Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mildly unusual

In the middle of a recent weekday, I saw a California license plate that read "New Yorker" but spelt in a New Yorker accent, here in Silicon Valley. Here's the weird thing, the plate was one of those fancy plates with the rear fins of a diving whale. It's a very California attitude kinda of plate. So, why would someone brag about being from New York on the very plate that proclaims them to be very Californian? Mildly unusual, but of course, not entirely unlikely.

I then noticed the plate border, which advertised a car dealership in Salinas (aka The Salad Bowl or Lettuce Capital of the World). This is a little unusual by itself since there's somewhat of a cultural barrier between Silicon Valley and Salinas (even though they are only 60 miles apart). It is common to see Silicon Valley and SF types spending a day or two in Monterey Country (usually on the Monterey Peninsula), but it is unusual for the reverse, particularly from Salinas itself. Again, mildly unusual, but of course, not entirely unlikely.

As my mind wondered a bit more, I realized the car itself was a Mitsubishi Eclipse. OK, nothing unusual there. But then I notice the driver was an older gentleman. Now, I hope I don't offend anyone here (particularly that older gentleman, should he ever come across this blog post), but the Eclipse of this model year is more typically driven by younger 20-something girls. Other types of people do buy that car, but there's a bit of a stereotype associated with it. So, that was also mildly unusual, but not completely unlikely.

Each one of these little points by themselves is mildly unusual, but all combined together, it forms a very unlikely little curiosity. What is this New Yorker doing by bragging about the fact he's from New York on his personalized fancy and very California license plate. How did this New Yorker end up in Silicon Valley only after he found himself in Salinas, of all places. Then, why did he buy himself an Eclipse, despite the strong trend of others in his demographic to get other types of cars? Something doesn't add up.

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