Dreading the road trip to The Park last Friday, i was a bit cranky when i rousted my 20-something sprogs off to the car. Definitely grumpy, edgy and not looking forward to what might lie ahead, we piled into The Girl’s car – which is the newest in my fleet of shitmobiles, and has an actual back seat (uncluttered by sk8erboy shrapnel).
The Girl called “shotgun”, which brings with it DJ responsibilities*. This left The Boy – bored – in the back seat. About halfway into our 60 minute funerary commute, he asked her if he could smoke to help pass the time. “No”. End of discussion.
Following the path that we all instinctively know**, he proposed a travel game: “Bitch or Dude”. The rules are simple. As you approach a car, each of us had to “profile” the vehicle – looking at make, model, color as well as other “tells” (custom plates, stuff hanging from the rear-view mirror, stuffed animals in the back window, etc). We’d then call “Bitch” or “Dude” to tag the gender of the driver.
Several elements made this game harder than it might seem. For example, it was December 26th – a busy travel day. We quickly realized that most of the Minivans were being driven by men. Which led to the call of “Emasculated Dude” upon approach.
The other challenge? To make this fun, you pretty much need to be passing everything on the road. Good thing i was driving… not a problem.
We would occasionally get more specific – for example, when i’d see a little souped-up wiener-mobile – a “Too Fast, Too Furious” wannabe, with spoiler, rims, and other trappings – i’d call “Douchebag”. Or if it was a 1998 Oldsmobuick, seatbelt dragging and sparking along the pavement, with a turn signal blinking itself into oblivion? That’d be “Old Dude”.
As we headed out after the family visit from hell, we didn’t play for about the first 20 minutes. Post-processing the family bullshit was a bit necessary. But once we started playing again? Good, happy, mindless fun… chock full of discussion of stereotypes, racial profiling and gender bashing.
God bless us everyone…
* She’s got great musical taste… and an ex-boyfriend who cranked out some killer mix-CDs. While The Boy and i can agree on some of the classics (Doors, Bowie, Stones), i’m not a huge fan of one of his favorites, Leftover Crack… He is patient with the “Indie” stuff…
** We have other games. For long trips? We play “Who Sucks More?” – a game pitting all female drivers against male drivers. If you spot someone doing an asshole maneuver, you need to ascertain gender. On a 8 hour roadtrip with The Boy, it was “Chicks – 5 1/2, Dudes – 4”. And the “1/2” was on me – for changing lanes in an intersection. But since i signaled, we only counted it as a half point. Roadtrips in autumn? That’s when we play the “Dead Bambi Game”, counting the deer corpses along the interstate… 22 1/4 on our last drive from central Ohio to Washington, DC for a college visit a few years ago…