Archive for February 2007

February 28th, 2007

Getting Hit By a Car

Alright people, we’re well into 2007. We’re going to face some tough challenges this year, particularly in the area of alternative energy. As our brave and noble president said last year, we are addicted to oil. Look at the price of gasoline. Didn’t it reach an all-time high last year? We have to make the leap to a new energy source to power our cars.

More importantly, I would like us all to come to a concensus on something. When we are in our expensive, inefficient, polluting cars, and we see a new Volkswagen Beetle are we allowed to do “Punchbug” to the person next to us?

I say “no.” The custom started with the original cars and I believe they alone deserve this special place of honor (especially considering they are still running so many years later). Sure the reissue is nice and, visually, stays pretty true to the original design, but come on: engine in the front?

Please don’t think me a stick-in-the-mud here. I know there is no feeling more delightful than the one you get when you catch sight of a Beetle before the person next to you (especially if this person happens to be your sibling). It pulls up on your side and they don’t ever notice. They’re over there, listlessly staring out their window, lost in their own peaceful, little world. That feeling as you tighten your fist and turn toward them. Slowwwwly now. Make it last.

THWACK!

Ha-ha-ha! Right in the shoulder! And what makes it all so sweet? There is nothing the punchee can do about it, as long as you have made it clear that “Punchbug!” is occurring and defined the car color causing cthe commotion (How ’bout that for an alliterative streak! What’s that? “The word ‘the’ does not start with or even contain ‘c’.” Man, I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.). You are protected, by the US constitution, from punch-backs.

Actually, I have been benefited from probably the only loophole you can find in this tradition. It happened back in Greenville, NC, when Steph and I were still in school. We were in the car and she was first to notice a VW Beetle as it approached us on the opposite side of the road. She punched me. “Punchbug!” she exclaimed. Then she proceeded to call out the wrong car color. For real. I don’t remember what color she said, nor do I remember what color the car was, but I definitely remember she was way off. This was no “Punchbug Teal!” instead of “Punchbug Seafoam!” or “Punchbug Tan!” instead of “Punchbug Beige!” This was “Punchbug Blue!” as a bright red Beetle cruised past us. This was what mental health professionals refer to as a “brain fart.”

Now I have the utmost respect for sacred rites such as “Punchbug” — even when I’m on the sucky end of them — but I think we can all agree that pronouncing the hue of the car correctly is key to this ritual. Only then can it be absolutely clear to everyone what has transpired and what rules and regulations are in place. As Stephanie had been off by a mile on the vehicle’s color, I felt fully entitled to proclaim the actual color of the motor vehicle and to administer an accompanying punch….

And I could not help myself. Perhaps this is why I have been sleeping on the couch ever since we got married.

Anyway, you can see the lengths I’m willing to go to for “Punchbug.” Still I believe extending this to the new Beetles is disrespectful to the original vehicles and to the ritual.

There have to be some newer car-model-induced-acts-of-malice we can introduce to the world instead. (I don’t know about you, but every time I see a Hummer I just want to take a swing at something.)

Maybe every time you see a Honda Element you yell out “Box Car!” and box the ears of the person next to you. How about that? Alright, alright. I’m just throwing out ideas here.

Maybe you quickly dread the hair of your victim when you see a Prius — a car that, by the way, has made great strides in the area of alternative energy, another issue that is of great importance to me.

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February 26th, 2007

West Morgan in the Evening

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February 26th, 2007

Bird on a Wire

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