Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Few Unrelated Thoughts on Punch Buggies

  1. My friend Kathy can be one of the most oblivious people I know. You can wear a beard for two years, shave it off, and she won't notice. But if she is next to you and a fender of a VW Beetle is just visible a block away, you will get punched.
  2. I often wonder when this punch buggy thing got big. I don't remember it from when I was a kid. Late '80s, early '90s was the first I heard of it.
  3. When I'm on the bus and I see a Beetle, I have an urge to punchbuggy the people around me. Not a serious punch, just a tap of my fist on their shoulders. Last week, I saw two Beetles side by side on Kirkwood at Carling, a blue one and a yellow one. Would I have been arrested if I had run around the bus punch buggying people? Technically, it's battery. There are no citations for "punchbuggy defence" on CanLii, but CanLii is weak on caselaw from the '80s and '90s.
  4. Also, what is the protocol when you see two Beetles at the same time? Is it: punch "punch buggy blue no returns" punch "punchbuggy yellow no returns"? Or can you go: punch punch "punchbuggy blue punchbuggy yellow no returns"?
  5. On Sunday, Embrun will be hosting The Largest Non-Judged VW-Only Event In Canada. I assume there will be a lot of Beetles there. What are they thinking? It starts out all fun and games, but then one person hits a little harder than they meant, the victim retaliates with a harder punch and it escalates. On a normal trip through town or down the highway there are long Beetle-free gaps where apologies can be made and tempers can cool. But not at the Embrun Volksfest. I hope they've hired extra security.

[Zoom plays an advanced version of Punch Buggy with GC. She also links to an excellent set of fair-minded rules for basic Punchbuggy that demonstrate that I am not the first person to wonder about playing while on public transit.]


Asteroidea Press said...

At least the early 80s. For some reason, my mom hated that game, and we weren't allowed to play it when we were kids.

I don't know if it was big then, per se, but if it was happening in my hamlet, it was probably a pretty common phenomenon.

Michael T said...

Hey, don't have time to check out the blog right now but a couple months ago a friend of mine was fixing the neck of a guitar (can you tell I don't play?) and when I saw it, it was all decked out in multi-colored binder clips. I thought of you and wished you well.

Jen G said...

When I was a kid we always said: punch buggy no punch back. Haven`t heard the `returns` version.

Anonymous said...

We actually played what I believe to be the pre-curser to punch buggy in the 70's. If you saw one you just yelled peanut and punched someone, preferably a sibling. Colour didn't matter. It was a simpler time.

Katherine S.

Dave Moyer said...

Gad - this makes me feel as if I was brought up in Uzbekistan or some such. I never heard of this game while growing up (which for me was the 60's and 70's), and didn't even hear the term until the Ottawa band of the same name came along. My sense of inadequacy is overwhelming . . .