Monday, July 6, 2009

Road Games

I love a good road trip now and then, and my children do as well. It's always an adventure, even if the destination is someplace we've been before. The subject of road trips came up recently, more particularly the subject of avoiding boredom on a road trip. Years ago, my brother joined me on a road trip that spanned southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. At one point he began to keep a 'journal' of road kill. Pavement pizza, if you will. The journal read something like this:

3:10 p.m., November 11th, 1986, great tufts of fur sprouting from the pavement in the right-hand, southbound lane of I-10. The next entry was perhaps a deer pizza, bunny biscuits, or some other flattened beast.

When the girls and I travel we, a) bring stuff to entertain ourselves or, b) make up games to entertain ourselves. When all else fails there's always sleep. Well, unless you are driving. At any rate, my girls are old enough to be good at road trips. The first couple of hours aren't a problem: music, sleep, nintendo, toys, conversation. It's after those first hours, and especially as more time goes by, that things get difficult. Counting games are always good. Sometimes we count how many times we hear a particular song during our drive, like Poker Face, by Lady Gaga (if you are young or have teens you know this song). A few years ago we were driving through a particular county in Mississippi and we kept seeing red trucks. Everywhere. So we began counting red trucks. We stopped counting after 200. Seems everyone in southern Mississippi had a red truck. After that we always referred to that region as Red Truck Country.

Sometimes things get downright interesting. In the not-too-distant past one of my daughters brought a couple of beanie babies along. She also brought some clothes for them to wear and various accessories. You haven't lived until you've seen cross dressed beanie babies taking part in a shotgun wedding. Ahem. Yeah, that'll make time fly!

On our most recent trip the girls and I invented a new game which we simply refer to as, "The Cat". I don't know how it even started but the idea is that one person begins by making a statement involving 'The Cat', and then each of us takes turns coming up with new 'things' regarding 'The Cat'. The statements can be random or can be linked by a common thread, such as the cat's emotional state: 'The Cat' is sad, perturbed, elated etc; or each statement has to use a verb: 'The Cat' is jumping, playing parcheesi, eating kibble etc. Eventually 'The Cat' became unstable and condensed, and there was a deflagration. Of course the statements become more ridiculous as you go, with each person trying to think of something more obtuse than the last. The game went on for over an hour. I don't know how we thought of so many statements to make about 'The Cat', but we did.

How about you? Got any road games?

By the way, how do you wake up Lady Gaga? Poker face....


Kristina said...

Omg that song is the worst in the world now. I must have heard it about 50 times when we went from Va to Fl in May. We were always asleep on road trips so don't think we played to may games. Or fighting too but never me :P

AmericanRoo said...

of course it was never you. You never got in trouble, and you always go to sit up front too. lol
I remember talking like truckers in the radio's when we took 2 cars.

EllenMargaret said...

When I was a kid, our road games were Cowpoker and Alphabet. Cowpoker requires 2 people or 2 teams because you watch your side of the road and count the cows. If there are a lot, just estimate. A solid white horse is equal to 10 cows. A cemetery wipes out your count. Play till you get tired or reach your destination. Alphabet is simply looking at signs and calling out the ABC's in order as you see them. Q's are a problem usually. Both games are pretty much on the honor system, of course.