If you saw this picture – and didn’t just punch your neighbor with a vengeance – you would not survive long in my household. As far as I’ve discovered, most American children grew up with some form of “punch-the-next-kid-as-hard-as-you-can” game, especially involving the Volkswagen. The rules when I was little were that you just punched somebody and shouted, “Slug Bug!” I’ve heard variations where a kid was punched until he/she guessed the color correctly (nigh impossible if the car looks like a soccer ball), and got to punch back if the puncher didn’t stop in time.
Ethan and I just shout the color and punch each other (lightly) when one goes by. There are a remarkable number of slug bugs in Provo (and a remarkable amount of them are periwinkle). If we get the color wrong when we punch, we get punched back. Usually, the sight of a slug bug just incites panic and screaming, as we both race to be the first to strike. Ethan’s dad drives a Volkswagen, and he didn’t mention a word about it until we visited his house one day. He wanted to be able to make a sneak attack.
About a month ago, I was driving the Sister missionaries to an appointment when I passed a yellow Volkswagen. Without thinking, I shouted, “Yellooooow!!!!” and lashed out at the knee of the sister next to me. And then suddenly I felt ashamed. I just punched a missionary, I thought to myself. That was both childish and irreverent. What kind of person am I?
My concerns were abated a few minutes later, when we passed a Volkswagen dealership and the Sisters unleashed a volley of violence and laughter. Oh, good. Nobody ever really grows up. ♦