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Now, I know you are saying, "What's the difference between sports and entertainment?" We experts realize that there is real difference.

Even though pretty much all sports are entertainment, all entertainment isn't sports. Some sports are really just pastimes and pastimes can be entertainment too. If you become overly enthusiastic about a sport, it could easily become a passion. Of course, if you are on a professional team, it would be your profession. See how confusing it can be?

That's why you need us experts to help you sort it out. According to my expert opinion, these are all entertainment, even though some of them may also be pastimes or even sports.

JRNY IS 1 (Journey is number one) is a tribute to the rock group Journey. The twenty-two year old man that drives the teal Chevy Cavalier loves the group. He says they are his favorite rock group.

REM N U2 (R.E.M. and U2) is on a red '86 Volkswagen Jetta belonging to Rob Olis. He enjoys listening to these popular rock groups. He wanted this plate for many, many years and he finally got it. His friends encouraged him to get it. He feels that these are two of the greatest bands around at this time.

Nineteen year old Wendy Lyntrow has LSKYNRD (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on the Illinois plates on her blue 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier. She said Lynyrd Skynyrd is her favorite band. When I first saw the plate, I thought it said LSTWRD (last word) and I was thinking that it would be much more controversial. By the time my old eyes got close enough to read it clearly though, I pretty much expected this response.

SCYN IT 2 is on a red 1992 Geo Metro belonging to Carole Becker. Not only does she like Lynyrd Skynyrd, it is also her nickname. The movie "Stand by Me" was also popular when she chose her license. In the movie they say "skin it" for friendship. She put two and two together and ended up with SCYN IT 2.

A more mature - but no less enthusiastic - rock fan is Constance Konefes. She has BY BY LUV (Bye Bye Love) on her black and tan 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood. "Bye Bye Love" was the Everly Brothers first top ten song! Constance is a big fan of the Everly Brothers. She is a card-carrying member of their two fan clubs. She collects photos, LP's, CD's, 45's and memorabilia. She attends, on average, ten concerts per year all over the U.S. and England.

FUNBYRD is an Illinois plate on a silver Ford Thunderbird. The woman who owns this car said she and her sister came up with the idea. They thought if people thought of music they would think of the Beach Boys song, "She'll have Fun, Fun, Fun 'til her Daddy takes her T-Bird away". She chose to spell Bird "BYRD" because of the group called The Byrds.

YB INXS 2 (why be in excess, too) is on a burgundy Thunderbird belonging to twenty-three year old Yvonne Burmeister. Yet another plate with a double entendre. It is the sentence above, but it also is Yvonne's initials and the band INXS, her favorite band.

Not to be outdone, Van Halen is represented by RDRCKR 8 (Redrocker 8) on the Chevrolet Blazer belonging to Darlene Conroy. Redrocker is a nickname for Sammy Hagar, the (new) lead singer for Van Halen. Darlene is a fan. The eight stands for the month she was born.

MDY BLU 8 is on a twilight blue Ford Thunderbird belonging to Jeff and Lori Erickson. This is a tribute to the band, The Moody Blues. It also describes the car, which changes its color in different light like a mood ring. The Ericksons say that The Moody Blues are their all-time favorite group.

SEESAW 5 is an Illinois license on a red Chevy Cavalier. Seesaw is a song by The Moody Blues. The 47 year old owner of this car is another avid Moody Blues fan. Five represents the number of people in their family.

YERUP 72 on a 1985 Chevy Camaro belonging to Rob Kyd is the title of a Greatful Dead album. Rob is a big Dead fan. He also reports that he has a friend with RYKYND 1 (Are you kind?) which I believe is a Grateful Dead song.

SGT PEP 5 (Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) pays homage to the Beatles. Rich Marcordes, Jr. is only twenty-three, but he said that the Beatles are the greatest rock music group ever. "Rock on". He's got it on a red Jeep Wrangler.

ROK ROL 2 (rock and roll too) belongs to Margie Caridi, a friend of the family, and my able assistant who has contributed the largest number of survey forms to this book.

She has it on a gold Renault Encore. She is a big rock 'n' roll fan. She wanted to put a band's name on it but she couldn't narrow it down to one band. She said people look at her plate and then at her with a strange face. The main benefit of the plate is that she used to have a hard time remembering her plate. Now she always remembers.

RCKNRL 3 (rock and roll three) is pretty close to Margie's choice. It belongs to twenty-six year old Mark Powell. It is on his red Ford Escort. He said that it means the type of music he likes to listen to. He asked for number one but one and two were taken.

SURVIVR (Survivor) is on a thirty-two year old woman's black Chevrolet Blazer. It is in honor of the Chicago rock band Survivor. She says, "They are one of my favorite bands and I used to follow them when they played the local circuit. There are two other Survivor plates but I don't know the spelling used on the plates".

