Friday, June 03, 2011

Nearly 18 years of painless punching

Tom and I have been together now for nearly 18 years. And of course we have created a few traditions in our time. One of them that really deserves some recognition is the sacred Punch Buggy Game.

Now I know what you're thinking. You remember playing this with your siblings/cousins/friends as a kid where you'd punch each other every time you saw a Volkswagen beetle. Two punches for a Volkswagen van and the dreaded frog punch (with a protruding knuckle) for a rag-top. (I HATED rag-tops!)

Well, Tom and I weren't about to hit each other, you know with me being such a delicate flower and all. So we came up with our own version using points instead of punches.

Now over time this has matured and been honed into a fine game with lots of important rules to keep things fair. And for posterity's sake I think it's time those rules were enumerated here for all to see.


The Punch Buggy Game

Regular beetle= 1 point
Rag-Top beetle= 1 point
Volkswagon Van= 2 points

Rule #1: Everyone is Always Playing. You can't opt out, quit, or otherwise claim you're not playing. Losing? Headache? Sleeping? Too bad. If you're IN the car, you're still playing.

Rule #2: The Punch Buggy Game can only be played while in the car with all doors closed.

Rule #3: The same punch buggy cannot be counted twice in the same "trip". A trip lasts only until everyone gets out of the car (whether or not this is at home doesn't matter). For example, a punch buggy can be called upon entering the parking lot, and if it is still there it CAN be called again once everyone re-enters the car and closes the doors. However, if one of the players never left the car, then it cannot be called as the "trip" did not re-start.

Rule #4: When you call a punch buggy it must be called in the following manner:

Regular beetle= "Punch Buggy COLOR" (where COLOR=color of the vehicle) (You may also differentiate between new and old model beetles. This is optional.)

Rag-Top beetle= "Punch Buggy COLOR Ragtop" or "Punch Buggy Ragtop COLOR" are both acceptable (where COLOR=color of the vehicle)

Volkwagon van= "Double Punch Buggy COLOR" (where COLOR=color of the vehicle)

Note, that the color of the punch buggy is called. This is to differentiated between multiple punch buggies when more than one is in the vicinity. Accidentally calling a punch buggy the wrong color does not necessitate losing the point, especially if you're pretty close or if it's dark outside. BUT should there be multiple ones and you call the wrong color, it could cause your point to be disputed, so be careful.

Rule #5: This is known as the Punch Buggy Heaven rule. If there are more than 3 punch buggy vehicles in one location, that location is deemed to be a "Punch Buggy Heaven" and NO punch buggy points called will count from that area.

Note this means up to and including 3 vehicles would NOT be Punch Buggy Heaven. So if you only see 3 double punch buggies, call them!

Rule #6
: The punch buggy game ends at the end of the day. This is when everyone has returned home to go to bed for the night. So if you go out for a late movie, the same game is still on as you're coming home at 2am.

Rule #7: Ties mean that NO ONE gets a point, rather than both people getting the point. A tie happens when both people finish saying the entire required statement at the same time. One might have started talking first, but if they both say the entire statement and end at the same time, it is a tie.


I think that about covers the rules of The Punch Buggy Game.

We actually have discussed every one of these rules, AND we have to agree on a proposed rule before it can be made official. (That's how I kept Tom's rule of being allowed to call "PB COLOR" instead of saying the whole required phrase.) I'm sure other rules may come along in the future as we start including the kids.

So far it's usually only Tom and I playing. Nicky is still at the age where every single car is a punch buggy, so he always "wins". At least in his own mind. Our rules are really designed with a duo in mind. I'm sure it would require more complex rules if more than two wanted to play.

At times we have tried having paper and pencil handy for keeping score, but usually we just keep track mentally (or I do on my fingers). I usually also keep Tom appraised by telling him how many points ahead I am. Usually something like "I'm ahead by negative four points!" since I often lose. But I like to be optimistic and it sounds better that way.

So that's our game. We used to play it faithfully every time we were in the car. It's only been the last few years when we had kids in the car with us that we slack off sometimes. BUT remember Rule #1. We're ALWAYS playing, even if we forget.

What kinds of games do you play and do you have such complex rules?