I was thinking about Car Bingo again today. Out earlier then usual with Babygirl this morning the family from the second floor were loading up a station wagon for a long weekend in Asheville. BTW ….. where can you rent a station wagon these days?
Now, I don’t expect a lot of the under 30 crowd to relate to what I’m saying. It’s nothing personal. But when we were kids, things were different. By different, I mean worse. Worse as far as automotive travel goes anyways. We didn’t have in-car DVD players, Iphones, IPads unlimited data American Express Cards or any luxuries. Our biggest thing was car bingo. That was IT. With my brother and sisters, car bingo was the end all to be all to automotive entertainment. Of course with my sister Jennifer it always wound up the same. She would get bored about 10 minutes into it and start cheating and saying she saw something and marking it off on the card. You had no real way to deny you didn’t see it because you could always pull the “oh, we passed it” move. It was a game built on the honor system played by dishonorable children everywhere. If you forgot car bingo, you were forced to play “I spy with my little eye”. It was awful.
Then there was seating position. We had a 1967 Chevrolet Impala Station wagon. You had to call your crappy spot before you got in the car. Of course that’s nothing new because kids nowadays still do that I assume. Only that we had the misfortune of getting stuck on the “hump” in the back. Holy hell, that was the seat of suck. That hump was the worst. There weren’t front wheel drive cars. We had the drive shaft running under the middle of the car and in order to fit it you had to sacrifice floor space in the back of the car. That’s where the hump came into play. If you got stuck on the hump for any longer than 10 minutes, your life was hell. Of course, we played it off like it was no big deal. Your little 10 year old knees were tucked up into your chest and your arms folded around them. “What? No, no. I like the hump. I got the best seat in the car”. It was bullshit, quite frankly, nobody liked the hump. Another option was the back. In our case it was not only full of luggage and picnic coolers but usually several dogs. Back then you rolled the back window down with a hand crank on the outside of the car which we would beg our father to do but he would only crack it an inch or so; heaven forbid one of us flew out the back window. And A/C what was that ? Of course, no matter what ,it was always better to have a world of stuck in the back than sit in the front with a seat belt on. Sitting in the front meant you got backhanded by dad every damn time he stopped short and wanted to protect you. WHAP! He was like a karate chopping hard braking Bruce Lee or something. It never failed. He stopped short, you weren’t paying attention and here comes the arm to protect you from what the seat belt couldn’t.
And of course there was the “Don’t make me pull this car over” threat? We never heard that. My Dad was slick. One of us would ultimately be bored in the 18 hour drive to Pittsburgh or Maitland and start acting up. He wouldn’t threaten to stop the car. He’d just ask us “Hey guys, look at this!” Like dumb mindless lemmings we’d put our round little heads to the front of the seat and BAM! “Now knock it off or I’m gonna get angry”.
Even thou I would have not traded those trips for anything I’m still trying to figure out why I never won at car bingo?