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Tuesday 12th February 2013
I got a fun email tonight that had flown in all the way from America!
"Hi Richard, hope you are well.
Your CNPS seems like an interesting game."
No it doesn't and it isn't. It is clearly tedious and awful. Don't know what they're talking about? Check out the Consecutive Number Plate Spotting Rules. This person is trying to butter me up with lies.
"Are you still doing it?" Are you really interested?
"I am part of an environmental nonprofit that everyone in California calls CNPS." Charmingly this seemingly random collection of letters and this awkward acronym also stands for "California Native Plants Society". Who would have thought the same letters could mean something so different?
"I wonder if you would be willing to transfer the @CNPS to us so we could use it in getting support for important conservation? I’m not sure what that entails, hopefully it is really simple. Anyhow we figured it was worth asking. Take care, -Dan."
So my early suspicions had been right. Dan was not an American who was really interested in the intricacies of a British number-plate spotting game that has largely become redundant thanks to the 2001 change in the UK number-plate system. He's just a plant lover who is hoping to wrestle away a Twitter handle that he assumes (erroneously as it happens) belong to me. You can understand why. As far as they are concerned I am a mentally ill Brit who can surely be the only player of such a pointless and over-complicated game so I must have taken the Twitter handle too. Little does he know that I have up to a dozen insane acolytes who will join in with whatever I am doing however futile or crazy and it is in fact one of them who has set up the little used and redundant Twitter page. They've done 5 CNPS tweets, the last of them from June 2009 and clearly they have long left the page vacant and there's tumbleweed blowing through it (which no doubt a few Californian plant fans might have a quick look over to see if it's from a rare weed, but only if it's from California - they hate the native plants of any other state).
Obviously given the fact that CNPS can't really be played any more and you'd be an idiot to play it even if it was possible and that the person involved hasn't been back to look at their feed for nearly four years it would be a good thing if the CNPSUS as I call them could get the @CNPS handle for their specific state plant conserving work (and only plants that are native to that state, none that have been introduced - they are sort of plant racists but we can let that pass). So if you own @CNPS do get in touch with me and I'll put you in touch with Dan and his anti-plant-immigration cohorts and you can arrange for him to take the name that I feel is rightfully his.
And don't be seduced into starting CNPSUK now. You'll never finish it. I don't know if the @CNPS Twitterbot service still works and I doubt more than two people ever used it. But how wonderful it is that it existed at all. Maybe you should all send condolence messages to it. Because CNPS must die so that pure bred Californian plants may live. RIP CNPSUK. LLAP CNPSUS.
Sometimes two worlds overlap by some kind of terrible error. I am very sorry that my decade old plight to look at numberplates has impacted on these nice American people.
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