Sober in Milwaukee: Road Trip Games

Comments (4)

Thanks a Lot, Verizon

My parents used to let me pick out two activity books that they would buy for me before any major road trip. I usually picked a logic puzzle book and a coloring book. One time, I picked out a pair of "things to do in the car" books for kids, which turned out to be too easy and too boring. However, I did glean a few good family car games, one of which my brother and I still play to this day.

Here's how it works. One person starts by reading a word from any object outside the car. Usually, this is a billboard. "Money!" The next person has to find a word that starts with the last letter of the first word. "Yamaha!" "Anyone!" "Exit!" "Turn!"

This might sound extremely easy, but finding Yamaha took me almost fifteen minutes. (Note: to keep the game moving, you are not allowed to pass up a word in hopes of finding a better one.) Of course, we live in Chicago, so any road trip we take requires traversing through a chunk of the Midwest. I don't know if you've ever driven through the Midwest, but it's mostly flat and corn and trees and some more corn. There isn't even that much other traffic, so you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for a Yukon to drive by.

My least favorite letter to get stuck with from this trip? 'K.' My brother would look at billboards like the ones pictured above and choose "network" instead of "now." And I would sigh and watch all those pretty Wisconsin license plates fly by and wish that he was slightly less smart.

I tried this game indoors once when my friends and I were stuck at an airport for countless hours, waiting for someone's plane to arrive. It was difficult and fun for a while . . . until we found three words that looped (e.g. turn, nice, exit) and got too lazy to do anything but repeat them.

Anyway, I dare you to try this with a sibling or a friend on your next road trip. It's guaranteed to stave off boredom for at least five minutes. You'll have to come up with your own games after that.

Nick Tabick

Nick Tabick

That sounds like a pretty cool idea for a game.

One interesting twist I can think of would be to assign numeric point values to the letters (the more exotic the letter, the more points, for instance), and the winner is the person with the most/least points rather than the person who waited until you arrived at your destination to play a word. Of course, this requires considerably more preparation and effort (but I bet you guys are up to that).

Alright, we'll start with the word 'comment.'

JB

JB

That actually sounds fun. The only game we wind up playing on road trips is "collect the roadkill" where we try to decipher as many roadkilled animals as possible. That, and the liscence plate game where we try to find as many province/state plates as we can.

Michael

Michael

We used to play the Alphabet Game. Basically, you just have to find every letter of the alphabet in order. Not quite as interesting as your game, but fun nonetheless. Another game we used to play was were we would all guess what time it would be when we got home. Whoever was closest won. That one didn't help pass the time, cause once everyone guessed, we just had to wait till we were home. But yeah. Good times.

Pimp

Pimp

I know its been a long while, but do you happen to remember the three words? I have been trying to remember, but failing miserably. I seem to think one of them was 'baggage', but maybe not...
All I can remember is that we kept going outside every 20 or 30 minutes for a word (which I think started with a 'W') on one of the bus stop things out there. That, and we wound up sitting on a bench discussing the way I rant and what not for like 20 minutes cause we were to bored to do anything else...
Then on the way back, I accidentally ordered a chicken sandwich with pickles from McDonald's...
Do you not just love annoying road trips? Especially ones you go on to do a favor for a friend who does not even go with you?