Twenty-three year old David has BIJOU 8 on his blue 1992 Grand Am. He said that to the best of his knowledge bijou is the French word for pearl. (I actually think that it means jewel, but after all a pearl is a jewel.) He got the idea from the song Bijou on the Innuendo album by the rock group, Queen. He said he likes the songs and the symbolism which can be derived from the word itself. The number has no significance.

QNSRCH 1 (Queensryche 1) belongs to twenty-seven year old Joel Biske. Queensryche is his favorite rock group. It was his idea and his wife helped him figure out a way to fit it on a plate. The number saved him some money.

YNGWIE on the silver Mercury Cougar that David Janis drives is the name of his favorite musician. Yngwie (pronounced Ying 'vay) Malmsteen is a Swedish born neo-classical rock fusion guitarist. David says he is the greatest composer since Mozart - that's quite a compliment.

INAHRY2 (in a hurry too) is on a Mazda MPV that belongs to Linda Starkey. She took this from song by the country and western group, Alabama. She said, "I'm in a Hurry to Get Things Done" is a song that describes her to a tee!

SAXMAN 1 belongs to a forty-eight year old professional saxophone player. He has it on his Toyota Camry. He is also a jazz music educator. He said he is often questioned as to whether his license means "sex man" by strangers. He chose the plate to obtain inquiries, hopefully leading to work or contacts. He really enjoys having this plate.

Enough about music...on to other entertainment. Walt Disney must be looking down on earth with pride. He started an entertainment empire that entertains and fascinates young and old alike. I guess it's not surprising to find vanity plates singing the praises of Disney characters and institutions. Here are some that I found.

DAY Z DUC (Daisy Duck) was on a silver '85 VW Cabriolet. It belongs to Karin and Tony Gasero. They are Disney fans and they got the plate for their kids who love Donald and Daisy Duck. Of course their other car has DON L DUC (Donald Duck) The whole thing was Tony's idea.

MM CLUB 2 (Mickey Mouse Club 2) was pretty easy to figure out. Mike Harvey has it on his burgundy Plymouth Voyager. He enjoys Disney, loves Mickey Mouse, collects old Disneyana. It was a family idea. His wife has DISNEE 1 on her '93 Mercury Topaz.

SNOW WT 7 (Snow White Seven) is Lorraine Balun's plate on her white Chrysler Voyager. She had a white seven passenger van and she is a big Disney fan. Snow White had just been re-released by Disney, so the SNOW WT was for the color of the van and the seven for how many it seated. It also honored Disney. I thought sure the seven was for the Seven Dwarfs.

W COYOTE on the Illinois plates of the red Pontiac Fiero immortalizes Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner fame. It also not so coincidentally refers to the car's owner, fifty-five year old Richard Wiley. His son gave him the idea.

Not to be outdone, BUNKY 18 is on a tan Ford Probe belonging to a forty-eight year old Mr. Magoo fan. She remembers "Bunky from the late 1960's when Mr. Magoo would say, 'What's your beef, Bunky?'." She tried to get BUNKY 1, but there were already 18 other BUNKY's issued by the state of Illinois (including BUNKY with no number) so she had to settle for BUNKY 18. I wonder what all the other BUNKY owners were thinking...They couldn't possibly all be Mr. Magoo fans, could they?

ARGH 5 is an Illinois plate on twenty-six year old Mindy Graika's white Mitsubishi Mirage. She says "Argh" is the exclamation of frustration from the "Peanuts" comic strip. This is usually how she feels about driving in Chicago. (I can relate.) She is a Peanuts and Charlie Brown fan. Five is one of her favorite numbers.

TWEATY is on a red Chevrolet Cavalier. Eighteen year old Tanya Hildebrandt said when she was a baby everybody used to call her "Tweaty". That was because she looked like Tweaty with all her blonde hair sticking up and her blue eyes and she was chubby. Her nickname became Tweaty and now she is Tweaty nuts.

P BEAR 13 (Pooh Bear thirteen) is twenty-nine year old Julie Schreiner's license for her white Chrysler New Yorker. She is a Winnie the Pooh fan and she was born on the thirteenth. Her husband, Hank, is called "Hankster" by everyone so he has HANXTR 1 on his plates.

2 WARP is on a red Chevy truck. It belongs to a big Star Trek fan - a "Trekkie". He also chose it because he likes to drive like he is in warp speed.

Speaking of Star Trek fans, BEAM UP1 is on a forty-one year old woman's blue Chevrolet Beretta. The plate says "beam up 1" because her daughter says she is not going with her. I guess she will just have to go it alone. She said that BEAM UP 1 through 9 are all taken in Illinois. At least there are others that are ready to join her on her journey, even if her daughter won't.

How about STR TRK 3 (Star Trek 3) on the Illinois plates of Leslie's blue Honda Prelude. She likes Star Trek so she decided to tell the world. The three was just the next number available.

Andrew P. Williams has JEDI 11 on his blue 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier. He said, "Jedi Knights are from Star Wars. They have unexplained powers to control thoughts and matter. They are solemn and wise. In the movie, it takes a deep commitment and discipline to become one (a Jedi). It would be good to be that way. I chose the plate. The number 11 is there because I didn't want to pay for vanity plates and because #11 looks good."

