Slug Bug is another name for an Air cooled VW. At least, according to me. Slug Bug is also the name of a travel game typically played in your car while driving. I learned this game as a child from my friend Bret and his family who, unknown to me at the time, had a history of air-cooled VW’s dating back to the time when his father had been stationed in Germany.
The rules of the game are simple. While travelling, whoever spots an air-cooled VW, gets a point. Whoever has the most points when you are done travelling, or when you get tired of playing the game, is the winner. Air cooled VW’s are defined as the following: Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Type III, VW Bus, Thing and Type IV. If you are unfamiliar with what some of those are, I will elaborate on that topic in a separate blog in the future. What were not considered Slug Bug’s were any water-cooled VW’s such as Dasher, Rabbit, etc. This was always a fun game and helped to pass the time on a long trip. And since there were so many air-cooled VW’s, the game always kept us busy.
Later, I taught this game to my kids. However, at some point, we had a dilemma. VW had come out with the New Beetle, which was a water-cooled VW and this did not fit into the criteria of a Slug Bug. What to do about it? Well, like most games that people play, there are House Rules that have been adopted by the family that are in addition to or in contradiction to the Official Rules. Well, I had never read any Official Rules for Slug Bug, so far as I knew, there was only “House Rules” for everybody. So, we chose to alter our House Rules to include the New Beetle. So, to be clear, a Slug Bug, at least in my family, is any air-cooled VW or a New Beetle. No Jetta’s, no Cabriolet’s, no water-cooled outside of the New Beetle. These are the rules, and until I change them, they will not be changed.
However, I have been in situations while travelling with others and have found that they played a similar game with slightly different rules. This other game that I found out about is called Punch Buggy. The main difference with this game is that instead of calling out Slug Bug and getting a point, you call out Punch Buggy and then you punch the person sitting next to you in the arm. Well, I am not a fan of this game for a few reasons. First, I don’t like getting punched in the arm. Second, you don’t get any points, and if you don’t get points, how does anybody win the game. And last of all, it just feels like a cheap rip off from Slug Bug, which is a much better game.
In my family, I am the KING of Slug Bug. Not because I see better than everybody else, but because I just see Slug Bugs better than everybody else. I can spot them at night when it is dark, just by they way their headlights look. I can see them hidden under a tarp in somebodies driveway. I can see them stashed in somebodies backyard when all you get to see is the smallest corner. Because of this, I always win. And I am OK with that.