain about people, specifically about the one, anonymous person who recently complained to the entire state of Florida about MY license plate, the one that has been attached to the back of my white Kia Soul for the past three years, the one I was issued upon registering the car.

It’s not a vanity plate. I didn’t request this specific configuration of numbers and letters. I merely attached the plate to my car and stick a new registration sticker in its top right corner every May.

I never gave two thoughts to my license plate — other than to type the six characters into the city’s parking kiosks and to identify my car from among the 9,000 other white Kia Souls that patrol Key West. 

That is, until last week, when I received a letter in the regular mail from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They were offering me a new, replacement license plate after having received a complaint that the configuration of letters and numbers could be considered “offensive” (their word, not mine).

Apparently, someone saw my car parked somewhere in Key West and decided that the HIZ A55 on my license plate was offensive to their overly sensitive sensibilities. I’m completely serious about this. I saved the letter and the corresponding complaint.

Someone had enough time on their hands not only to notice a stranger’s license plate, but to stop, take a picture of it and then send that photo to the state with a complaint about it.

To their credit, the state employees at the FLHSMV did their part and offered to overnight me a new plate at no cost to me. That was what their letter said. It also asked me to either call or email them to let them know what I decided.

I immediately called the included contact and spoke with a perfectly lovely woman who clearly had better things to do with her time than deal with such nonsense.

After politely declining the replacement plate, I asked the nice woman in Tallahassee to email me a copy of the complaint’s text and the included photo, which she promptly did.

The emailed complaint states, “I have spent a great deal of time looking for a contact to report these Florida plates. Who is reviewing these plates? If they are not personalized, then they should still be reviewed and not assigned. Very offensive and just unacceptable.”

Where do I even begin? First of all, who spends “a great deal of time” on such utter ridiculousness? That’s just a sad commentary on this person’s entire life and existence.

Apparently, this moron with a phone camera and too much time on her hands decided that the two 5s in my plate were actually S’s. Suddenly, in her warped and ridiculous mind, HIZ A55 became “HIS ASS.”

Given that the plastic frame around my license plate says “Key West,” I can only assume this small-minded lunatic decided I was a gay man intent on hiding secret “indoctrination” messages in the letters and numbers of a randomly assigned license plate. 

I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. 

Are the Moms for Liberty offended by license plates as well as books? Are all 5s now to be considered Ss? Is the “woke left” now hiding gay indoctrination messages for kids in license plates? 

Do we not have more pressing concerns? Apparently, some of us don’t. But I can assure you, I will not be spending a single second changing out my license plate. So from now on, honk if you like my “A55.”

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.