Friday, July 16, 2010

The Yellow Car Game

Greetings from misty Vermont! Tomorrow I'm going to download some of the photos that we took today, but for now I think it's important to explain The Yellow Car Game.

Last year, not long after we'd purchased Tali, Mark and I began calling out "Yellow car!" whenever we saw one. It quickly became a friendly competition--whomever called "Yellow car!" first won.

We came up with some rules, mostly about What Vehicles Don't Count:

No tractor-trailers.
No cabs.
No construction or official state vehicles.
No DHL or Penske trucks.
No school vehicles (sorry Yellowbird buses).
No yellow shirts. (Early on Mark would see someone with a yellow shirt and call it if he hadn't seen a yellow car in a while. This was quickly forbidden, but he was delighted after we taught Yellow Car to our friend Anand who immediately began to call yellow shirts. It's a very tempting thing to do.)

Vehicles That Count

Yellow cars.
Yellow motorcycles.
Yellow boats.
Yellow bicycles.
Any yellow mode of transportation that isn't on the Vehicles That Don't Count list. We haven't seen yellow rollerskates yet, but they would totally count.

Pretty simple, right? After Mark's brother taught us the Klingon word for "Congratulations" ("K'plaa"--I think it directly translates into "I honor you" or something like that) someone would say, "Yellow car!" and the other person would say, "K'plaa!" It wasn't necessary to say it, but it was a nice thing to do. A few months after we'd been K'plaaing each victory, Mark's brother taught us how to say, "I am shamed" or something like it in Klingon, which is "P'tach". So if one of us called, "Yellow car!" and then realized that it was a taxi cab, they would hang their head in shame and say, "P'tach".

We got really, really good at spotting yellow cars. We learned to see yellow cars behind other cars, in the reflections of storefront windows, in rearview mirrors. We were so good that we'd smoke anyone else who dared to try to play with us (Anand). We were Yellow Car Masters.

That's when Mark came up with a new way to play Yellow Car. If one of us could call four yellow cars in a row (without the other player breaking the streak, or accidentally calling a Penske truck), it would be a Home Run. And the winner of the Home Run would get to choose a song, and the loser would have to sing it, using only the word "K'plaa" in place of the actual lyrics. If two players call "Yellow car!" at exactly the same time, the count is placed back to zero.

Some Klingons singing "My Little Buttercup"

This amped up the competition. A LOT. One of us would call three in a row, and the other one would be searching desperately for the next yellow car in order to avoid having to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in Klingon. It got so competitive that we made a rule that either of us, at any time, can call "Exhibition", which means playing the old, K'plaa-song free way.

So now you know the rules of Yellow Car. Today Mark got two Home Runs (I had to sing Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love But I Won't Do That" and "Movin' Right Along" from The Muppet Movie) and I won twice (he had to sing "Lady in Red" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water").

Play at your own risk.


  1. "LADY IN RED" ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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