Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Ways to Have Fun on Long Car Rides

Since time passes much more slowly for kids, it's not surprising that I recall the weekly visits to my grandparents who lived a good hour away as being much longer than the four-hour-plus ride to Rangeley, and the three-hour trip to Rhinebeck that I'll bet inspired this theme seems like a piece of cake, although the journey home always seems longer. (I still don't know if I'm going, and if I am going I still don't know if I'm going for one day or two. The latter question depends largely on finding somewhere to squeeze in.) In any case, with one possible exception I'm going to limit this one to diversions that were available when I was a kid. All of these assume at least two people in the car.
  1. Play Ghost. Start with a letter, any letter you want. The next player adds a letter, and so on until someone is forced to complete a word. After giving a letter, a player must be prepared to give a word that could start with the letters given so far. The loser of each round gets a letter of the word ghost, and the first complete ghost loses the game. In the Superghost version, each player can add a letter to either end of the existing letter chain, again as long as the resulting chain can be found in a word.
  2. Play Alphabet. Find each letter of the alphabet in turn on objects outside the car. With the recent trend of naming car models with strings of letters, preferably the less commonly used ones, this is easier than it used to be.
  3. Play Twenty Questions. This is an oldie but a goodie.
  4. Botticelli. The player who is It thinks of a person (who may be real or fictional), and another player asks a question like "Were you a famous Renaissance painter?" to which It answers, "No, I am not Botticelli." If It is stumped, the asking player then gets to ask a boolean question like, "Are you alive?" Subsequent questions must conform to all of the known characteristics; if it's been established that the person is a real, living, male American movie actor, for instance, only questions whose target has those characteristics are allowed. It can bluff: if It is Dustin Hoffman, for instance, and the question is, "Did you appear onscreen in drag to play the title character of a well-known movie?", It may answer, "No, I am not Robin Williams," but if It can't think of another actor that fits the bill, It must then admit, "Yes, I am Dustin Hoffman."
  5. Knit. Admittedly, this doesn't help to entertain the other people in the car, so it's best to be able to knit while playing Botticelli.
  6. Listen to show tunes. One could listen to anything at all, actually, but show tunes seem to be especially enjoyable. They can also lead one to...
  7. Burst into song. This sometimes happens to us while on the way to visit family for Christmas. You probably would recognize the tunes but not the lyrics.
  8. Play Cat's Cradle. Needless to say, this requires at least two passengers.
  9. Play Mad Libs. This requires literate players, one of whom can read and write in a moving vehicle without becoming ill. It can be quite educational: Miss B learned all the parts of speech when she was six so that she could play with us.
  10. Talk. This may be a last resort, but under the constraints of space and time I've learned things I didn't know even about my blood relatives.


  • A group of us used to play Boticelli weekly. We had "House rules." 1.No religious figures because there was fierce debate over real or not, dead or not. 2. A Double whammy was first and last name starting with the same letter. If you stump a double whammy, you get two specific (boolean) questions. 3."It" must think of a person that everyone else is likely to know. Not the kid that sat next to you in 2nd grade. 4. Extra kudos for clever questions. For example, the letter is C. The question is, "Are you Hannibal's favorite son?" correct answer - "No, I am not Samuel Clemmens." Or, letter "G" - "Are you a famous Japanese movie star?" Correct answer, "No, I am not Godzilla."

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:26 AM  

  • I haven't played Botticelli in about 20 years! Thank you for reminding me of it.

    By Blogger 17th stitch, at 12:22 PM  

  • Okay, most of those sound like fun but I'm not sure I'm smart enough for some of them!

    By Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates), at 4:42 PM  

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