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North Carolina Has a Special License Plate ... for Watermelon

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2017

Here's something unusual: The state of North Carolina, home of mountains, and rivers, and lakes, and also the guy who sold me my Viper, currently offers a special license plate for watermelon. Note that you do not install this license plate on a watermelon. Rather, it has a picture of a watermelon on it, and you put it on your car.

Although I've known about this for a while, I rediscovered it the other day when I was walking through Philadelphia. As I walked down an alley full of parked cars, there it was: a Honda Pilot with the watermelon license plate. Just sitting there, hangin' out, acting like it was any normal ol' Honda Pilot, even though it had a clip art watermelon screwed into its tailgate.

First, allow me to explain what I find so unusual about the design of this license plate: It doesn't actually say anything on it about why it exists. It doesn't say "SUPPORT WATERMELON GROWERS" or "EAT HEALTHY FOODS" or anything you'd expect. It simply sits there, with a picture of a watermelon and no additional explanation. In case you were unclear what it was, all of the North Carolina watermelon license plates end with "WM."

Another interesting thing is the depiction of the watermelon. The image undoubtedly shows a watermelon with a bite taken out of it -- that much is clear. But it's not photographic quality, like the image of the Wright Brothers' plane in the background. It looks like the kind of thing you would've gotten for free in the "graphics package" with Microsoft Word if you purchased during some special promotion in 1997.

And then there's the single strangest thing about this: the fact that it exists at all. Let me explain what I mean. I like cookies. Is there a cookie license plate for me? No, there is not! So why do these watermelon enthusiasts get to go around, declaring their love of watermelon with a cool picture, while I'm stuck paying extra for a vanity plate that says something like "COOKIES 4"? WHY IS THAT, HMM? HMM, NORTH CAROLINA DMV? DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY?!?!? ANYTHING? WHERE'S MY COOKIE LICENSE PLATE????? WHERE IS IT?

(Editor's note: this happens to Doug sometimes on Friday afternoons. We apologize.)

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
North Carolina Has a Special License Plate ... for Watermelon - Autotrader