Just when I thought the age of innocence was dead, no – correction; fossilised, I was introduced to the amazingly simple game of yellow car.

That same, sometimes moody, other times hilariously entertaining 16 year-old that I spoke of in ‘Could You Be a Social Worker?’ shouted out “YELLOW CAR!” and then thumped me in the arm.

Now, I am sure you can imagine my surprise and confusion, as I had no idea why she had a) screamed out ‘Yellow Car’ nor b) unprovoked, hit me in the arm.

Well – let me explain, because Yellow Car turns out to be one of those games children play; the kind of game you thought was long since a far and forgotten memory of the school playground. It also proved to be a refreshing reminder that the console generation still knows how to have fun without the need of a microchip, battery or your hard-earned cash.

The rules are very simple:

  • Spot a yellow car first (yellow, not gold, not lime nor any other colour close to but not actually yellow).
  • Shout out “Yellow Car, no take backs” (to lay claim to the prize before your competitor spots the same car).
  • Then gently tap (tag) them on the arm. I say gently as you don’t want to go around punching people, that would be wrong – especially children.
  • The ‘No take backs’ is one of those innocent rules, that could only exist in a child’s mind, that means you can’t just hit them back.

That’s it, nothing more complex than that. You just go about your day, or journey, just waiting to see that yellow car (first); seeing who can gain the highest score.

You don’t even have to tell your unsuspecting opponent about the game, the rules or the fact you’ve started to play (unsuspecting victim).

Now, I should point out that you probably shouldn’t play yellow car with someone who is driving, as that would be dangerous; you want their eyes on the road, not roving the back streets looking out for yellow cars. You also wouldn’t want to tag them on the arm when they should be keeping the car pointed in the right direction on the road.

There is something else you should be wary of; children do not like to lose and children will assume the game never stops. I say this as someone who now walks around like Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau – waiting for my very own Cato to jump out at me from nowhere; her presence announced only by the paralysing words “YELLOW CAR!”

Oh, and if you were thinking of playing this in New York, you might want to pick another colour; Yellow Taxi Cabs might make the game more an exercise of endurance than one of anticipation and ‘fastest person on the draw’.

  1. @RedFedYNWA says:

    Ahhhh the innocence… 😀

  2. ajjam says:

    My sisters’ kids were brought up with a similar version of this game. Usually they were allocated a colour by their Mother and whoever spotted the most cars of their own colour won. No prizes; just bragging rights.

    As a child, I too was given a more subtle version, to keep me occupied during a long road trip through Scotland. It was to spot “funny” road names. In Scotland it was easy and I didn’t just keep myself busy, I kept everyone entertained with my observations. I still remember “Quality Street”, in Edinburgh.

    • Quality Street – excellent! Just up the road from the school my brothers and I went to, was a road named Warmington Rd: I pointed that out to as many people as I could (obviously) 🙂 .

  3. I’ve played “Slug Bug” for many years (and I’m turing 21 in a few months). Same rules, except when you see a VW bug, you tag them saying Slug Bug. There are Double Slug Bugs (VW vans), and then Triple Slug Bugs (VW cars converted into trucks) and Quadruple Slug Bugs (VW vans converted into trucks). My brother and I came up with the triple and quadruple Slug Bugs.

    • I love the idea of Slug Bug – I wonder if I would get away with introducing that as the new game ;).

      When I was at school we would just ‘tax’ anything we saw that we like and considered really ‘cool’ – ‘tax on my wishes, BMW 3 Series, no returns’. It was just adding things to your wish-list and the ‘no returns’ meant no one could take it off you.

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