How to play punch buggy

How to play punch buggyby Howtowise-Staff

How to play punch buggy

Have you ever been driving or walking down the street with a friend and for no apparent reason he punches you in the arm and says “Blue Punch Buggy, no punch-backs”? No, he hasn’t developed a nervous tic; he’s playing the Punch Buggy game.

The rules are simple: Whenever you see a Volkswagen Beetle, as quickly as you can, turn to the person nearest you, punch their upper arm firmly, yet gently, and say the color of the car, followed by “Punch Buggy”. Remember to say “no punch-backs”. If you don’t, someone else can punch on the same car, a situation to avoid.

And if you have the fortune of seeing a convertible Beetle, you can punch twice. Rules about specific colors and consequences of stating the wrong color vary from region to region. You’ll know soon enough if you and your friend have different rules regarding red Bugs, for example. The same applies when you’re watching a movie in which a Punch Buggy appears. And if you’ve rented The Love Bug, it is strongly advisable to establish the rules before watching it.

Now, there is some controversy in the Punch Buggy world surrounding the new Beetle. Purists say it doesn’t count. Partly because as the years wear on, seeing a vintage VW Bug becomes less likely and the game intensifies. Although some just won’t accept them as real Beetles and therefore disqualify them. It’s mostly younger players who say the new Beetle is fair game. They seem to want to punch as many times as they can.

How the game started is a mystery. But it has been around for at least thirty years. And it’s not just for kids. There are plenty of adults who have been walking around with an eye open for VWs since childhood. For you see, once you learn the Punch Buggy game, you never stop playing.

You know the joy of spotting that VW Bug on the horizon while your sister is busy telling you about her new boyfriend and you beat her to the punch. Literally.

However, you’ll also know the sadness that comes from seeing a Beetle when you’re by yourself. A Punch Buggy and no one to punch is a lonely occurrence.

Punch Buggy is almost a perfect game. There’s no equipment needed. You can play it with your kids. It gets you out of the house and it builds the power of observation. And although it can get competitive, there really never is a winner or loser since the game never ends.

So, whenever you’re out, stay alert. Watch for that distinctive curved roof. Listen for the unmistakable engine noise. Play the Punch Buggy Game.

When you road trip as often as we do this means that most of your life is spent in the car. Sometimes, that means up to 13 hours a day for us. What do we do with all that time? Just sitting in the car, staring out the window for hours on end can be enough to drive a person mad (not that some of us were all that sane to begin with 🙂 ). You come up with creative road trip games to pass the minutes. The VW Punch Buggy Game is one of our favorites! Being huge Volkswagen fans, it is only natural that we would want to participate in this fun but sometimes brutal game. This is the “Constant Rambler” version of the popular road trip game.

How to play punch buggy

Volkswagen image courtesy of vwvortex

We decided that on long road trips the VW Punch Buggy Game would be a great way to keep each other awake and vigilant on the road (and slugging each other would also be good for stress relief 🙂 ). The original version of this game includes only classic VW bugs and have little or no room for adding or subtracting rules. We pretty much threw that version out the car window (insert laugh here), and came up with the VW game, Rambler Style!

There are 3 different kinds of punch buggies in our catalog:

1.) The Current Model (including the “New Beetle” ) – 1 punch with the “no punch back” addendum added to end 🙂 (or else the punchee can slug you back). This version also requires you to state the color of the punch buggy. ex. “Yellow punch buggy no punch backs”

If the punchee slugs you back they have to state the whole saying over. ex. “Yellow punch buggy no punch backs”

How to play punch buggy

2.) The classic or original model – 2 punches with the “no punch back” addendum added to end. This version does not require you to call a color. Sometimes you run into a rusted out punch buggy and it is so old and faded that a color is not available.

How to play punch buggy

Classic 1964 Beetle

3.) The Dark Flint Special aka Lauren’s Punch Buggy – This version happens to be my favorite! It is the “Lauren’s Punch Buggy” version. – 3 punches with the “no punch back” addendum added to end. This version does not require stating a color. You can say “Lauren’s Punch Buggy” or “Dark Flint Punch Buggy”. This is my favorite because it is based on my old car, Roxanne 🙂 and there were only 3500 made. This is the ultimate punch buggy find!

