If you’re not one to name your cars, you can be sure that you know someone who does. This writer for instance drives a Ford Fiesta lovingly known as ‘Annie’. So it should be no shock then to learn that for over 10 years Lori Ann Phillips has been driving her RAV4, affectionately nicknamed ‘Kumquat’ with matching numberplates, all around the USA.
In fact, Lori Ann has given all her cars cute fruit names, her first car was a Camry named Peaches, who was then followed by a white Ford truck called Papaya.
What could possibly be newsworthy about this?
Well, it turns out not everyone knows what a kumquat is - and if you’re unfamiliar with the grape-sized citrus fruit you may even think that it’s a dirty word. Which is exactly what happened when Lori Ann returned from holidays to a letter from the local roads authority, demanding she explain herself.
Someone, it seems, had contacted them complaining that the KUMQUAT plate was ‘offensive and in poor taste.’ Lori Ann found the complaint hilarious and in a Facebook post said simply, ‘learn your fruits’.
The story was picked up by the Raleigh Agenda, and after coming to the attention of the department of transport, Lori Ann received a voicemail saying she didn’t actually need to write them a letter.
'I was a little let down,' she told The Washington Post. 'I was looking forward to [writing] the response.' Adding that she had thought to include a basket of kumquats along with it.
Lori Ann admits she had never actually eaten a kumquat until after she’d gotten her car, and when she did try it, she hated it.
'It’s nasty,” Phillips told the Agenda. 'I think it’s a vile little fruit.'