Slice of Life: Counting Cars; Supporting Writing

Slice of Life 2011

(This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers)

“Blue one.”

“Yellow one.”

Driving. Driving. My eyes are on the road.

“Black one.”

My ears are on the kids, who are scanning the roadway like vultures for fallen prey.

“Black one.”

“It’s not. It’s a Mercedes.”


Driving, driving.


“You can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s a dealership.”


“Yellow one.”



Somewhere, someone in the VW company is smiling. Talk about a viral advertising campaign. “Punch Buggy” is perfectly suited for adolescent boys, isn’t it? They’re usually bored on the drive. They love cars. And punching each other on the arm is just a perfect way to score a point.

Given the recent financial difficulties of the National Writing Project, it occurred to me as I was writing this post that we need something similar for times when we see any kind of writing that has been inspired by a teacher.  It would raise the profile of writing and teaching, right? We could call it “Word Tap.” When you see the writing, you tap someone one the shoulder.

“Creative one!”

“Poetic one!”

“Informational one!”



Peace (in the game),

  1. Kevin,
    Thank you for an entertaining piece. I must admit that I don’t know the rules of Punch Buggy. Perhaps this is because I was never an adolescent boy 🙂 I admire your creative connection between the VW game and an activity that would engage people in the NWP. I can tell you have an innovative mind. Way to poke the box.

  2. Great idea! This is so well written–it could have been in my own car with my own children, or my parents’ car when my siblings and I were younger. Also love the word tap idea…wonder how long it would take to catch on?

  3. Our punch buggy games used to get pretty violent – I figured it was just another way to work out the sibling rivalry thing in the back seat (why waste the opportunity?!). There was a time when I prayed NOT to encounter another bug on the way to wherever we had to go…even though it was my first car (’75, bright yellow and totally awesome) and I want one when all the kids leave home and I don’t need to drive my suburban mom-mobile again. Word tap sounds right up my alley, though!

  4. We called it slug-bug and my sisters and I played it. If it got to boisterous we were told to settle down.

    I like the idea of spotting different kinds of writing. Perhaps we can all introduce it during lunch in the teacher’s lounge. Or better yet, introduce the game to our politicians and see if they get it.

  5. Love it! My students would totally eat this up, too. Like Ruth Ferris, I used to play this as “Slug Bug” with my sister. It must be the girl version! I also played “Pediddle,” which is slightly less violent and works will sorts of car makes/models. I cracked up at your car dealership line!

  6. Love the way you captured the conversation during your drive. I could hear it. I’m learning that I glean a lot of great information in the vehicle.
    I also love the connection you then made to writing. How fun. It will keep me thinking.

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