The best – and weirdest – vanity license plate stories


Before getting his vanity plate, Robert Heppler and his friends would send photos in their group chat of nifty plates they had seen around town. It got him thinking about what he would say. “You want to wow the world,” he said. “You want to be shocking. You want to be sensational.

He considered, then rejected, a few options – a call for “NVR4GT” on September 11, a “NOTPOOR” plaque which he said sounded “really pretentious” – before choosing the name of the sex sect led by Keith Raniere all over. as the news of allegations of sexual abuse broke. He took a screenshot of the mockup and sent it to group chat.

“Everyone I showed this to is dead; they were like, ‘This is hilarious,’ ”he said. “And I felt because it was so early, because the movies weren’t out yet, that they couldn’t ban it.”

Heppler’s provocative sense of humor didn’t translate well. As awareness of NXIVM increased, reactions to the plaque became more and more angry. “I don’t know if harassed is the right word, but you know in the movie ‘Inception’ when everyone starts to turn on them when they’re in their dreams?” he said. “I’ll see their eyes read it, then I’ll see their brains say, ‘Oh, my God, this is driving me crazy. “

People take pictures and dazzle, someone left a bag of dog poop on his windshield, his driver’s rearview mirror was smashed (this may be a coincidence) and he suspects a woman has had a car crash trying to take a picture of his plate. The tipping point came when parents at her son’s private school complained about the plaque and his car was banned from campus.

He’s in the process of getting a new plaque, a reference to Orlando Magic player Mo Bamba and the Sheck Wes hit song named after him. Heppler loved the idea of ​​a professional athlete entering the field on day one to one of the greatest songs in the world, a song that just happens to be about him. “I don’t know if this has ever happened in the history of time,” he said, adding: “Either way, I thought it would be a little less outrageous and I won’t break it. my windows. ” – A J


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