How to play punch buggy

As you can see, you can modify the game or tailor it to suite your Punch Buggy needs. There is only one exception to punching for a punch buggy in our version of this game. No VW dealership punches! If you are passing by a VW Dealership (all other dealerships are fair game) all VWs on that lot are null and void. For expert play I suggest the passenger keeps an eye out for car carrying semis. Sometimes those babies are chock full of VW Beetles, and you can usually catch everyone else in the car by surprise!

After countless hours on the road together, we have several other games in the works that all follow the same basic rules.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the East Coast they play Punch Buggy. On the West Coast and in the Midwest, it’s Slug Bug.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/6/2003 (6696 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the East Coast they play Punch Buggy. On the West Coast and in the Midwest, it’s Slug Bug.

Some kids call it Beetle Bop; the hippies called it Love Bug.

But no matter where you live or how you play it, when you see a Volkswagen Bug or Beetle, look out.

For the uninitiated, the game goes like this: The first person in the car to spot a VW gets to arm-punch everyone in reach, shouting “Slug bug!”(or Punch buggy!)

For decades people have played games involving the rounded, colorful car, but no one really knows when it all began.

“I would say it started with some college kids back when there were lots of Bugs in the late ’60s,” said Scott Sportsman, a Kansas City firefighter, Bug owner and Slug Bug player.

“They were just kids looking for a reason to have fun,” said Sportsman, who drives a ’71 baby blue Bug.

Assorted tales of how the fun started, the various names and the rules of the game are online by the dozens. There’s a book, “The Complete Rules of Punch Buggy,” by Michael Lockhart and Ian Finlayson. They’ve even written a satirical history of the game, dating it to ancient Egypt.

The truth is, there is no recorded origin of the game, but the Bug has had an interesting life.

“It’s an icon in pop culture,” said Michael Marsden, a popular culture expert and professor of English and Cultural Studies at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

The Bug started out ignominiously as Adolf Hitler’s people car, Marsden said. But when the car was introduced to America in 1949, it was transformed into a universally appreciated icon.

In 1969, when Disney made “The Love Bug” movie featuring Herbie the Volkswagen Bug with a mind of his own, research showed people had a special reaction to Bugs compared to other cars, Marsden said.

“People like the Bug beyond the reality of any other relationship to a car. It’s past cuteness and convenience,” said Marsden, who teaches a course on automobiles in American culture.

“There’s a super-affectionate nature when people spot them, even in its reincarnation.”

Some would disagree.

Mike Kersten, president of the Mo-Kan (Missouri-Kansas) Volkswagen Club, says Slug Bug is a historical thing and the new Beetle isn’t a Bug.

To clarify, the Bug is a pre-1971 Volkswagen. The Super Beetle came out in 1971, with a more bulbous hood, more luggage space and large round tail lights. The new retro-style Beetle was introduced in 1999. Most Volkswagen fans consider all models before the new one a Bug.

“You don’t get the same response from a new Beetle driver that you get from a classic Beetle driver,” said Kersten, who has a ’71 Super Beetle painted an iris mist//metallic color.

People with the original Bugs have a sense of Volkswagen camaraderie, he said. “New Beetle drivers see their cars as a form of transportation; classic drivers look at it as a way of life.”

For most Slug Bug players, a Bug is a Beetle is a Bug. They just make sure they see it first.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Bug or a Beetle,” said Jennifer Wieman, 26, of Kansas City, a Slug Bug fanatic.

Wieman doesn’t just stop at Slug Bug, she plays a variety of car games, from (PT) Cruiser Bruiser to (Volkswagen) Jetta Jabs to (Toyota) Camry Compliments.

“It’s something to do on road trips instead of ‘100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,’ ” Wieman said. “It makes the time pass quickly. “

The Bug’s consistency in style has given the Slug Bug game longevity, Sportsman said.

“Beetles look like nothing else,” he said. “From far away, if you see a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry, they look alike. When you see a Beetle, you know it.”

Or it could be infatuation.

“It’s silly and fun,” Wieman said. “Even when I am by myself, I search for them. It’s addictive.”

Volkswagen and other car enthusiasts find plenty of ways to play decades-old game

PUNCH BUGGY RULES

–When you spot a Bug or a Beetle, yell Punch Buggy and the color of the car. For example, if you see a blue Bug, you yell “Punch Buggy blue.”

–If you don’t want to get hit back, you have to say “No punch back,” as you sock the other player.

–When you spot a Bug or a Beetle, shout “Slug Bug” and hit the other player in the arm. (A Bug is a pre-1971 Volkswagen. The Super Beetle came out in 1971. The new retro-style Beetle was introduced in 1999. Most Volkswagen fans consider all models before the new one a Bug.)

