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- Laura on Life -

Rules For Punch Bug

October 7, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

aWhen I was a kid, we used to play a game while riding in the car. Every time someone would see a Volkswagon Beetle, they would yell, "Punch Bug!"and slug the person next to them.. As an adult, I've learned that many people have played this so-called game. In fact, so many people still play it that I've considered getting a Volkswagon Beetle just to witness the mayhem as I drive down the road. I wonder if Volkswagon ever planned for this display of violence when people saw their creation.

Over the years, my children have played the game and added some twists to it to make it "fair." First, you had to call the color just in case there were two in the vicinity and also to be sure that someone actually saw it. It would be easy to say you saw it, but not if you had to say the color, too.

Second, if one didn't want to get slugged back, he must verbalize that desire by saying "No take-backs!" after slugging someone. This, of course, meant that the slugger was not willing to "take back" the slug. When she was younger, my daughter always thought that the words were "No kick-backs." So, nobody ever kicked her back, but her older brothers did give her the closest version of a punch they could without actually punching her; mostly because they didn't want to get that stern lecture from their father about why boys shouldn't hit girls.

Still, she thought it wasn't fair that she was getting her punch back even though she called No Kick-backs. So she made a new rule that if she put her arms over her head in the shape of a bubble, it would be considered her Punch Bug Shield. No one was allowed to reciprocate when she had her shields up.

That sounded kind of Star Wars-ish, so the boys agreed. Now when a Volkswagon is spotted, there is a flurry of activity in the back seat as someone yells "Punch Bug!" and everyone else throws up their shields. The slugger sometimes would slug someone even if their shields were up. The arguments that ensued were about the speed at which the shield was deployed, the possible malfunction of the shield in question, and whether or not a potential sluggee can, in fact, stave off a slug by deploying his own imaginary shields.

Since there are generally more potential sluggees than sluggers, the consensus was that potentials can, indeed, throw up shields to deflect an attack. It was also decided that, whether you are the slugger or the sluggee, in order to be sure that your shields were operating at full capacity, there were no holes or weak spots, and to signify that they were fully deployed, one had to shout "What!" in the manner of a rapper with an attitude, after deployment.

If the Volkswagon Corporation could be a mouse in the back seat of my mini-van when a Beetle goes by, they would hear, "Punch Bug " Orange "No Kick-backs " Shields Up " WHAT!!" What a legacy!



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