My own spiritual journey with Goki Feng Hoo, the ancient Chinese art of decoding car license plates, started when I spotted the following plate on a French car as it passed me when I was vacationing in Alsace: 154–GP–657. All beginnings are said to be humble and you are sure to be underwhelmed by this revelation. This particular plate is so obvious, so straight forward, that it’d take a very special kind of person to not understand its meaning, or the underlying implication that, indeed, messages are being sent to us mortals through the medium of car license plates. This plate was what one might call; a dead-giveaway.
The “GP” part of this plate is of course the ‘tag’, or the ‘identifier’, indicating the intended recipient by his or her initials. Some Goki practitioners insist on calling this the ‘eye-catcher’, as it is almost always our initials that draw us to a particular plate. The first set of numbers (154) is of course my date of birth. Inner circles call this kind of number a ‘secondary identifier’, as it conveys no further meaning than a reassurance to the recipient that he or she is indeed the intended recipient. Secondary identifiers are quite rare in license plates. It is speculated that this is because they aren’t often needed, and, obviously, they waste valuable message real-estate. Secondary identifiers are to Goki practitioners as big letter books are to literature students. Of course, it helps that 154 is my date of birth in reverse roman notation, transcoded to a hexadecimal base, but it’s still obvious to the point of being embarrassing. Nevertheless, I share this in the hopes it may convince hardened non-believers to start paying attention, to heed the plates and signposts in their lives.
The third set of numbers (667) was a rather unflattering statement on the dismal state of my kitchen tiles, which, for brevity’s sake, I shall not expand upon here.
So, with this over-obvious plate, my journey had begun. Before I finished reading the Goki Feng Hoo manual, as transcribed by Hung Lee in 1865 and translated by the venerable Iain Flackton in 1981, I started noticing additional plates baring personal messages. Some I spotted more or less accidentally, others I found while actively looking. I bought a little notebook and wrote all these plates down. A little voice inside me said that these messages might be multi-layered (something that the manual would later confirm); single messages are applicable to your immediate future, multiple messages, concatenated according to the patterning matrix as found on page 17 of the official Goki Feng Hoo manual, form a new and larger message, useful for the long term.
The first plate I noted down in my new plate-book, was the somewhat skeptic GP1–256, found on a Swedish car that cut me off on a roundabout. It was followed that same day by the more humorous 763–GWP–500, and a rather vexing XY–GP–69. Although extremely useful at the time, their true meaning didn’t become apparent until I combined them into a single message: XY–GP–69–GP1–256–763–GWP–500, which obviously led me to quit my job and move to Scotland.
Although it was an uneventful, somewhat meaningless life, it was years before I received a follow-up message, the urgent: W–457–GP. I found it hanging by a single screw from the backside of a pre-world war I tractor. That message helped me realize my mistake in interpreting the original triplet. It had me recheck my notes and study the patterning matrix as found on page 17 of the official Goki Feng Hoo manual a bit more closely. By nightfall, I’d uncovered the problem; the Swedish plate should have come last, making the message: XY–GP–69–763–GWP–500–GP1–256.
Obviously what I should have been doing was setting up a small goat cheese factory in Ochbach, Germany, using only local resources and shunning all forms of pasteurization. Better late than never, I made the necessary changes to my life and the factory has since become a moderate success.
Over the years it occurred to me that the corrective plate might have taken so long to reach me because whoever or whatever was responsible for the messages was angry at me for being so callous. But, at a pinch, it could be down to the fact that there were very few plates in Pitlochry, and most of them were covered in mud. The lines of communication had sanded over.