–Or to up the competition, you can play Bugs only. This would mean Beetles don’t count. Everyone has to be extra alert.

–Some people just give extra hits if it’s a Bug.

VARIATIONS OF THE GAME

–Beetle Bop: A family-friendly, G-rated version of the original game. If you see a Beetle or Bug, just holler “Beetle Bop.” You don’t hit the other player. It’s all about who spots it first.

–Love Bug: For the hippies or touchy-feely types, if you see a Bug or Beetle say “Love Bug” and give a hug or kiss to the other player.

–Cruiser Bruiser: The PT Cruiser, another uniquely shaped and easily recognized car, has its own version of Slug Bug. You see a PT Cruiser, call “Cruiser Bruiser” and punch the other player.

–Camry Compliments: A game for ego-boosting. If you see a Toyota Camry, you have to compliment the other player.

–Knight Ridder Newspapers

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HERNDON, Va. Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a new campaign called "Punch Dub," an update on the classic Punch Buggy game, designed to increase model awareness and familiarity by reminding consumers of all the Volkswagens on the road. The "Punch Dub" campaign is based on the classic game that kids used to play back in the original Beetle’s heyday called "Punch Buggy" (or "Slug Bug"), where the first person to see a Beetle would yell, "Punch Bug" and playfully slug his or her friend. Volkswagen will debut the "Punch Dub" (as in VEE-Dub) campaign in a 30-second ad during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLIV and through a new online campaign. The ad, which includes a special cameo by actor and comedian Tracy Morgan , will show a variety of people in different driving situations gently slugging others in the arm every time they spot a Routan, Tiguan, CC or any other Volkswagen model.

"Punch Dub is a fun, engaging way to reintroduce Volkswagen and its growing product family to millions of Americans during one of the most watched television events of the year, the Super Bowl," said Tim Ellis , Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America. "The campaign is a modern twist on a classic game that has been played on America’s highways for generations and will help consumers gain a new perspective on the breadth of our vehicle offerings, quality, performance and value."

"Volkswagen is one of the most beloved brands in this country, but people have a misperception that it only sells cars for the young. We needed to find a way to let people know that Volkswagen makes thirteen different models, in a way that still felt right for the brand," said Eric Hirshberg , CEO/Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch LA. "Changing the game of ‘Punch Bug’ to the game of ‘Punch Dub’ and making it about all Volkswagen is the perfect way to do that. It tells you something nobody knows in a way that everyone can relate to."

On the East Coast they play Punch Buggy. On the West Coast and in the Midwest, it’s Slug Bug.

Some kids call it Beetle Bop; the hippies called it Love Bug.

But no matter where you live or how you play it, when you see a Volkswagen Bug or Beetle, look out.

For the uninitiated, the game goes like this: The first person in the car to spot a VW gets to arm-punch everyone in reach, shouting "Slug bug!" (or "Punch buggy!")

For decades people have played games involving the rounded, colorful car, but no one knows when it began.

"I would say it started with some college kids back when there were lots of Bugs in the late ’60s," said Scott Sportsman, a Kansas City firefighter, Bug owner and Slug Bug player.

"They were just kids looking for a reason to have fun," said Sportsman, who drives a ’71 baby blue Bug.

Assorted tales of how the fun started, the various names and rules of the game are online by the dozens. There’s a book, "The Complete Rules of Punch Buggy," by Michael Lockhart and Ian Finlayson. They’ve even written a satirical history of the game, dating it to ancient Egypt.

The truth is, there is no recorded origin of the game, but the Bug has had an interesting life.

"It’s an icon in pop culture," said Michael Marsden, a popular culture expert and professor of English and Cultural Studies at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

The Bug started as Adolf Hitler’s people car, Marsden said. But when the car was introduced to America in 1949, it was transformed into an icon.

In 1969, when Disney made "The Love Bug" movie featuring Herbie the Bug with a mind of his own, research showed people had a special reaction to Bugs, Marsden said.

"People like the Bug beyond the reality of any other relationship to a car. It’s past cuteness and convenience," said Marsden, who teaches a course on automobiles in American culture. "There’s a super-affectionate nature when people spot them, even in its reincarnation."

Some would disagree.

Mike Kersten, president of the Mo-Kan (Missouri-Kansas) Volkswagen Club, says Slug Bug is a historical thing and the new Beetle isn’t a Bug.

