OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Improper tags is an attention-getter

Maybe this will register

Dear Mahatma: It makes my blood boil when I see non-registered vehicles. I drove by an apartment complex in west Little Rock and saw this sign posted in two locations. "Vehicles improperly parked or without a current registration will be towed at owner's expense." Not all violators live in apartment complexes, but I think this is a good start. -- Pat

Dear Pat: Interesting. Our guess is that the owners and managers of these apartment complexes know what police know by experience and responsible people know by instinct. That is, a vehicle without proper registration, or which displays safety violations, is driven by someone who isn't responsible.

Our mind now makes a connection, because we carefully read this fine newspaper. Hardly a day goes by without a Police Beat brief about a traffic stop that leads to a felony arrest.

Example: Little Rock police stop a driver on Wright Street because he had a defective headlight. Turns out the driver had a gun. Turns out the driver was a convicted felon. Turns out the driver was arrested on a charge of felony possession of a firearm by a certain person.

Example: A driver was stopped on Forbing Road because the lamp which illuminates his license plate wasn't working. Turns out he had a gun and had a bag of something funky, both in plain view. Turns out he was arrested on both firearm and drug charges.

No doubt some of these traffic stops and arrests happen because of expired temp plates, too.

We applaud the folks who run those apartment complexes. They know what time it is.

Dear Mahatma: When you publish vanity plates, could you also please explain what they mean? -- Kathy

Dear Kathy: We will do our best. Some are self-explanatory. Others take some figuring out. Still others are a mystery.

Here's one sent in recently: TEJANO. A Tejano, according to our dictionary, is a Mexican-American inhabitant of southern Texas. Or a style of music that mixes Mexican-Spanish vocal traditions with Czech and German dance tunes.

Is this country a melting pot, or what?

One of our many correspondents sent in a vanity plate on a Toyota FJ in West Little Rock: CLCKWRK. The vehicle was orange. As in the movie "A Clockwork Orange."

As newspaper people know, almost everything has an Arkansas connection. In this case, the star of the movie -- Malcolm McDowell -- was at one time married to North Little Rock's own Mary Steenburgen.

You want connections? Steenburgen starred in "End of the Line," a 1987 movie directed by Jay Russell of North Little Rock. Jay's parents, Oce and Mauda Russell, lived next door to our family for many years.

What a small, wonderful state. What a blessing to write something for its people to read.