Steve Dahl is an institution in Chicago radio. He is a radio personality who is now on WLUP AM 1000. Thirty-one year old Craig Locaciato is a huge fan of Steve's. He has been listening to Steve Dahl for almost 15 years. He wants everyone to know it. He has DAHLFAN on his black 1991 Acura Integra to tell the world.

Since I'm from Chicago and I am a country music fan, I immediately knew what I LV US99 meant on the silver Toyota Corolla driven by nineteen year old Lisa. It is an abbreviation for I love US 99, the country radio station. She said, "I was looking for a license plate that would portray my life style. I am into country western music and dancing. As a teacher of country and western dancing and a member of a dance team (The Rowdy Rustlers) I was looking for something to identify myself. What better way than to identify with a country and western radio station. When people see it, they know immediately what it means. Although some people ask if I work at the station."

MACGYVR is an Illinois plate on a white Jeep Wrangler that belongs to Matt. MacGyver (from the television show) has been his nickname for about as long as the show has been around. He got the nickname from some friends who think he can fix anything.

BATMOBL is on a black Buick Regal that belongs to Cheryl Burke. This Batmobile is from the old Batman series. She's had this plate since 1985 or '86, long before the movie came out and Batman became popular again. She originally ordered the plates for her last car, a red Fiero. That car was nicknamed the Batmobile because they had a driveway sloping down into a garage under the living room of the house. It was said that she "zoomed" out of the garage like the Batmobile emerging from the Batcave.

When she and her husband Jim sold the Fiero, they intentionally purchased a black car which would look good with the BATMOBL plates. People have asked her before if her name is "Robin". The front plate has been stolen once. The one she currently has is a replacement.

Some people fall into the entertainment category as participants rather than spectators. Paula Hopkins has ACLOWN 2 (a clown too) on her white 1988 Chevrolet Corsica. She is really a hair dresser but she is a clown too as a side line. In show business, it's often not a good idea to quit your day job. She really likes being a clown. She does large parties. She even collects clowns and has 5,000 of them.

TUL TYM 1 (Tool Time one) is on an aqua Pontiac Sunbird owned by twenty-six year old Steve Pigula. This comes from the "Tool Time" TV show hosted by Tim Allen on the TV series "Home Improvement". Steve chose this plate because he associates himself with the childlike, typical male character portrayed by Tim Allen. The number is there to reduce the cost.

SHWINNG is on a black GMC Yukon. This is right out of the "Wayne's World" movie and TV shows.

A more timeless and original one is MNYEZ 1 on my daughter's friend, Gregg Goodhart's car. Of course, you would never guess the story behind it unless you knew him. Many years ago, his buddies who were in a local band were hanging out in someone's basement (as guys in bands tend to do) and when one of the guys in the band was asked a question, he answered "yes". But it didn't come out right (we all have those moments) and instead it sounded like "mnyez".

Gregg and his friends got a real kick out of it and started saying "yes" that way. They also made up lots of sayings using this word, "mnyez". Now, it's just become a goofy word that feels good when you say it. Go ahead and try it - but you have to pronounce it right. The trick is to say the "M", "N", and "Y" together as one syllable. Now, that's entertainment in the finest sense.

BALOU 1 is one that Margie Caridi found for me in California. It is on a blue and white Chevrolet pickup belonging to "Morning Star" Joanna Graham (you sure can tell when you are in California as opposed to the Midwest). She got the license to commemorate Balou, the big blue bear in the book and movie "Jungle Book".

Morning Star and her son love the movie and still watch it occasionally when they get together. They chose the word for the license together. The number is there because there is already a Balou with no number. The truck reminded her of Balou because it is big and blue like Balou.

HOBBIT 2 is on a white Buick Regal owned by Evan T. Miller, Jr. He reports that "The Hobbit" is the name of a book and main character in a trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkein. The Hobbit and his companions travel through Riivendale in search of a magical ring. Riivendale also happens to be the name of the subdivision where Evan lives.

When they first moved to Riivendale Estates, Evan's wife ordered HOBBIT for his Volkswagen. They called it the "Hobbitmobile". They also ordered HOBBIT2 later. Through trades, etc., they kept HOBBIT 1 and 2 in the family for almost ten years. They have been known for their plates. Someone else liked the unique plates and stole the front HOBBIT 1 plate. Now his wife has handicap HOBBIT and he is applying to take over HOBBIT. He said that there is a HOBBIT 5 on the south side of Chicago. They wave to each other in passing, but that's the extent of their relationship.

F CARROT is on the Illinois plates of a silver Ford Taurus owned by a thirty-five year old man who reads comic books. Flaming Carrot is a bizarre comic book super-hero that he likes. Never would've guessed that one.


©1994 by Dennis R. Cowhey
All rights reserved.
Library of Congress Number: 94-96301 Guest Post