To clarify, the Bug is a pre-1971 Volkswagen. The Super Beetle came out in 1971, with a more bulbous hood, more luggage space and large tail lights. The retro-style Beetle was introduced in 1998. Most Volkswagen fans consider all models before the new one a Bug.

"You don’t get the same response from a new Beetle driver that you get from a classic Beetle driver," said Kersten, who has a ’71 Super Beetle.

People with the original Bugs have a sense of Volkswagen camaraderie, he said. "New Beetle drivers see their cars as a form of transportation; classic drivers look at it as a way of life."

For most Slug Bug players, a Bug is a Beetle is a Bug. They just make sure they see it first.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s a Bug or a Beetle," said Jennifer Wieman, 26, of Kansas City, a Slug Bug fanatic.

Wieman doesn’t just stop at Slug Bug, she plays a variety of car games, from (Chrysler PT) Cruiser Bruiser to (Volkswagen) Jetta Jabs to (Toyota) Camry Compliments.

"It’s something to do on road trips instead of `100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,’" Wieman said. "It makes the time pass quickly."

The Bug’s consistency in style has given the Slug Bug game longevity, Sportsman said.

"Beetles look like nothing else," he said. "From far away, if you see a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry, they look alike. When you see a Beetle, you know it."

Or it could be infatuation.

"It’s silly and fun," Wieman said. "Even when I am by myself, I search for them. It’s addictive."

Volkswagen and other car enthusiasts find plenty of ways to play the decades-old motoring game:

Punch Buggy rules

– When you spot a Bug or Beetle, yell Punch buggy and the color of the car. For example, if you see a blue Bug, yell "Punch buggy blue."

– If you don’t want to get hit back, you have to say "No punch back," as you sock the other player.

– When you spot a Bug or a Beetle, shout "Slug bug" and hit the other player in the arm.

– To up the competition, you can play Bugs only. This would mean Beetles don’t count.

– Some people just give extra hits if it’s a Bug. Variations of the game

– Beetle Bop: A family-friendly version of the original game. If you see a Beetle or Bug, just holler "Beetle Bop." You don’t hit the other player. It’s all about who spots it first.

– Love Bug: For the hippies or touchy-feely types, if you see a Bug or Beetle say "Love bug" and hug or kiss the other player.

– Cruiser Bruiser: The Chrysler PT Cruiser, another easily recognized car, has its own version of Slug Bug. You see a PT Cruiser, call "Cruiser bruiser" and punch the other player.

– Camry Compliments: A game for ego-boosting. If you see a Toyota Camry, you have to compliment the other player.

This morning I took my younger daughter to the doctor and she wouldn’t greet him but she also didn’t kick him so that was good.

Also this morning, I learned that our insurance will do an override so we can take a ten-month supply of medications with us when we leave the country. Helpful insurance people, the ones that are blessed with common sense, are never to be taken for granted. Amen.

My son’s last orthodontist appointment is scheduled for the same day we leave our house (leaving the country happens six days later). The appointment is an hour and a half away. Maybe this is what some people call Overdoing It?

Last night I spent a couple hours doing all sorts of odds and ends paperwork. I completed all the forms for the 2013-2014 homeschool year, plus wrote a letter explaining why my children’s eval will be about six months late. I love checking things off my list. It makes me feel powerful. And then when my husband and I stay up late wasting valuable minutes watching Parenthood (it was either that or Once, so we flipped a coin and I won), it’s all cool because at least I did the paperwork.

How to play punch buggy

We have our passports! They came last week, on the same day that we got our official invitation from MCC.

How to play punch buggy

Yeah, that’s right, nothing has actually been official until now. Kind of crazy, no? This whole process really has been backwards and upside-down. (Maybe my son’s behavior is more a family norm than I realize?) Sometimes I was fine with all our gun jumping and other times I panicked: What if they back out on us and then I have to go and explain THAT to everyone? But I couldn’t stay in limbo indefinitely, not when our departure date was bearing down on us in a vaguely threatening fashion, so move forward we did.

So anyway. Now we have passports and real job descriptions and an official invitation. And on Sunday my brother came over before church and took a couple hundred family pictures. We only needed one photo, for our MCC prayer cards, but getting six people to smile with their eyes open at the same time is rather a monumental feat. We got a couple good pictures, but just barely.

