Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Traffic flows east on Interstate 40 in North Carolina. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)

Last week, the Charlotte Observer reported that a North Carolina woman had received a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles asking her to defend her license plate. Apparently, there had been a complaint about it. What does it say? FART. That’s the word that offended someone. Really!?!

The North Carolina DMV sent Karly Sindy, a software developer from Asheville, a letter asking what her approved license plate “represents or means” to her. She said that for months, the tag has given her, her family, and those who see it joy, wonder, and a fun photo op. By the way, Karly used to be a molecular biologist. Farts fall under that category, don’t they? She should have brought that up in her defense.

The DMV said they would review her response and decide if they’d let her keep the offending license plate. In the meantime, Karly posted her tale of woe on Reddit. One commenter offered a creative solution: tell the DMV that FART is an acronym for “Friends of Asheville Recreational Trails.” Karly loved the idea and now there’s a website for the new organization.

Unfortunately for Karly, it was too little too late. The verdict is in from the DMV. Karly is losing her license plate. Never mind the fact that she paid extra for a “Friends of the Smokies” tag. On Friday, February 25th, the DMV stated that the “personalized text in question has been on our do not issue list for some time and was mistakenly approved in our Special Plate Unit. This plate has been recalled.”

I don’t get why that word is banned by the DMV. It’s natural. You can’t see it. We all do it. If we could make our vehicles run on them, we’d do it even more.