- You still have some time to win the $100 shopping spree to Harry Mason Designer Jewelry. So, if you want to make your ears kiss you long and hard, enter HERE. Ends tonight at 9pm eastern! OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
- Nate bought the girls and me a big honkin’ basket of Godiva chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Last year, I would have inhaled half the basket before dragging him upstairs and thanking him properly multiple times. That’s because last year I wasn’t on Weight Watchers. Today? I’m five miserably stubborn pounds away from goal weight. This means I’m cranky and that means Nate’s chances of surviving this day without having his genitalia handed to him with a spatula are iffy at best.
- I leave you with a post I wrote last year around this time, Punch Buggy Chamberlain Style, about Volkswagen Beetles a/k/a Love Bugs. We can’t be the only family that plays this game, right? Right? Hello? Are we weird? Hello?
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Or, if you’re inclined to tell Cupid to bite the big one … Happy Sunday!
Punch Buggy, Chamberlain Style
Back in the seventies when I was a youngster and just a bit shorter than I am now but with somewhat the same wardrobe, we had a punch buggy, otherwise known as a Volkswagen Beetle, otherwise known as Dad’s car.
It was red, except for the driver’s door. That was black.
I have no idea why.
It had a white leather interior with little dimpled air holes all over the upholstery. The seats kind of looked like mutated golf balls threw up all over them.
It had an odd floor on the passenger side. We called it pavement.
One time we went to Wegmans and when we came out, another Beetle had parked in the spot right next to us. It was red all over too, except for the passenger door. That was black.
I have no idea why.
But I remember staring at the both of them and thinking “Whoa.” Because my thoughts were fairly deep, even back then. That’s what the seventies were for, wasn’t it? To think deeply?
Or inhale deeply. One or the other.
Our red punch buggy bit the dust not too much longer after that cosmic experience, and never again did we own a vehicle with such character.
We did, however, subsequently own both a Gremlin and Pinto, but thankfully not at the same time. Apparently, my father was bound and determined to get from Point A to Point B in the most fuel efficient, ugliest manner possible. Bless his heart.
I’m sure anyone who has ever ridden in a car with a child is familiar with the punch buggy game. The rules are simple:
- Whoever sees a punch buggy first shouts out the color while simultaneously slugging everyone in the car, preferably in the arm but the rules are somewhat fuzzy on that point.
- Lurching and heaving your body into the front seat is optional. My kids do it when I’m not looking.
- Lack of aim is directly proportional to the enthusiasm behind the slug. Carry bandages.
- Once you’ve been slugged, you cannot claim the punch buggy for yourself. Not that you could anyway, being unconscious and all.
I’m not sure who invented the punch buggy game but whoever it was, I bet they never dreamed it would eventually become a rite of passage for children everywhere. Well, with the exception of the little Greek boy/girl twins born to Peter and Dee Psyhos in 1967 because if I had slugged my mom while she was driving, I’d be sucking dirt and typing this from six feet under right now.
However, my kids and I play it almost every single time we’re in the car and it’s not until you play this game with my kids that you wonder what the hell the executives of Volkswagen were smoking when they decided that eleventy million punch buggy colors weren’t enough, they needed somewhere around umpteen different shades of each color as well.
Who knew? Not me.
You also don’t realize the sheer number of punch buggies there are on the road. They should call it the Volkswagen Bunny – the thing breeds like it’s mainlining Viagra and Clomid.
My kids really get into this game and tend to forget their own strength in the excitement of spotting a buggy of the crimson red persuasion, not to be confused with cardinal red, which itself is vastly different from sangria red. On our last trip down south, you could connect the bruises on my arms and come up with a reasonable facsimile of Argentina.
Back when my youngest still lovingly referred to me as Mommy instead of She Who Sucks the Fun Out of Everything, this is how it would typically go down in our car:
Me: Punch buggy, don’t hit me.
Zoe: Mom! It’s “punch buggy green, no punch backs.” You gotta say it right or it doesn’t count.
Helena: Awwwww, Mommy! That’s not fair! I didn’t see it!
Me: But that’s the point, honey. I saw it first, so I said it first. Punch buggy don’t punch back.
Zoe: MOM! C’mon! It’s “punch buggy green, no punch backs,” so now yours doesn’t count. Geez.
Me: Well, that makes no sense whatsoever. Why …
Helena: OOOOOH, MINE, MINE! PUNCH BUGGY GREEN, NO PUNCH BACKS, MOMMY!
Me: Ugh. Please don’t scream. And did you just kick me?
Helena: I can’t reach to punch you, Mommy.
Me: Oh. Ok, sweetie.
Zoe: PUNCH BUGGY BLUE, NO PUNCH BACKS. HAH!
Me: Is it really necessary to body slam me while I’m driving? Can we stick to simply punching?
Zoe: It was just a touch, Mom! Geez, you need to lighten up. You’re becoming a wimp.
Me: You CAN’T be serious? Me, a wimp? Are you out of ….
Zoe: PUNCH BUGGY RED, NO PUNCH BACKS!
Me: OW! Wait a minute, I don’t think …
Zoe: Gotta pay attention, Mom.
Helena: No fair! I didn’t see it. MOMMY, SHE’S NOT PLAYING FAIR. MOOOOOMMMMY!
Zoe: It is too fair! I saw it first. Not my problem you’re a shrimp.
Me: OK, no name calling. New rule. And let’s try to use our indoor …
Helena: PUNCH BUGGY BLACK, NO PUNCH BACKS! I GOT IT FIRST, MOMMY! I GOT IT! I BEAT YOU!
Me: OK, enough! Let’s play statues! Who’s with me?.