How to play punch buggy

My brother did well enough, but the kids were complete and total dufuses. They stuck out their tongues, puffed their cheeks, rolled their eyes up into their heads, chomped their teeth like chipmunks, made rabbit ears, etc. etc. My husband, O Mr. Uptight the Great, didn’t handle it so well. Just look at this series in which he whacks our older daughter over the head.

How to play punch buggy

How to play punch buggy

How to play punch buggy

At times like these when the kids get bitten by the crazy bug, we wonder how in the world we are going to actually move them to another culture, a culture in which the people are tiny, shy, and timid. It seems outright preposterous. We’re forever muttering things under our breath, like, “They can’t even sit still for a ten minute picture session. How in the world are they going to make it on the chicken bus rides? With no bathrooms?”

Or, after a particularly hellish ride to town (please note, never ever ever teach your children how to play Punch Buggy), we ask, “How in the world are they going to manage the airplane? The taxis? The micro buses?” (Pronounced “mee crow boo ses.”)

Or, when they’re running around our back yard screaming their heads off we think of our new house out in the middle of nowhere, a few K’ekchi’ families and a 175 teenagers our only neighbors, and say, “What will the Indians* think of us?”

In just two more months (two more months, eek!), we’ll find all that out. And more.

*Is is politically correct to refer to the K’ekchi’ Indians as “Indians?” That’s what they are, but still. Maybe I should call them something else? I guess I’ll soon find that out, too.

*Update: It IS indeed politically incorrect to refer to the Indigenous people as indio, or Indian. I looked it up. However, those are all Spanish words, and I’m not sure how it translates to English. So maybe I can say “Indian” in my writing? Nah, probably not. I suspect it’s safest to just skip the word all together and refer to the people there as just…people. (Or K’ekchi.) (Or Maya.) (Or amigos.)

This same time, years previous: why I’m glad we don’t have guns in our house, cinnamon flop, on homeschooling and socialization

The Volkswagen New Beetle is perhaps the least manly car ever put into production. Proof positive: All the girls in my fifth-grade class just loved it and thought it was “sooo cute.” For fifth-grade me, who was deathly afraid of cooties, that was enough to turn me off of the New Beetle — though my brothers and I did enjoy how easy it was to play “punch buggy” when we started seeing them all over our neighborhood.

A lot has changed since the VW New Beetle came out. I’m older (though no more mature), and I no longer think girls are icky. The Volkswagen Beetle is older and more mature, too. It dropped the “New” from its name, and with the launch of the latest generation, the Beetle should be just as appealing to gents as it is to ladies. Proof: the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR.

In a city like Los Angeles, where Porsche 911s and Bentley Continentals are as common as Ford Crown Vics are in New York, it’s pretty rare for a car to catch the eye of a passerby, yet not since I scored a Jaguar F-Type V8 S for a night after Best Driver’s Car has a car received as much of a reaction as the 2014 Beetle GSR. The reactions ranged from catcalls from gangsters to a Venice Beach hipster chick asking, “Does GSR stand for hybrid?” No, it doesn’t. (It actually stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner, German for “Yellow Black Racer. “)

It’s not hard to see why the Beetle GSR generated so much reaction — I mean, look at it. Looking like it’s straight out of “Transformers,” the Beetle GSR is Bumblebee-yellow, with a striped hood (done properly under the clear coat), a black roof and hatch, black stripes down the side, and a pretty bitchin’ whale tail rear spoiler. The only thing that’d be more attention-grabbing would be if the GSR shot flames, or transformed into a crime-fighting robot. Though many fans of the original “Transformers” will immediately label the Beetle GSR as a Bumblebee tribute, it’s actually a tribute to the original 1970 Beetle GSR, a black and yellow Beetle limited to just 3500 units. Like its predecessor, the 2014 Beetle GSR run is also limited to 3500. (Future GSR owners: Ours was No. 195 of 3500.)

A crazy black and yellow paint job isn’t the only thing the 2014 VW Beetle GSR brings to the table — it also marks the launch of both the Beetle R-Line (which replaces the Beetle Turbo in the lineup), and the horsepower bump to the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4. Packing just 200 hp last year, the Beetle GSR’s turbo-four has been massaged to make 210 hp, with torque unchanged at 207 lb-ft. Our car was equipped with a six-speed manual, while VW’s six-speed dual-clutch DSG is optional on the GSR.

