Tuesday, May 17, 2011

V is for Volkswagen

Some cars inspire greatness.
Some cars inspire adventure.
And, some cars inspire arm punching. 
"Slug Bug!" 
I am driving in our Burgundy AstroVan, with a car full of children, and the game is on. The children are giggling, as one of the boys cranes his head starboard to eye the cute little Bug-car drive by. "Slug Bug!" he hollers, and the first punch is thrown. The game is on. Soon, all eyes are pealed to find another Beetle on wheels, for only one person can claim it! Then at the traffic signal, a lovely cream convertible Beetle appears, the kids in my van let out squeals, "Slug Bug!" "Slug Bug!" They begin to slug one another. Soon, there will be bickering...and possibly tears. And, yet, it is a game that must be played.

I look at the woman driving the clean convertible--alone. I sigh.

Carpooling is exhausting enough without adding in the unspoken laws of "Slug Bug", "Shotgun" and Out of State License plates. Time in the hot van transporting short people can become a torture chamber on wheels, and I imagine the future when carpooling will be unnecessary and riding in a car will be pleasant again.

Time passes slowly, the van changes colors. Soon, new beetles are released by the VW company and the streets are suddenly crawling with bugs. Someone in our family decides we need more of a challenge. So, we alter the game. In this Sill-y version, if you see a VW Bug, you would hit not just once, but over and over (ever so gently) until the person completed a task.  The task? Well, the victim must say a common phrase that goes with the color, and until the victim does...the hitting continues (EVER SO GENTLY) .
"Slug Bug, black, black, black..."
And this becomes the law in the Sill-y van that we drive.
Blue Christmas, Blue Bayou, Blue Bonnet, Blue Book, Blue Shield
Green Mile, Green Day, Green Arrow, Green Goblin, Green Lantern, Green Hornet (thank goodness I had sons who knew all the Superheros)
Orange Juice, Orange County, Orange Coast College, Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?
Pink Ladies, Pink Eye, Pink Lemonade, Pink Floyd
Purple Rain. Yep, that's all we got.
Red Robin, Red Light, Red Cross, REDRUM
Yellow Stone, Yellow Pages, Yellow Brick Road

For so long, this was my "normal", but today my youngest will be taking his Driver's test. Soon he will be driving alone and the carpools will have come to an end. Already, it is a rare occasion that all of my children are in the same vehicle. In my "new normal", I am the woman, driving alone, but, I remember the time of games in the van and I praise God for the rainbow of memories he gave us during all of our journeys. I also praise God that my children have no memories of accidents, because His hand of protection saw us through each little errand, and when they talk of the carpools, they don't talk of the bickering--they just remember the games.

So, if you see me drive by, give me a holler--then give your car-mate a punch (ever so gently)
And, have a safe trip! Love, the Jakibug (aka Silver Bullet, Silver Medal, Silver Surfer)