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So have you seen the Volkswagen commercials depicting people playing a “game” of identifying their cars by calling out the color out loud, while moderately assaulting the nearest person with a nudge?

When I was a child, my parents called these cars ”doodlebugs” so during long vacation drives, it was a lot of fun to be the first one to call out the colors (clever parents..teaching with a game!), and be the winner if you counted (again, very clever!) the most during the trip.

I have to give VW kudos for bringing back this form of brand identification in a fun but somewhat annoying way. So far, I have seen people from every age group calling out colors and reaching over to give the nearest person a vigorous jab when a VW is in the vicinity. 

We have been playing this “game” during car rides with our autistic son, but since he doesn’t recognize the VW logo, any type of car can come by and a shout will emmenate from the back seat: “blue one,” “green one,” with an occasional ”cow one,” “sheep one” thrown in for good humor. 

Last week, my husband came along to pick up my son from school, but he was in such a “mood,” grumping sarcastically about everything. Thinking ahead, I warned my husband to guard his tongue because my son’s ability to interpret insinuation and sarcasm has been a challenge, often resulting in him looking puzzled and needing a lengthy explanation.

As soon as my son got into the car, the VW “game” ensued with more giggles as we started to identify other things like ”airplane one,” “feathered one,” “grumpy one,” (guess who that was?). As we were nearing home, I was telling them about something I forgot to do, when my husband sniped, “Blonde one.”

My son … my sweet, sweet son, without missing a beat, quickly leaned forward, delicately jabbed a finger at my husband’s silvered hair, and bellowed, “Grey one”!

My husband looked shocked at first, but quickly joined in the laughter when he realized that my son had made a joke AND understood it! What clever parents!

Looks like that same old “game” has taught us a lot more than how to identify one of their cars.

Thanks, VW!

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