Subway Games

If I said I spent my childhood in the car, I’d be lying. But it sometimes felt that way. My parents took us on road trips in the silver Renault, or we’d drive around town in the yellow station wagon. If we didn’t have school Bubby and Zayde would buckle us into their car and we’d go off to the museums. Or, if we were spending the day with my grandmother, we’d travel in the Camry to the Waterworks or the pool. Whatever the destination, we spent plenty of time in the car on the way there.

To keep us from mutiny, my parents taught us car games. The Alphabet Game was always first. The rules are simple: starting with a, and on through z, find words that begin with the next letter of the alphabet. Those words can be posted on anything – road signs, passing trucks, or buildings – except license plates. It may sound easy, but have you ever tried to find a Z when you’re not on the way to Zelienople? It’s a game that keeps the players sharp. The only downside is that sometimes there were no signs. That’s when we’d move on to Geography.

Geography begins with someone naming a place. The second person must then name a place beginning with the last letter of the first place. So, if you said “Bishkek,” I could say “Kyrgyzstan,” then the next person could respond “Nanjing,” going on to “Guadalajara,” then “Antigua,” and on and on. Since there is no way to win this one, we’d play until we ran out of places beginning with the letter a. By then, we were hopefully home.

I no longer spend any time in the car. Instead, I spend two hours a day on the subway. It’s been fun for a while, but I’m beginning to tire of it. So can someone please explain why there are no subway games?

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