I may have lamented to some of you about the seatbelt game my kids play in the car, and how tired I am of hearing it. For years now, they have been playing a first-on seatbelt game, where they call out either Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The goal, obviously, is to get the Gold Medal in the Olympic seatbelt event.
This initial great idea to help the kids get their seatbelts on without whining turned into frequent arguing. If one person leaves the car and comes back, but the others remain, can that person keep their Gold Medal? Do you have to be the first to say Gold, or just be the first to click the belt? Who is really the judge of who was the first to claim the Gold? Can friends play? The questions go on and on. Even the kids were getting tired of playing, and started opting out from time to time.
We now have a new game. Ryan learned the slug-bug game from his friend Peter, and has been slugging us in the arm every time he sees a VW Bug on the road. This is, honestly, rather less frequently than one might think, making it not too fun to play as a time-killing game.
And thus was born the doubles game. You can now slug your neighbor if you see double letters or numbers on a license plate. When Ryan plays with Peter, they also play straights (numbers in order, like 1-2-3) and sandwiches (doubles separated by a number, like 1-2-1). I think straights and sandwiches are lame, and since there are a fair amount more doubles on license plates than you might think, we are not at a loss for reasons to slug each other whatsoever.
I’m sure there will be questions and fighting over this game too. But, every family needs something new to quarrel about from time to time, right? Personally, my main concern is judging when it is safe for me to play. If I am driving, and the driving requires a lot of my attention, then I have to quit looking at license plates in order to decrease our chances that we will meet our end in a fiery crash of glass and metal. There’s nothing like getting slugged a few times while driving to remind you to pay attention.