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Pecan Pie for the Mind: A new game for long summer drives
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Do you remember all the games we played on long car trips, back when we were kids? Did you play the alphabet game, where you looked for words on road signs? "A - Atlanta! B - Bathrooms!" Or maybe you played the license plate game. "I see one from Michigan!" Games are great when you’re a kid. But, a good car game can make the trip go a lot faster for the adults, too. Well, since we’re knee-deep into summer, and many of you are about to drive across the country in kid-infested minivans, I’ve developed a cool, new game for you to play. It’s called, "Guess which high school class that driver failed!"

Here’s what you do. First, create a game card for each player. Down the left side of a sheet of paper, list all the subjects you studied when you were in high school. Start with the basics like art, reading, history, and math. Then include a few nerd classes like geometry, biology, and physics. And make sure you include conduct. Conduct wasn’t really a class, but it was on your report card, and your dad thought it was important. Then give everyone a game card, and start watching all the other drivers. If an old lady tailgates you, then she clearly failed physics. She should have known that her speeding car has momentum, and momentum will put her in your trunk if you stop suddenly. Put a mark by physics. If a driver cuts you off on a lane change, put a mark by either conduct or geometry. He’s probably a jerk, but there’s a possibility he’s really bad with angles. If a driver ignores the posted speed limit, mark math or reading. Play for 20 – 30 minutes then add up your check marks. The highest score wins!

This fun game is cheap, and it doesn’t require many skills. And it might just keep the kids from chewing up the leather upholstery out of boredom. To make the game even better, tell the kids that if anyone talks during the game, everyone else can put a check mark by "study hall." Study hall was a "no talking zone" class in my school, and I barely passed one year. Now, we’ve got a great game with cut-throat competition and total silence! Have a great vacation, but if you’re the one driving the car, don’t even think about playing, even if you passed study hall and physics.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at