Each word is taken from the vanity plate master list issued by the DMV.
MIDADD POPDEE QUESTIN 2MA 1NITE AT
JOEYS CFOOD CAFE OFF PCH. HEE HIDD
UNO OST1OT8S DIMOND RRRING ONDA
BOTM UVA COMPLX MPECIBL BOWL OF
PHISH CHOWDA. "UMORON," SEZMOM.
"ICUDA HURT MYSLF."
HENSHE WED ATT JOEEEZ TOO, THEN
DVOUR SEARED MAHI MAHIE WYTHE AVERY
FEARLIS PEPPERI DILL SAUZE. AFTER DAT
ITZ JOEYZ NYTNDAY: WID TERFVIK CURRYD
PRAWNS 2XCAPE THERR BORING PAD; SUM
WITTY SORDFSH KBOBB 2DISCUS THERR
UPNDN MARIAJ; UND 2CELBR8 GETTING
PREGO: CRAWFSH STU, ABIT OVRST8D.
B4 2LONG, DADNMA DDYD MORALSS LIV
ATD DPLACE. SHEGOS N2 LABOUR ATA
TABLE EATIN JOEZ AMUZIN CRABCKS.
IMTHERE WEN ISAY MY1ST WORD:
"CEVICHE." WENDEE SHERFF ARESTED
PPPOP ONEDAY FER RYTTING BADCHEX,
HEEZ THERE2. DADSEZ, "W8AMNIT! LETME
FINISH THIS FSN8IN SALMN CROKET!"
LASTYR MAMMAH IN4MS DFAMLY SHEIS
N2PILLS UND CNTKICK ANDTHEN FALS
FACE1ST INTO APLATA SHELFSH PREPARD,
ASUSUAL, WITH SOMUTCH GENYUS AND
A1OSHIN 2DTAILS WE ALL AGREE JJOEE
ISGOD. WTAJEWL! BONAPT!!
For PL8SPK translation, please see Page 36. Illustrations by Gary Baseman, top, Richard Downs, bottom
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
Appetite and Denial
My Dad popped the question to Ma one night at Joey's Seafood Cafe off PCH. He hid an ostentatious diamond ring on the bottom of a complex, impeccable bowl of fish chowder. "You moron," says Mom, "I could have hurt myself."
He and she wed at Joey's too, then devoured seared mahi mahi with a very fearless peppery dill sauce. After that it's Joey's night and day: with terrific curried prawns to escape their boring pad; some witty swordfish kebab to discuss their up-and-down marriage; and to celebrate getting pregnant: crawfish stew, a bit overstated.
Before too long, Dad and Ma did more or less live at the place. She goes into labor at the table eating Joe's amusing crab cakes. I'm there when I say my first word: "Ceviche." When the sheriff arrested Pop one day for writing bad checks, he's there, too. Dad says, "Wait a minute! Let me finish this fascinating salmon croquette!"
Last year, Mama informs the family she's into pills and can't kick and then falls face first into a plate of shellfish prepared, as usual, with so much genius and attention to details, we all agree that Joey is God. What a jewel! Bon appetit!