May License Plate Report

May was well on the way to being a complete bust — disappointing, but not unexpected since incoming traffic has been down due to the now-familiar reason and I’ve been on the road even less than usual.

Then I pulled into the area behind Kenny Belain’s Mid-Island Automotive to get Malvina Forester inspected. (Malvina usually gets inspected in March, the month I bought her and brought her home, but serious COVID-19 shutdowns began in March and the Registry of Motor Vehicles gave all of us March and April inspectees an extra 60 days to get current.) What should I spot while the mechanic was checking Malvina out but Kansas.

Of course I had to look more closely, because plenty of the vehicles on Kenny’s back lot haven’t been driveworthy for some time and their plates, if any, may be years out of date. But Kansas was current, the plate mounted on an SUV that looked ready to hit the road at any time.

So we’re up to 36 on the year.

One new sighting seemed pretty pathetic for May, so I went back to previous Mays to see how 2020 stacked up. Turns out I only spotted two in May 2019, but I made two off-island weekend road trips that month, one to Boston for my 50th high school reunion and one to Canandaigua to pick up my now-14-month-old puppy.

The haul in May 2018 was considerably better — six! That’s more like it, I thought, till I went back another year: only two new ones in May 2017 — but that report included this note: “The tally was disappointing till I consulted my maps for previous years. They reminded me that May often isn’t a big month for new spottings. 2016 brought just one (Missouri) and 2015 two (Idaho and Utah).”

Turns out my expectations for May, and my disappointment that they were not met, were not supported by the facts, and since “the facts” were gathered by me personally, it was futile to argue with them. Statistics can be used to mislead, distort, and maybe even lie, but they do come in handy sometimes. We’ll see if I remember this when next May rolls around.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has two blogs going on WordPress. "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories" is about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard. "Write Through It" is about writing, editing, and how to keep going. She also manages the blogsite for the Women's Committee of We Stand Together / Estamos Todos Juntos, a civic engagement group on Martha's Vineyard.
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