Citizens on Patrol!


The Iowa Department of Transportation, having issued personalized plates to Mr. Glen Keenan of Jefferson County, has decided it wants them back:

If he would be so kind, the state told him, please "voluntarily surrender" the new plates. Within 10 days….

Keenan tells me this is what his personalized Iowa license plates say: ITMFA.

Which makes for a not-so-obvious problem that he had to explain because I was unable to pronounce anything objectionable—or anything at all, for that matter—using the combination of letters he'd chosen.

Keenan directed me to the Web site "".

For those of you who didn't click through, the "I" stands for "impeach" and the "M" stands for "mother."

"They look them over and do their very best to screen the applications," said the DOT's Dena Gray-Fisher. "They exchange information with other states and find what people are trying to get through."

A few slip in now and then and alert citizens file a complaint.

There were two complaints about Keenan's plates…

See, that's the part of this story that bothers me. Not the fact that the state wants to squash the plate. That's annoying, and I suppose I'm against it, but it doesn't speak to any larger issue. It's the fact that there are people trolling through the highways, looking for messages that show insufficient respect for the president, and squealing to the authorities. Doesn't matter if the word "motherfucker" doesn't actually appear on the plates. Doesn't matter if it's an obscure abbreviation that will be impenetrable to anyone not already in on the joke. Do your part, Citizen! Make that call!

"I don't know what the big deal is with mine," said Keenan, 41. "My plate isn't vulgar. It's simply a series of letters than can mean any number of things."


"Sure," he said. "It can mean 'Impeach the Miserable Failure Already.' Or it could mean 'Information Technology Masters Fine Arts.' You could think of lots of things. I mean, any vehicle with an 'F' on the license plate could be objectionable to somebody."

NEXT: George Allen: Land-Grabber?

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  1. “Information technology masters fine arts”

    As a webmaster for an artist, I want a bloody plate (and have a good excuse for one)! Yee-haw!

  2. The Iowa Department of Transportation can go FTMSLVS.

  3. I am completely against Reason’s repeated use of the F word. I don’t mind the words fuck or motherfucker, but the F is completely out of bounds.

  4. I though this was going to be a post about Michael Winslow.

    “I mean, any vehicle with an ‘F’ on the license plate could be objectionable to somebody.”

    You remember that state license plate game that parents would try to get kids to play on long trips. I have new one. Finding Iowa plates with an F and sending in complaints.

  5. I’m Tolerant of Militant Fascist Agencies?

  6. There are a lot of reasons to object to being required to register one’s purchase of a particular consumer durable with the state. This is among them.

  7. Since these types of plates ussually cost more, I’m not inclined to sympathize with someone who voluntarily pays more to the state than they have to.

  8. Iowa Traffic Motorists Facilitate Anarchy.
    I Touched Marty Feldman’s Ass.

  9. I see a whole new industry of Acronym Porn:

    Woman: FM!
    Man: TI, B!
    Woman: OGFMH! H!
    Man: Y, YLT, DY?
    Woman: COMF!

  10. I Throw My Feces Around

  11. Nice Police Academy reference, Jesse.

  12. I wonder how many false complaints you can send in before the fascists ignore you? For example, I complain about:

    582ILX=I Love Porn

    987QRS=Queers Are Shit

    832WDG=Women Dildoing Gratuitously

    123EYU=Eat Your Undies

    519OPL=Oral Porn Lover

    With a reasonably dirty mind I can come up with something objectionable about most any license plate lettering. With some googling I could probably nix a bunch of numbers as objectionable dates too.

    People in Iowa need a new hobby….

  13. I’m Thinskinned, Mad, and Friggin’ Angry?

    It’s Time for My Flying Automobile?

    I’m Testing Motor Function Aptitude?

  14. I’ll Take Miniarchy ‘Fore Anarchy (sorry Ruthless)

  15. Any license plate with the number 420 on it must go…


  17. Inebriated Teen Moll Flashes Ass… (they’d probably object to that too, the spoilsports)

  18. The number one and letter “I” look like dicks, and I guess 0 and o are out as well. Disgusting pervs and their license plates. If you look at a 3 sideways, yep, those are boobs.

  19. I Touch My Fine Ass.

  20. Intergalactic tongue-darting mother f’ing aliens

  21. Is This My Final Acronym?

  22. Iowa Tattlers Make Functionary Allies

  23. I Try More Funky Acronyms

    In Toledo, Mudhens Facilitate Athletics

    In Toilets, Many Fart Abundantly

    I’ll Take Manhattan, Frank Avowed

    I Test Munitions For Afghanistan

    International Terrorists Majorly Fuck Airlines

    If Tigers Manifest, Fire Away!

    Immense Tits Make Fellows Agog

  24. Ipecac Toned My Flabby Avoirdupois

    It’s a stretch, I know.

  25. Won’t fit on the place, but I’d like mine to read “Get Your Eyes Back On The Road, Moron.”

  26. Possible Terror Warrior license plate:

    I Torture My Fellow Americans

  27. a few years back, a fellow in Florida had his plate recalled by the state after complaints were received. His tag read “A55 RGY”. now, how could anyone make anything offensive out of that? well, the newer standard issue Florida plates, including his, have a large orange between the two sets of characters (which is annoyingly reminiscent of the Georgia peach plates, but I digress). this large orange reminded someone of the letter “O”, resulting in their reading his plate, a standard issue, non-customized plate as “A55ORGY”.

    here’s a pic

    some really prudish people spend a lot of time thinking about naughty things, I guess because they don’t take the time to do them.

    here are letters from people with too much free time

    thanks to The Smoking Gun

  28. Thank you too. What could “MUFDYV” be? And does “ecstasy” have to mean a drug now?

  29. Robert: “muff dive”

  30. Yes, I pronounced it “muff dive” immediately, but I still don’t know what that means.

    Is the “muff” part onamatapoietic? Like the sound you would make if you tried to talk after diving with your mouth onto somebody’s snatch? Just a guess.

  31. Robert, “muff diving” is a euphemism for performing oral sex on a woman, usually by another woman. “muff divers” is usually a derogatory term for a lesbian, in my experience.

  32. Looks more like a dysphemism. So is “muff” from the sound you’d make if you tried to talk while doing it? “Muff, muff, muff….” Or is it supposed to resemble the article of clothing called a muff?

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