This ain’t your father’s Oldsmobile, that is for sure. Today’s new vehicles come equipped with everything but an espresso machine, and I am not totally sure that you couldn’t get one in a Hummer superlimosine. Quite frankly, we won’t even consider a family vehicle without seperate rear a/c controls, heated seats and a dvd system. But, I can remember the days, back in the day, of fun-filled family vacations. Not.
I remember travelling to Arkansas in the back seat of a 70’s issue Ford Thunderbird. There were three of us, ages 5ish to 12ish, in a back seat that was maybe 4 feet wide. We touched each other. We breathed on each other. And, we sweated on each other. That’s because there were only 3 front row a/c vents and when the front seat people got cold, the back seat boy and girls sweated. We couldn’t read in the car because we got car sick, so we played games.
There is the old standby, the Alphabet game: Find a word starting with each letter of the alphabet in order. As we were reminded this summer, Q and X are toughies. There is the license plate game: see how many different states you can spot and maybe name the capital. There is p’diddle, where if you see a one-eyed vehicle you punch the ceiling. Punch-buggy where you punch the guy in the next seat when you spy a volkswagen bug and yell the color out: “Blue One!” Swat. Delayed silence…. “Stop hitting me. I’m not playin’.” Minutes pass. “Silver one!” Slap. “Don’t hit me. You said you weren’t playing.”
“Stop it back there or I will pull this car over and get a switch!” Moments later we start back over with the staid, but safe, alphabet game.
My kids introduced me to a new car game, “Score!” When you see a non-construction yellow vehicle, you yell, “Score!” and whop the nearest passenger. They hit you back and say, “Good one!” You bop them again with “Thank you.” They punch back with “You’re welcome.” It’s the south; our hitting games involve manners and taking turns. That liberal public television rammed that danged purple dinosaur down our visual craw, so we are gonna politely include everyone in our rough-housing.
However, my all-time favorite game to play in the car is the “What-If” game. What if I win the lottery? What will I buy first? How much will I give to x charity or y charity? Will I rewire the house for speakers and complete computer control of every light bulb from my new iphone 18 or will I just build another house? How much will I have to spend to get the North Carolinians to move back to Louisiana? How soon can I schedule my tummy tuck and do I want a butt-lift? It goes on and on for HOURS! I have spent $100 million several times over. This game scares my husband, who would probably close to retiring at 45 if his family weren’t responsible for his money evaporating.
Today, I came to one certain conclusion about my lottery winnings. If I win the lottery jackpot, I am going to keep my air-conditioners on 65 degrees YEAR ROUND! I will have enough money to have indvidual, monogrammed snuggies made for those people who think that’s a little cool.