Punch Buggy, Sort Of, No Returns

If you are a 12-year-old called Tiger Lily, and you lose to your little brother at Punch Buggy, you must find a way to win. Even if there are few cars in your small town that are not a farmer’s Ford truck or a soccer mom’s van.

So it was that I found myself driving along our cowtown’s main drag to the nearest collection of box stores, and heard the following from my van’s middle row:


“Oh yeah? Punch buggy pick-up truck no returns!”

“Punch buggy van no returns!”

Because I live with insanity on a daily basis, it didn’t really register until my 15-year-old, in the passenger seat next to me, started correcting the situation in his big-brother-knows-all tone. “You can’t punch-buggy a truck.”

“Says who?”

“It has to be a Bug.

“There’s no insects in winter!” This assault to his logic was followed by gleeful giggling. And also: “Punchbuggyicecreamstorenoreturns!”

Ohmigosh. How creative. Thank you for that, youngest son, and now this may never end. “What?” I said. “The ice cream shop doesn’t even move.

More giggles. “So?”

“So. Is the ice cream shop made by Volkswagen?”

A thoughtful, existential silence ensued.

“It has to be made by Volkswagen in order to qualify for punch-buggy.” The Evil Mom Lady strikes again. What a wet-blanket. But the fact is that this entire scenario was illegal by family law, because Punch Buggy always turns into UFC Buggy, and so it is my sworn duty to police all such disturbances with whatever creative logic may serve.

Another 1.7 seconds of pondering ensued. Followed by a lightning-fast exchange of intellectual repartee:


“Punch buggy van! No returns!”

“Punch buggy semi-truck!”

“Punch buggy idiot.” The Tiger Lily’s delivery was so definitive that the whole van of us burst out laughing.

Definitely, no returns.