Those numbers will tell us whether our nation will be led for the next four years by a responsible, experienced person with a reasonable set of goals--Hillary Clinton--or an unbalanced, racist, egomaniac--Donald Trump. I voted several weeks ago with an absentee ballot, something permitted by the State of
Michigan for all people over 65. All the complex
numbers tell us the election will be close in Michigan. Here's hoping we'll arise
Wednesday morning to welcome our first woman president.
To stay away from the complicated numbers games, I decided to make this post about single digits, one displayed on my garage wall, the other adorning a luxury auto on the other side of the world.
Early last month, Balwinder Sahani, an Indian businessman, paid $9 million at an auction in
for a one-digit auto license plate. It seems unique plates have become a fad in
the glitzy United Arab
Emirates. Auctions for them are held every
two or three months, and millions of dollars are at stake.
About 300 bidders and observers crowded the auction hall when Sahani acquired the D5 plate. He said he will attach it to one of his Rolls-Royces. I don't understand Arabic or Indian mathematics, but apparently "D5" equals the numeral 9.
"I like number 9 and D5 adds up to nine, so I went for it," Sahani said. "I have collected 10 number plates so far and I am looking forward to having more. It's a passion."
I acquired a number 9 auto license plate in 1972. It had nothing to do with passion, and everything to do with luck.
I was registering our old Chevrolet shortly after we moved to
When my turn came, the clerk looked around at boxes of plates behind him and
said, "How'd you like a really nifty number?"
"Sure, why not," I said. With that, my clerk and three others made a dive for one box. My guy came back clutching No. 9, which he promptly issued to me. He explained that
Idaho had a license plate pecking order. The
governor got No. 1, the lieutenant governor received No. 2, and so on down the
political ladder. The line ended at No. 8 with the secretary of state. So by
possessing No. 9, I had the lowest plate number a common citizen could get.
My number 9 didn't cost nine million dollars. As I recall, the vehicle registration fee in 1972 was just $12 or so.
We got a lot of comments and questions from folks who noticed our distinctive tag. One was from my supervisor, Ed Maw. Ed had many political contacts, and he was proud of his status in the community. He appeared to be miffed that I had the low number when he believed he deserved any such honor. I played the game. "Ed, it's all in who you know," I told him.
It was fun while it lasted, but it didn't last long. About four months after my registration
changed to a whole new plate design and numbering system. I got an unimportant
replacement number just like the rest of the common people.
9 as a souvenir. It now graces my garage wall. Since Mr. Sahani could well afford
the gesture, I hope he'll send one of those Rolls my way. I'll be pleased to
drive it around displaying No. 9 for all to see.