Punch Buggy Green!

Some of you may recall the ‘Punch Buggy’ or ‘Slug Bug’ game. Some of us still play it (with your kids perhaps). Well, wherever you learned it, that game has been going on for decades now and it turns out there are variants, ‘official’ rules, cultural references, and more out there.

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Yes, ‘Slug Bug’ is well-documented apparently. Starting with an official Wikipedia page entry (there are people that are extremely dedicated to cataloging everything on Wikipedia).

Punch buggy (also called punch bug, punch car, punch dub, piggy punch, slug bug, or beetle bug[1]) is a car game generally played by children in which participants punch each other on the arm upon first sight of a Volkswagen Beetle while calling out “Punch buggy!” or “Slug bug!” in reference to the Beetle’s nickname, the Bug. The color of the Beetle is also stated.[2]

You would think a simple game with the simplest of rules would not require documented rules, but someone has gone through the trouble nonetheless. As the author notes:

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site I’ve been playing Punch Buggy for at least Thirty-Four over Forty-Two Years. That makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject, at least in my opinion…

Regarding the game of Slug Bug the rules are the same. Slug Bug is simply Punch Buggy by another name. It’s rather like ‘tonic’ ‘soda’ and ‘pop’. What you call it depends on where you grew up. Personally I refuse to grow up, but that’s neither here nor there…

There may be other car punching games out there, but this is The Original.

Punch Buggy even showed up on a Simpsons episode in a humorous clip:

So, the next time you overhear your kids in the back of the car playing this age-old game, remember that for some people, this is not a game at all, but serious business.

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2018: Goodbye Beetle?

Once upon a time, the Beatles called it quits. Whether or not that is your kind of music, there is little doubt that the band was iconic and when they packed up their gear for good, it was big news.

FILE - OCTOBER 5: 50 Years Since The First Beatles Single Released: A Look Back At The Beatles  A group portrait of the Beatles, straightening their ties, backstage at the Odeon Cinema in Luton on 6th September 1963. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon. (Photo by Tom Hanley/Redferns)
FILE – OCTOBER 5: 50 Years Since The First Beatles Single Released: A Look Back At The Beatles
A group portrait of the Beatles, straightening their ties, backstage at the Odeon Cinema in Luton on 6th September 1963. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon. (Photo by Tom Hanley/Redferns)

Well, we’re not here to talk about that, but something of that era to say the least.

 

There is a rumor that says the beloved Volkswagen Beetle will be ending production in 2018. Autoline has put out a suggestion that calls for an end for the vehicle after twenty years of production. Relaunched in 1998, the Beetle was pulled out of the design attic and received much fanfare.

The model line was reinvented year again just a few short years ago with a newer generation that you can find in showrooms today. The problem as Autoline reports it: demand. The Beetle is a segment of vehicle that undoubtedly has a devoted following and staunch admirers. However, there is a greater demand for compact utility vehicles (CUVs) that threatens to supplant production of the Beetles. Whether the news is a genuine leak (and somewhat true) or a prediction from the company remains to be seen. What we do know is that the move stands to upsets many devoted fans.

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Isn’t there enough CUV models on the streets? Volkswagen needs to make shrewd moves and keep all the fans they have. The Beetle is one piece of iconic design that they may want to embrace after the recent troubles endured by the company.

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Buying VW as an investment?

On the investment front, you may be wondering if Volkswagen has put its worst days behind it, making the stock a buy. Since the diesel-emissions cheating scandal hit the news in September of 2015, the stock has fallen about 25 percent. One problem with a rush to judgement on whether the stock is currently cheap, is that there is a lot to be told about the ultimate costs of the scandal, in fines, recalls, and potential buybacks.

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One thing to consider is that Volkswagen is a massive, well-run business that is working hard to turn their image around. In the past, Volkswagen has taken a backseat to Toyota around the world, with VW holding on to a lead in the European car market by a wide margin. In China, Volkswagen has been a very close second place operation in comparison to the market leader there in General Motors.

The future holds many variables and unknowns, but Volkswagen seems to be going in the right direction. In terms of what’s around the corner, Volkswagen has been touting electric vehicles and a number of futuristic technologies. Driverless technology is another revolution that may change things radically. In all, each of these innovations have the potential to shift the automobile market in such a way that traditional automakers will fall increasingly behind.

VW’s efforts in electric vehicle technologies have produced a number of potential contenders that are slated for production in 2020. It is possible that the vehicles could arrive even sooner given their rapid efforts thus far. Time will tell whether the offering can compete with Tesla, the leader in electric vehicles at the moment. VW’s susidiary Audi is also producing electric vehicle options as well as driverless systems.

At the end of the day, it is hard to tell whether VW is at the bottom of its slide. It has lost quite a bit of public favor. It has not delivered complete clarity thus far on what recourse is available to owners of the models affected by the scandal. The jury is out on the company’s management and management changes. The company has also lost the avid support of a number of dealerships in the US, as found in a number of widely spread stories. Surely, VW is hoping that it is somewhere near the bottom of the slide. The seeds have been planted for a turnaround and a few mid to long-term tactical business maneuvers. It is probably safe to buy VW at this time for the long run, but the company may still have a ways to go.

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