The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent. It originally aired Sept. 30, 2007.
We are always going places we really don't have to get to.
When I was a kid taking a long trip with my father and mother, I'd amuse myself by naming cars and keeping track of which ones I saw the most of. Ford and Chevrolet were usually the winners. Buick and Packards were easy to spot. There were a lot of those. Pierce Arrow was the easiest to see.
Now, I think there are more Hondas and Toyotas on our roads. It's harder to identify cars than it used to be, though.
I read license plates now. Some of the state slogans are so dumb, I think I'd move if I lived there. Wisconsin's plate reads "Endangered Resources." What in the world does that mean, Wisconsin? Wisconsin also has another plate that says it's "America's Dairyland."
Ohio says "Birthplace Of Aviation," but if you're from Ohio, don't park your car next to anyone from North Carolina. Their plate reads "First In Flight."
"Stars Fell On Alabama." Please, Alabama.
Michigan says it's "World's Motor Capital." Why "Motor"? How about "The World's Car Capital"?
Nevada says it's "Rich In Art." Well, maybe. "Rich In Gambling Casinos," certainly.
Some states have the good taste not to put anything on their license plates except numbers and letters. Maryland, Texas, Oregon, California and Colorado don't have anything.
New Hampshire says "Live Free Or Die." A little heavy-handed. How about "Live Free Or Get A Job?"
New Jersey calls itself the "Garden State." How about changing that to "The Oil Refinery State?" North Dakota says it's "The Peace Garden State;" there is no "War Garden State."
Florida's smart. It calls itself just "The Sunshine State." Hot, too, though and Florida doesn't mention that on its license plate.
Rhode Island calls itself the "Ocean State." I don't know. It doesn't even look like an island to me, and I don't know who "Rhode" was.
I recognize my license plate number when I see my car but I couldn't tell you what it is if I wasn't looking at it. I like an anonymous license plate. I don't want a license plate to have Andy on it.
Written By Andy Rooney
Copyright 2007 CBS. All rights reserved.