Aug 31

Cute, but deadly: Slug Bug.

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This is how the game usually goes:


Person 1: Slug Bug/Punch Buggy Red!

[Person 1 punches Person 2]

Person 2: Ow! Why’d you do that?

[Person 2  points at moving vehicle]


Examine, Specimen 1 (the car, not the model:

Editor's Note: Not all Slug Bugs were created equal. This one just happens to be encrusted in gold.

Also known as “punch buggy*,” the game I affectionately call slug bug is far from innocent child’s play as one could imagine. It’s an intense exercise of using one’s superior skills to seek out Volkswagen Beetles, new and old, in order to subdue the enemy with violent blows to the arm, leg and sometimes face.


Told you it was vicious. The punching is said to have started in the 60s. A 2009 VW marketing campaign pinned Zachariah Davis (no, not Buck the left-fielder) as father of the sadistic sport.

I wonder if Davis ever wondered why his game went viral. It is, after all, a popular activity for road-trips long and short. The only problem is that somehow—and I don’t know how—you always seem to find more Slug Bugs while driving alone in comparison to when you’re ready to play and a victim is in-sight and at arm’s length.

Zachariah Davis, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

Also something to consider: If we all know about the game, then why on earth would we go off and buy VW Beetles?

I would like to walk up to someone getting ready to buy a Beetle someday and ask: Do you realize how much violence and pain you’re enabling by purchasing this brightly-colored vehicle with headlights suited for an anime series?

There is nothing positive to say about the branding strategy for vehicle either. My car’s spirit animal isn’t an insect—it’s not one but three black lions from medieval Swabia. Tremors should have scared everyone into shying away from riding mysterious creatures from below (teehee).

Don’t let me stop you, though. Slug-buggers everywhere, do not beware. The sale of slug bugs will [thankfully] not stop for the forseeable future. Punch away. I know I am.

Play responsibly. Read up on the rules.


*Warning: Link leads to a page featuring Comic Sans.


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