Mike Wyatt: Road Rage, Blood Pressure, and License Plates

Mike Wyatt

Being a commercial real estate broker means logging lots of miles on our local toll roads and public highways. I often joke with my fellow brokers and clients that I am a very highly compensated taxi cab driver. Road rage comes and goes, depending on time of day, how late I will be to my next appointment, and the level of traffic and congestion before me.

I have become acutely aware of the nameless faces in the vehicles around me. Redneck truckers who dangerously cut off lanes, young mothers racing children to and from school and sporting events, with mobile phones glued to their ears, teenagers texting friends, young male professionals getting dressed for work, and young professional women steering with their knees while putting on eye shadow.

Roadways in North Texas have become a very dangerous to navigate today, with everybody busy doing everything but driving.I  am no exception as I have acquired this  unhealthy habit of obsessive observation that ignites my ire, boils my blood, and increases my blood pressure. Truly not a good thing for a middle-aged man of 50 years!

Recently, however, I found a new way to indulge my curiosity during the downtime of snarled traffic. And this one has a positive spin. My new preoccupation  is to count the number of out-of-state license plates. This new game keeps at bay the anger that used to consume me—and no doubt has added a few of the gray hairs that I now sport.

Over the past two weeks I have counted well over 100 Okies plates, dozens of plates from Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, and, surprisingly, scores of plates from both California and New York. I have even seen plates from Maine and New Hampshire, and one from as far away as Alberta, Canada.
Back in the 1980s I remember seeing a lot of plates from the rust and corn belts, primarily Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, and Indiana.

It is truly exciting to see so much more geographic diversity in our recent economic expansion. It further underscores the reality that North Texas is in the midst of a robust boom. We are no doubt the “promised land ” of economic opportunity for many individuals who have decide to pack up and leave their home states to seek a better life here in Big D!

So the next time you’re on a freeway, toll road, or 20 cars deep at a red light, and you find yourself on the verge of an unhealthy rage or vituperative outburst, you may want to consider playing the license plate game—and remember just how lucky we are to be professionals working in a great city and great state that is proving to be the economic engine of our country!

And who knows? This new game just might help in delaying premature graying and add a few more years to your life!

Michael Wyatt is an executive director within Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.’s brokerage services group. Contact him at [email protected]


  • Randy Thompson

    I saw a plate from Hawaii recently and was left wondering how in the world he drove here from there.

  • Lana Antos

    A little Grecian Formula will cover that gray!

  • Eric Rutledge

    One call to friends in the midwest makes me thankful to be in Dallas.

    From now on I will pay closer attention to the license plates in front of me than the stupid drivers.

  • Steve Everbach

    Glad to see the migration to Texas from multiple states. A vituperative outburst can also lower blood pressure though!

  • Brian Wilson

    I decided to play your game on North Central Expressway just before 5PM. The plates I noticed were Arizona, Michigan, California, Missouri and Georgia.

    Needless to say, your remedy took my mind off of the traffic. Thanks.

  • Riis Christensen

    I like your game since I see drivers from all states preoccupied with anything but driving. Very frustrating! I had a vituperative outburst this morning at Spring Valley and Tollway on my way to work! A kid from Oregon with “Cobain Lives!” bumper sticker on rice rocket lowered giant -tailpiped Civic was in front of me texting, smoking, kissing his friend and punching dials on his stereo. Minnesota soccer mom was using an eyelash curler in farm implement SUV next to him with “13.1” , “My Kid’s an Honor Student at Ole Elementary” and a few dozen stick figure kids, cats and dogs on back of her window. Minnesota took off at green light and cut in front of Oregon. I had to slam on my brakes and spilled a full bowl of cereal all over my newspaper, my iPhone and my iPad. Watch out for those foreigners!!! riis

  • Huntley Paton

    I would rather stand in a traffic jam of red sockeye salmon in an Alaska river. What do you say, Mikey?

  • Mike – Like the game. NTCAR should offer the general public a special Commercial Real Estate Driver’s Ed program. We all know that it takes years of experience to handle business while driving in DFW and commercial real estate brokers are the best 😉 Riis, rookie mistake with the bowl of cereal, you should have had toast or yogurt. Chuck