I've long thought that if only we were required to have our full names and photos plastered all over our cars, we'd all drive more politely.
It's the anonymity, the lack of face-to-face connection with other drivers we have in our cars, that allows us to get away with the crap we get away with every day.
Which makes me wonder why so many people with vanity plates seem to drive like idiots.
The whole point of a vanity plate is to make you stand out in the crowd, draw attention to yourself, let people know who you are, or at least know some defining characteristic about you.
So, 'HAUS 6', driving a brand-new black BMW Z4 up on Goodwood Road north-east of the city this past Friday afternoon, what was that all about?
Passing me (among others) in the on-coming left-turn lane? Diving onto shoulders and merge lanes to pass other cars? Tailgating gravel trucks? Playing silly-bugger drag racer away from stoplights?
Oh, Mr. Big Shot, using your 300 horsepower to beat a poor little 115-horse Volkswagen City Golf across an intersection so you could cut him off and gain one whole car length.
Do you drive like this all the time, or was this something special?
This nonsense went on for maybe seven to eight kilometres, in fairly dense summer Friday afternoon cottage-bound traffic. Because you weren't looking far enough ahead, you kept getting caught behind trucks and other slower traffic, so it wasn't at all difficult keeping up with you.
And when I turned left onto Yonge Street (you were going straight on westbound) I was right beside you.
All that sound and fury - not to mention irritating every other driver on that stretch of road, and causing at least three dangerous situations - signifying nothing.
Your net gain for all that aggressive driving was - absolutely zero.
A clear case of money getting into the wrong hands.
Not to mention having the top up on what was the nicest day of the summer so far.
Now, the licence plate surround on the rear of the car suggested it came from BMW Autohaus, the dealer in that vicinity. Maybe the car was a demo, and the 'HAUS 6' vanity plate belongs to the dealership?
Maybe it was a sales rep behind the wheel? Or a prospective customer?
Whatever; just remember the proverb about people living in glass houses...