Oedipus the King

By Daniel Nussbaum. Nussbaum has retold the story of Oedipus using 154 of the more than 1 million California personalized licence plates registered with the state's Motor Vehicles Bureau. As reprinted in Harper's Magazine, September 1992.

ONCEAPON ATIME LONG AGO IN THEBES IMKING. OEDIPUS DAKING. LVMYMRS. LVMYKIDS. THEBENS THINK OEDDY ISCOOL. NOPROBS.

OKAY MAYBE THEREZZ 1LITL1. MOTHER WHERERU? WHEREAT MYDAD? NOCALLZ NEVER. HAVENOT ACLUE. INMYMIND IWNDER WHOAMI? IMUST FINDEM.

JOJO MYWIFE GOES "OED DONT USEE? WERHAPI NOW LETITB." IGO "NOWAY. IAMBOSS DONTU TELLME MYLIFE. INEED MYMOM. II WILLL FINDHER. FIND BOTHOF THEM."

SOI START SEEKING DATRUTH ABOUT WHO IAM. ITGOEZ ULTRAAA SLOWE. THE SPHYNX RIDDLE WAS ACINCH BUT NOTTHIZ.

SUDNLEE WEHEAR SHOCKING NEWS. WHEN I WASA TINY1 THISGR8 4SEER SED IWOOD OFF MY ROYAL OLDMAN THEN MARREE MYMAMA. SICKO RUBBISH, NESTPAS? WHOWHO COULDBE SOGONE? STILL MOMNDAD SENT MEEEEE AWAY. MEE ABABI AWAAAY.

NOWWWW GETTHIZ. MANY MOONS GOBY. IMEET THISGUY ON ATRIP. WEDOO RUMBLE. WHOKNEW? ILEFTMY POP ONE DEDMAN.

UGET DAFOTO. MAJR. TSURIS. JOJO MYHONEE, MYSQEEZ, MYLAMBY, MIAMOR, MYCUTEE. JOJOY IZZ MYMOMMY.

YEGODS WHYMEE? YMEYYME? LIFSUX. IAMBAD, IAMBAD, IMSOBAD. STOPNOW THISS HEDAKE. THIS FLESH DUZ STINK. ITZ 2MUCH PAYNE 4ONE2C. TAKEGOD MYEYES!

AIEEEEE!