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…
You people are weird! I think I’ll pass on that trip.
that many dead deer on the road? seriously? that’s so sad…..
I travel by horse here.
what would you guess the people in the car behind you–playing the same game–picked for your car (especially as they were trying to frantically weave and swerve with the peddle to the floor to catch up to pass you in order to see)?
A testament to successful child-rearing practices, I think.
We used to play a similar game whilst browsing through the mall. We’d try and give everyone a name, based on how they looked, what they were doing, etc. I always fell back on Bubba . . .
silverstar – Us? Weird? You mean other families don’t do this?
nursemyra – that’s about typical – 4-5 bodies/100 miles. it’s about 480 miles one way. during the fall mating season (“the rut”) they get a little crazy and are busily dashing out in front of cars. the deer population is high – and other than armed bubbies during deer season – and the assorted Peterbuilt truck – they have no natural predators…
fevah – Welcome to The Park! i think you’re my first Tongan… will remember that if we see folks along the road on horseback? they could be from Tonga…
gnu kid – we did that. Silver 2005 Honda Civic 4-door, being driven erratically at 80 mph? Middle-aged crazy woman, with Indie Chick riding shotgun, and bored Sk8rPunk in the back seat…
headbang8 – thank you. ummm… i think….
tysdaddy – would be tough to get confirmation without nametags. i play a similar game in airports. listen to conversations behind me, then try to figure out what the people look like before i check…
22 1/4 carcasses? Ewww. Round here people drag all that home for dinner, dontcha know…
Um, am I the only one who thinks this was actually a really sweet story? I can only hope that one day the kids and I are playing Bitch or Dude. maybe when they’re both over 5.
awalkabout – we drove out on a sunday morning… and were speculating that the “road crews” (official and unofficial) hadn’t been working that early. the count slowed a bit later in the day…
ginny – Welcome to The Park! it’s not exactly a Hallmark moment, but it’s something we all do together, we learn a lot about each other, and laugh our asses off… “over 5”? probably a good plan…
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Just getting around to reading some bookmarked posts….
Love the game. I could kick ass at it too.
I donated the mini-van to the kidney foundation year before last. Does that mean I’m “re”-masculated now? 8)
That part about passing everyone else on the road? Yeah…that’s *ahem*…me too.
Reminds me of one our road trips back to Canada from Kansas many moons ago. We’re tooling along down I-80 headed west. Not one but two white rabbits ahead of me, I pushed the old “bread box” (a ’93 Chev Astro Van – white with a cheap ass conversion package out of Boca Raton) hard to keep up.
The wife says, “How fast are you going?”
I look down at the speedo and reply, “94. (mph)”
“Oh. No wonder we’re getting dirty looks from the people we’re passing.”
I had enough buffer that when I saw blue and red lights on the horizon I slowed down to a leisurely 70 and went past the first white rabbit (a large Dodge van) who was a little tied up with Nebraska’s finest.
Sad, really. Oh well. Sucked to be him.
rob – if you drove a ‘bread box’ over 90 mph? nothin’ masculated about that… you were displacing some serious wind. probably more effective in slowing you down than the brakes. i use the “rabbit” technique, too. preference is for red sportscars, but i’ll take anyone haulin’ steel.