Zombies, Werewolves, Mummies, and Car Rides With My Family

I remember the days when I sat quietly in the back of my family’s full-sized brown Chevy van, which had horseracing designs plastered on the back windows.  Two images of two race horses, complete with jockeys, were sketched onto the two back windows of that old Chevy van. We, as in the kids, used to get mocked asked by other kids why my parents were such big horseracing fans. After all, horseracing wasn’t exactly big in Utah. I always gave the same answer to those questions with the same annoyed tone, “The horse pictures came with the van.”

As annoyed as I was that we had to ride around in a full-sized Chevy van with horseracing sketches plastered on its windows, those horse sketches gave me some entertainment. I would imagine the sketches were real miniature horses running alongside the van. And as the van passed foliage, I would raise and lower my head so that it looked as if the horses and their riders were jumping and zigging and zagging around those bushes and trees.

I’d like to say that my little imagination game of horseracing only lasted until I was 13 or 14, but I’d be lying. I played that game until I moved out of the house and went to college. Even on long road trips now if my wife paid attention, she could probably catch my head bob up and down mid trip as I drive on down the road. There aren’t any horses sketched on my car, but bugs do tend to get smashed on the windshield and dead bug blops can jump over bushes or weave in and out of the yellow lines just as easily has horse sketches.

Stupid little games like that probably kept me busy for hours when I was younger. There wasn’t much else to do. It was either make up little imagination games in my mind or focus on Celine Dion blasting through our soft hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s radio station. Shiver. (Insert side rant here: To the people who choose the music at my gym, it is nearly impossible to work out to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Boyz 2 Men.)

Addie has been a bit more fortunate with her car riding experience. When she gets bored, she usually ends up convincing everyone in the car to play various games that she and Casey made up.

One of our family favorites has been I Spy. Addie usually starts the game out by saying something like, “I spy something that is trucky.” To which Casey or I will ask, “Is it that truck right in front of us?” The kid could use a bit of practice with that game—”trucky” might be a bit of a giveaway.

The other game we play pretty frequently is the animal game. For this game, one of us thinks of an animal and the rest of us take turns asking a yes or no question until we figure out what animal that person was thinking about. Here’s how it usually goes.

Casey: Is it fluffy?

Addie:  Yes.

Me:  Is it Wink?

Addie: Yes.

Gradually that game has become more and more difficult. I may or may not have had something to do with that transformation. Here’s how the game went last night:

Addie:  Is it as big as you?

Me:  Yes.

Casey:  Is it real?

Me: Yes.

Addie:  Does it have sharp teeth?

Me: Yes

Casey:  Could you have one as a pet?

Me:  You wouldn’t want to.

Addie:  Is it fluffy?

Me: Um, it’s not so fluffy you wanna die.

Casey:  Does it walk on all fours?

Me:  Sometimes.

And on, and on, and on, it went. The answer? A werewolf.Those are totally real. Other animals that have been used recently include: a Pegasus, a mummy, a zombie, Vivi, swamp creature, and Battle Cat from He-Man. Although Casey doesn’t believe that any of those animals are real animals, I greatly dispute her argument due to my many, many sleepless nights after watching movies about those animals. And this game usually makes the time go by pretty quickly and we all get out of the car in a much better mood than when we first got in the car.

What games do you play in the car?

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