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how to get your kicks on route….

Photos of Barbie Angell by Rodney Smith - Tempus Fugit Design © 2013

ah winter….i love this time of year. a time when, among other things, we ramp up the ordinary car games and take them to the extreme. what? could it be possible that you don’t realize you’re playing games while driving your car? come now, i’m certain you’re at expert at a few of these time-honored vehicular diversions.

standard in the art of recreational driving are “keep away” & “tag”. keep away is most commonly played during rush hour & becomes most popular during the holidays as it requires quite a few players. it’s tremendously easy and will frustrate your opponents to no end. merely wait at an intersection until you are positive that you will not be able to fully cross before the light changes, then pull in front of the cross-traffic lanes. once you’ve sufficiently blocked them from moving at the light-change, you’ve won. keep in mind there are some sore losers out there, so it’s important that your car is equipped with side-curtain airbags.

“tag” is easily played with two or more participants and is most fun when the other people don’t realize you’ve started the game. it’s terribly simple to learn and even the novice can become quite skilled in no time. just tap the car nearest to you and speed away. be careful though, sometimes the “tag-back” is executed with more force than you’d expect.

tag is often unintentionally coupled with another sport often referred to by two names: “i’m not touching you” or “look, i can see my face in your rearview mirror”. this one is not for the unseasoned driver. pull your car as close as possible to the car in front of you without making contact. the true expert at this game can even do this at high speeds on icy roads. however, one slip up and you change the game to a rousing game of “tackle tag”….which tends to upset your challenger if you don’t ask permission first. of course, “i’m not touching you” can be altered if you are in grid-lock traffic. bonus points are gained if you can actually clean the trash out of the other person’s back seat or truck bed.

in the winter time we add a little element of danger to our regular competitions, as well as a new pursuit; “car snow fights”. preparation for this venture is essential. you must refrain from removing the snow from the top of your vehicle before heading out on the road. once you’re out and about however, this game is quite simple. the shelf of snow flying off will happen randomly on its own or, with some careful maneuvering, can be aimed at another driver in particular. it does require care on your end though, don’t unintentionally slam on your brakes and get all that fun on your own windshield.

the most enjoyable aspect of all these endeavors is the camaraderie which stems from engaging your fellow traveler. you’ll find that many more people will reach out to you using the art of nonverbal communication. and really, isn’t that what playing games is all about? enjoying some time with the people whom we encounter in the world and raising our insurance rates in the process.

have a great time out there kids.

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