Super Mum with Sharyn O'Neill
Super Mum with Sharyn O'Neill

Dodging punches

I HAVE never been one to care about makes of cars.

If someone tells me what sort of car they drive they might as well just say a blue one or a red one.

Any further detail and they are likely to get a blank look from me.

As long as it goes, who cares, right?

But one car I will always recognise is a VW beetle.

It is necessary for survival.

You see, the kids have discovered the game “punch bug”.

So after weeks of hearing “punch bug” called out, followed by a cry from a fellow passenger (or even the driver if no one else was available) after receiving a punch in the arm, I have wised up and am now on the lookout.

This game has been around since the ‘60s.

In my time we called out “punch Herbie” after the series of movies starring the classic VW, like Herbie the Love Bug and Herbie Goes Bananas.

I’m afraid there was no love when the old love bug was spotted, and I am sure it drove my parents bananas.

Out of curiosity I looked up the punch bug phenomenon on the internet and found not only is it a universal game, there are also rules.

Yes, a game where you simply punch someone in the arm if you spot a VW beetle first has rules!

Some rules state modern VWs are not included in the game.

Others state that all are fair game, but the old classic is deserving of two punches.

Others omit the VW completely, and instead pick the colour of a car instead.

Doing further research I discovered a Facebook page devoted to the game with a list of 21 rules.

I would have thought three would be enough.

But it gets better.

There are even ways to avoid a punch or two, in some versions.

Say “Bug Spray” and you are immune from the punches.

While there is no bug spray in my family, we try to enforce the rule that it has to be a real VW beetle.

The kids unfortunately spot any type of car that looks vaguely like a bug and punch away.

Obviously they take after me in their knowledge of cars.

I am considering changing our game to punch purple instead, before we all end up that colour ourselves.

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