Punch Buggy Green; No Punch Back

Blurry eyed and fuzzy minded, my daughter and I walked the row of rental cars, determined to drive a better car than the Aveo with crank windows, little suspension, and no vim and vigor we’d rented a few months before.

We past a Dodge, a Honda Civic, and a Mazda before spotting a green VW bug a few spaces away. “Mom, can we get it?” my daughter asked awake now and grinning though it was 4 a.m. our time. After confirming the car was available at the price we’d already paid on hotwire.com, we loaded up the trunk with our two suitcases and backpacks and sat inside. Our seatbelts on, I turned the key. Nothing. I turned the key again. Nothing. With help from the car manual (put car in neutral, press on the brake, then turn the key), the car finally started, and we left the rental car area, driving north among the whizzing cars to our final destination and lodging.

For the next several days, our very own “punch buggy” put smiles on our faces whenever we found her waiting for us to go some place new. She put smiles on others’ faces as our friends asked for rides, enjoying the spacious back seat, and just being in the car. And as we drove here and there on highways and back roads, visiting people and places, we knew that people around us were punching each other and shouting, “Punch buggy green. No punch back!”

Trip taken July 2011.

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