Boston’s Alternative to Punch Buggy
So you’re tooling around town on a summer evening with nothing to do, but you’re sick of playing Punch Buggy—the ancient game where you shout “PUNCH BUGGY” and the color of any Volkswagen Beetle you see… followed by a (mock) punch to whatever part of any nearby companion’s anatomy you care to strike (in jest)? How ever will you pass the time?!
Well, fear not! Because now, after years of local testing with (willing and non-triggerable) friends, I’m ready to share my Boston variant of a little-known alternative auto assault game* with the world!
It’s called Pinch Mini! And you can play it every time you see a Mini inch into view. Which will be often because those little cars are ubiquitous in the hipster parts of town.
However, it’s trickier than Punch Buggy to play correctly because, unlike Beetles, many Minis sport two colors.
That said, here are my rules to Basic Pinch Mini:
1 – See a Mini car.
2 – Call out “Pinch Mini” and the two colors of the car (body color first followed by roof color, e.g., “Pinch Mini Red and Black” to name one common color combination) while gently pinching any participating person within range. If you spot a rare one-color Mini, say the color twice (e.g. “Pinch Mini Black and Black”).
And there you have it. Enjoy!
We’ll cover my Advanced Pinch Mini rules in a future installment, if there’s interest.
One caveat: play Pinch Mini in tandem with Punch Buggy at your own risk. It’s the sporting equivalent of “crossing the streams” in Ghostbusters.
Coming soon… Fungula Fiat!
Email Jason Pramas at firstname.lastname@example.org with any Pinch Mini feedback, playtesting notes, etc.
*Another version of the game called “Mini Pinch” can be found on Urban Dictionary. There are doubtless many more unpublished instances of parallel evolution of this particular time-waster out there. So modify it and make it your own!
Executive editor and associate publisher, DigBoston. Executive director of Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. Former founder and editor/publisher of Open Media Boston. 2018 & 2019 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Political Column Award Winner.