Are we there yet?
Holidays are here and Tracy has ideas to help you survive the hell-drive with kids.
The end of the year is nigh and it doesn’t smell like crass commercialisation, family feuds or congealed cranberry sauce. Not to me, oh no.  I smell freedom and sandy ice-cream. And watermelon!  Can I get a woo-hoo?

If you’re going away on holiday, yay you! But you first have to get there. Bleergh. Long sticky hell-drives with crabby bilious relatives are not ideal vacation hors de oeuvres.

First rule: expect the worst. Imagine being stuck in a car for 10 hours with the girl from The Exorcist, a random woman from any washing powder ad ever and Gareth Cliff and you’ll be prepared for how bad it can get.

Second rule:
two words – Wet Wipes.

Third rule: nobody likes I Spy, okay? Just forget it.

Here are some other ideas to divert attention away from blunt instruments until the next wee-stop.

Make It Stop!
Compile a CD or 2 with everybody’s favourite songs. No matter what they are. So you’ll have Elvis mixed with Hannah and Metallica. Or some variation thereof. Everybody must listen to them all. No skipping, no muting, no negotiating.  And no complaining. A rating system of escalating vomit sounds may be permitted though. Guarantee that everybody will find something new they like (even if they never admit it).

Random Google
For this you’ll need a passenger with an internet-enabled cellphone. Each person has a turn to make up a random name like John William Bodkin, or Marcheline Agnes Carpenter. Whatever. Google the name and see what you come up with. We seem to get Canadian serial killers, mostly.

Aarrrgh! Avast Me Hearties
Pick a piece of paper from a jar with instructions for everybody to speak a certain way until you see the next red car. Imagine a family of Paris Hiltons, Russian spies or the High School Musical chorus line. Also funny if you have a book handy. A page of “Twilight” read aloud in Pirate-Speak can only be a good thing.

Words Don’t Come Easy
Word association – not as boring as it sounds. One person starts with a random word and the next one has to say something related in some way. Shoe, sock, foot, toe, smelly, poop. Even preschoolers can manage this. No hesitation or repetition allowed, but just wait and see how quickly you come back around to “Bum”.

Smile and Wave Boys
When you’re stuck in traffic and road rage is imminent, abandon all dignity and wave enthusiastically at passing motorists. Smile like crazy people. Very good for the heart rate. Ten points if they wave back. Lose points if you get arrested.

Blah Blah Fishpaste
Tune into a talk radio station, if you can possibly bear it. A jelly baby for the first person to hear the phrases “At the end of the day” or “I’m glad you asked that question”.

OCD Number Crunchers
For the older ones. A prize for the fastest person to add up the numbers on the licence plate ahead.

PS. This one’s addictive. Once you start, you’ve had it, I’m afraid.

Is it only my odd family who finds these fun? Surely not?


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