David Assman, pronounced OSS-man if you must know, is a Canadian railroad worker who wanted a simple thing: his last name on his licence plate. He was thwarted in this quest, but got revenge in the best possible style.
In other circumstances, I might have more understanding for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, which issues licence plates in the province, but profanity laws are bullshit. Especially if it involves your own damn name.
From the National Post:
Assman first tried to put his name on a licence plate in the 1990s. That application was rejected by SGI as “profanity.” His recent application was denied on the grounds that it was “offensive, suggestive or not in good taste.”
“I think they are too worried that people are going to have hurt feelings about something that is complete nonsense,” Assman told the National Post by direct message last week. “Even if it wasn’t my last name who is it going to hurt?”
Assman is correct. He also seems to have a good attitude about everything.
“I could have got a plate for the front but I really wanted a vanity plate on the back of my truck!” Assman said in a social media post showing off the decal.
“See, I hate to say it but I’m kinda a sarcastic arse and well I just wanted to go big!” he said later via direct message.
I messaged Assman for comment, and will update this post if he replies. The National Post reminded its readers of another famous Assman from Canada’s past, a Dick Assman, a person I was astonished to realise I never knew existed. Dick Assman co-owned a gas station in Regina, and was also on The Late Show at least once, in addition to a recurring segment where David Letterman would get Dick Assman on the phone.
As The New York Times explained in Dick Assman’s obit in 2016:
The segments touched off a craze that some referred to as Assmania. The singer Tony Orlando sang in tribute to him on the show, and Mr. Assman (born Richard Arthur Assman in 1934 in Neudorf, Saskatchewan) was besieged by Canadian news outlets for interviews. His name appeared on T-shirts and bumper stickers. One public opinion poll found that 49 per cent of Canadians had heard of him.
The Assmen aren’t the heroes we deserve, but they’re the ones we need right now.