Friday 30 September 2011

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Our Punch Buggy Travel Game

When I was young, we never really played travel games.  I know lots of people played things like license plate bingo or I Spy, but we just generally slept in the back of the station wagon.  It was probably easier back then since we didn't have to worry about little things like seat belts or not climbing back and forth over the seats.  Nowadays our kids have to stay strapped in, but they have 300 tv shows, 2,000 songs, and an entire library of video games at their disposal.  You'd think that would be plenty to keep everybody entertained, but there's still one classic travel game that we play.

Now before you start reaching for the phone to call Social Services, we don't actually play with the punching.  All we do is race to call "Red One" or whatever color it is and then gloat over how much more observant we are than anybody else in the car.  Also, despite the efforts of Volkswagen to update the game with their newer cars, we only call punch buggies.  Truth be told though, the game was a lot more fun before Volkswagen brought back the Beetle.  Now there's a ton of Bugs on the road and it's not really all that exciting to call one because there's probably another one right around the corner.  There are, however, a few exceptions we've come across that still carry some serious bragging rights:

The "Love Bug" One -
This used to be our automatic win car, until we realized that on a road trip of any length it wasn't that unlikely that you would come across more than one of these in a given day.  Unfortunately my kids have only seen the newest Herbie movie "Herbie: Fully Loaded", so they think that this is an automatic win car because it's what Lindsay Lohan drives.  Sigh.

The "Lobster" One  -
We saw this car on International Drive in Orlando and we chased it for a couple of miles trying to get a picture of it.  You wouldn't think that a small car with a giant lobster on top of it would be that hard to catch, but whoever was driving this thing had apparently spent a little time in Nascar school.  Although we never did get a decent shot of the car (this is somebody else's) it sticks in my kids heads as "that lobster car we chased around Orlando".

The "Pickle" One -
This one was parked at Town Square mall in Las Vegas.  It's for Johnny McGuire's Deli and sadly, despite my love for sandwiches, I haven't been in to try the place out yet as it happens to be right next to one of my favorite sushi places, and happy hour there usually wins out.  I do still look for the car every time I'm at Town Square Mall, and unless the sushi place purchases a Bug with a giant sushi roll on top of it, I'm going to have to give Johnny McGuire's  a shot pretty soon.

The "BatBug" One -
We were driving home from Seattle one day when this car came tearing past us in a huge hurry, almost like somebody was chasing him or he was responding to some kind of signal (Obviously the Bat signal wouldn't work in Seattle with all the rain clouds so there would have to be some other way for the city to communicate with it's hero.)  We spent the next part of our drive trying to figure out what kind of emergency Batman would be needed for in Seattle (Mr. Freeze making the coffee cold at Starbucks? Somebody playing something other than Nirvana? The Seahawks about to win a game?) but the BatBug had sped off far ahead of us, so alas, we'll never know.

There's been a couple of others that we just never managed to get pictures of.  We've encountered a few that were decked out like ladybugs, and one in Bellingham that was all black with a rhino horn on it's hood.  The last time we were in Las Vegas there was a new Beetle available in the aisle at our car rental place, and I thought my wife was going to make me go down a few classes to take it instead of the Chrysler 300 that we had reserved.  I managed to talk her out of it but I have to admit, if they'd had the BatBug there, it might have been a different story.