Hurry up and wait

The hearing didn’t go too badly, but there’s still no telling how the Tax Commission will decide. They said they’d mail out a decision “within the next month,” so it could be awhile before I know anything. Administrative Law Judge Kerry R. Chapman presided over the hearing, along with Tax Commissioner (and former Salt Lake City Mayor) Palmer DePaulis. Laron Lind represented the other side, with Lynette Byrd there to answer questions as well. DMV Director Brad Simpson and Assistant Director Kevin Park were also there, but they simply sat and watched.
I gave my arguments first, then Laron gave the DMV’s position, then Judge Chapman and Mr. DePaulis asked a few questions of Ms. Byrd. One interesting thing is that when Ms. Byrd was asked, hypothetically, if the DMV would have granted a plate request for “MR UDINK” or some other such phrase that would put my name into context, she stewed over it for a minute, then decided that they would deny that as well.
My argument consisted of basically four points. The first point was that my cousin has his last name on his license plate in Oregon, and it’s apparently not offensive there. Secondly, the most common uses of the word “dink” are fairly innocuous, and as proof I cited such kid-friendly things as Shrinky Dinks, Dink, the Little Dinosaur (a Hanna-Barbera cartoon series), Winky-Dink and You (another cartoon), and such uses of the word as “rinky-dink” and “dinky.” Thirdly, I suggested that any reasonable person would associate these innocuous meanings with my license plate, and I cited all the media attention that this case has received as evidence–KUTV did a segment on it, it was mentioned on two national news channels and on 48 major news websites (thanks to the AP), and I was interviewed on 14 radio shows across the country. Last of all, the slang dictionary where they got their definition for the word “dink” actually got its definitions from this slang dictionary, which is run by some guy in Norway. This “dictionary” gets all its definitions from individual internet users (as you can read here), and it’s also nowhere near being an authoritative source. I’m sure the Oxford English Dictionary would have the same definition if it’s as widely used as the DMV claims, but they don’t cite that as their source.
Anyway, now it’s just time to sit back and wait. Even if they rule against me, I can still appeal their ruling and have a more formal hearing, which I may just do. I still haven’t heard any compelling reasons from the DMV as to why they denied my license plate request, and until I do, I think I’ll just keep pushing the issue.

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