The last Beetle Turbo we tested left us a bit underwhelmed, primarily due to excessive turbo lag caused by its DSG, which was disappointingly tuned more for fuel economy than the performance promised by what’s essentially a GTI in Beetle drag. Though you wouldn’t be able to tell it from its performance figures, our manual-equipped VW Beetle GSR doesn’t suffer from any of those issues. Despite the 10 extra horsepower on tap compared to last year’s number, the 2014 VW Beetle GSR’s 6.3 second 0-60 mph time matches both the DSG-equipped Beetle Turbo, and (somewhat strangely) the 163-pound-heavier DSG-equipped Beetle Turbo Convertible. Dragstrip performance improved ever so slightly, with the Beetle GSR completing the quarter mile in 14.8 seconds at 94.9 mph – just a second quicker and less than a mile per hour faster than the Turbos. Though the Beetle GSR’s 0.87 g average skidpad performance improves on the Beetle Turbos, it didn’t show any improvement in the figure eight, where it had a 26.6 second at 0.63 g average performance. The VW completed its best 60-0 mph stop in 123 feet.

At the track, the 2014 Beetle GSR might not live up to the performance promised by its big wing and racing stripes at the track, but it is quite fun to drive in the real world. Our GSR tester’s manual transmission absolutely negates the turbo lag issue we had with the DSG-equipped Beetle Turbo. In fact, the Beetle GSR feels much quicker in a straight line than its test numbers would indicate, with it absolutely ripping through first and second gears at wide open throttle. Steering feel is sharp, too, making the Beetle GSR perfectly suited for zipping in and out of L.A. traffic. Though not anywhere near as sharp as a GTI, the Beetle GSR performs well enough in the canyons. That said, the Beetle would be more rewarding with a bit less body roll and more aggressive brakes.

Based on the 2014 Beetle R-Line with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation packages, the 2014 VW Beetle GSR comes well-equipped and reasonably priced. Though the Beetle GSR is a limited edition with unique interior touches including yellow-stitched leather seats, a yellow-stitched flat-bottom steering wheel, and additional yellow trim throughout the cabin, the Beetle GSR’s MSRP is identical to that of the Beetle R-Line with Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation. Already spec’d with navigation and VW’s very good Fender audio system, the only option on our GSR tester was a $35 first aid kit, making our as-tested price $30,850 – only slightly less than a comparable GTI.

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR proved to be a pleasant surprise. The Beetle GSR may be more show than go, but it never failed to get a reaction out of bystanders or put a smile on my face during its time with us. The Beetle GSR not only gives the Beetle a model that appeals to both men and women, but it also injects something largely absent from VW’s lineup: a bit of personality – and that, more than any attempt at appealing to the sexes, is what’s going to get people into the Beetle GSR.

How to play punch buggy

GC and I always play Punch Buggy when we’re out and about. You may have played some variation of Punch Buggy in childhood, but we’ve developed a more sophisticated and elaborate version for grown-ups.

Here’s how it works.

If you see a volkswagen bug, you punch the other person and shout “Punch Buggy!”
If you see a yellow car, you punch the other person and shout “Bananarama!”
If you see a Smart Car, you punch the other person and shout “Smartypants!”
And if you see a faux wood-paneled car, you punch the other person and shout “Woody!”

If you are sharp-eyed enough to spot all FOUR of these things before the other person sees even ONE of their own, you score a Grand Slam and you become the Punch Buggy Grand Master Poobah and there are fireworks and prizes and the other person has to be your slave and do your bidding for 24 hours and give you $30.

A Grand Slam is a theoretically possible but unlikely event.

How to play punch buggy

One reason it’s unlikely is because woodies are very, very rare. In fact, in all the months we’ve been playing this game, we’ve never seen a woody. Until now. On Boxing Day we were driving through Chinatown, and there, parked on the side of Nanny Goat Hill, was a faux wood-paneled station wagon. I could hardly believe my eyes. I rubbed them. I blinked. I double-checked. There was no question. It was a genuine woody. And GC hadn’t seen it.

“WOODY!” I screamed. I was so excited I almost forgot to punch him. (Honestly, if we ever get into a car accident, it will probably be a result of all this pummeling and screaming that goes on inside the car.)

GC couldn’t believe it either. We were both in awe. We pulled over at Raw Sugar to drink coffee and calm ourselves down. Then we got back on the road. We were both in hyper-vigilant mode.

I would love to be able to tell you that this story culminated in a Grand Slam for me, but it was not to be. I spotted a Punch Buggy moments later, but GC got a Bananarama before I could find a Smartypants.