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No punchbacks

Maybe it’s just me, but by far one of the greatest things about driving a Beetle is the Punch Buggy Game.

I recently traveled to Kansas City with a couple of friends with whom I had never driven in my car before. At our first rest stop just across the Kansas state line, some other people noticed my yellow Beetle. Even through the windshield you can tell the exchange that’s going on.

Person 1: [punches the other person in the shoulder]
Person 2: mouths “Ow”
Person 1: [laughs] “No punchbacks.”

At that point my shotgun realized that she was a passenger in a Beetle and started intermittently hitting me. As a result, inside the Beetle quickly became a no punchbuggy zone.

This delightful schadenfreude phenomenon happens everywhere I go. Not my passengers attempting to wail on their defenseless driver, but other people smacking their companions when they see my car. This isn’t something people out-grow either. You’d think that once people consider themselves adults and start paying their own bills that shouting “Yellow punchbuggy, no punchbacks” would become too juvenile. You’d be wrong.

I’ve witnessed groups of college students pounding on one another as I drive past. Even serious, nicely dressed folks going out to dinner will politely swat at their dinner companions when going out to dinner.

It makes me very happy that the simple presence of my little yellow car can make people drop their inhibitions and resort to feeling like a kid again.

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