"What the hell did you do that for ?!" This is question I faced many times in the first few days of owning my B5-related personalized plates. Since they say VORLON I gave them a Kosh look and said "You do not understand."
I suspected I wasn't the only one to have been so struck by this show that I wanted to turn my car into a mobile billboard. Turning to the Zocalo mailing list, I asked for others who had the same idea to contact me. This page is the result - I hope it either confirms your opinion that B5 fans are nuts, or that its time for you to get one too.
The background on this page was made with a free product that I wrote called
I bought my plates on an impulse, one inspired by the idea that there simply aren't many 6 letter (the limit in Australia) words recognizable as being connected to B5. I wanted to get the best one while it was still available ! So far I haven't had any strange looks while out driving - the strange looks have been limited to my workmates who think I'm taking this whole thing way too seriously !
As everyone in the B5 Internet Universe knows by now, I often refer to myself "Sinclair's Number One Fan," and am also known as the "High Priestess of Sinclair." I've been faithfully watching Babylon 5 ever since the very first showing of "The Gathering," and obviously, Sinclair has remained my favorite character, with my next most favorite being Delenn. My previous license plate, both in Maryland and in North Carolina, where I lived for three years, evoked the spirit of Kirk and Spock with the phrase "GO BOLDLY." Since Star Trek has become something very different, that I no longer even watch, and since B5 has pretty much taken over my life :) it seemed time to change my plates.
Unfortunately, the state of Maryland only gives you seven spaces, letters or numbers to play with. It's amazing how the lack of just one more letter limits your choices. Anyway, it took a while to come up with just the right word that would honor BOTH of my favorite characters and perhaps even describe a bit about my own, shall we say, "forceful" personality. Thus "ENTLZHA" with a hand-made "apostrophe" for completion.
There's actually a little more to the whole story as my car, a beloved 1994 Saturn SL2 developed a serious problem that resulted in Saturn (under warranty) having to replace the ENTIRE engine, including the BLOCK after it had taken me not only to the Saturn "Homecoming" event in Tennesse, but some 40K OTHER miles. My cars have always had names, and this calamity resulted in the aforementioned car being dubbed "Sheridan," since the body and other organs remain the same; recalling and showing signs of all of its previous adventures in life, but also acknowleging the fact that Saturn had to send to the Homeworld for a special dose of freely given, life-force energy! And so, in fact, my plate honors not only Sinclair/Valen and Delenn, but all THREE of "The One."
Finally, in my capacity as Spiritual Leader of the Intergalactic Temple of Sinclair, I handmade an ornament to honor our Holy Guide, Valen. Anyone who's ever seen a "Jesus Fish" or it's counterpart, the "Darwin Fish," will immediately understand the significance of my creation, the "Valen Fish," which evokes Valen's Name in the stylized shape of a Minbari War Cruiser (in turn, a stylization of an angel fish!).
Laura Marlene Appelbaum
So, if you see a dark teal 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix zipping around in the Southern Maryland and Greater DC/Baltimore areas with "PSICORP" plates, flash me a quick "Be Seeing You". Trust the Psi Corps. The Corps is your friend!
I am a huge fan, with a huge collection of cards, pictures and other memorabilia.
My second choice, had that one been already taken, would have been WHTSTAR. I've taken to referring to my two-seater Honda as "the Whitestar" anyway, which I must say has made it even more fun to drive -- though I wish it had that 180° turn capability. When being followed too closely, I tend to mutter, "Full power to aft batteries -- one focused burst." Maybe I should get that on a bumper sticker.
I got a photo of the plate printed onto a t-shirt, which Mira Furlan signed at a recent convention. When I confirmed that this was my license plate, she said that she was honored. No other reactions to the plate, though two teenage girls did point to it as I drove by and turn for another look after I had passed them. I didn't have a chance to go back and ask if they were B5 fans.
Of course, the really big joke is that I own a Dodge Shadow. So a Shadow has the name of Delenn's flyer. :-)
Note: Richard's address has been altered to prevent spam engines finding him. Human beings can easily parse and correct it :-)
Friend of mine, Louise Kleba, has Florida plate MINBAR 9, while a local friend, Troy Rutter, has California plate ZA HA DUM.... His frame says on the top "If you go to" and on the bottom, "You will die." :-)
Another one of my friends here has selected "BBYLON 5" as their plate.
I live in Missouri where we are limited to 6 spaces on a plate. For me, there was only one choice. ZHADUM. I started using that name as my "handle" when playing NTN trivia games in local bars. I like the way the name sounds, and it made people ask me what it meant. People do the same thing with my plates. I have had at least 50 people ask me "What does that mean?" What a great way to lead into a conversation. It also helps that I drive a black full-size sport/utility. Also, last year Missouri changed their plates. So, I have an extra set of plates in the old style on the shelf in my room. On the local mailing group, there are three others who have vanity plates. There is a B5FAN, a WHTSTR, and a DELENN.
What a neat site! My friend and I are HUGE B5 and Star Wars fans. He has the license plates and I have the computer. I can't drive and he wouldn't know a mouse from a doorknob. At conventions, he dresses up as Han Solo (looks just like him, too) and I go as either Leia (no, we're NOT a couple!) or Delenn (they're both my role-models and I look enough like either one that I can pull it off). On the very day Ohio went to seven-character license plates, he rushed out to get his HAN SOLO and VORLON plates. He got the HAN SOLO one (for his Porsche), but VORLON was already taken (probably by Mr. Poltrone up there! I see he's also from Ohio). So, not being one to give up easily, he chose VORLONS (for the Subaru that he and his ex share - she's an avid B5 fan, too!).
Another friend of mine is seeking to buy a new or slightly used Ford Ranger and hopes to get RANGER as his license plate. I'm just disappointed that I can't drive - I'd like to have a MINBARI plate!!
That's it so far ! If you've got a B5-related number plate and would like to see it here, please write to me at email@example.com and tell me about your plate and what state and country you live in. If you could add a little story about the reactions of other people to your plate that'd be great ! Lastly it'd look really cool if you could send me a scanned image of the plate itself.
If you've got a web page of your own let me know the URL so I can link to it - if not then I'll include your email address unless you ask me not to do so.
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