Hitting: Sometimes It’s Okay!


Scott McGrew

My sister Becky came out to California to visit recently. She’s from back “east,” Illinois. People from Illinois, incidentally, are mystified by our insistence of calling the Midwest “east.”

She brought along her children. I have only boys, my sister has only girls. It made for a strange combination, especially since we both have five year olds. Think “Little Women” meets “Lord of the Flies” in the back of my minivan.

Turns out families with only girls don’t play “Slug Bug.” Slug Bug, for you who lack a Y chromosome, is where you spot a Volkswagen Beetle on the road and smack everyone else in the car as hard as you can while shouting “Slug Bug.” Apparently, in Abagail’s sheltered world, “hitting is not nice,” so she was a bit disturbed by the whole game.

As many sociologists have discovered, when you mix a sophisticated, rule based society (in this case, “girls”) with a primitive society (aka “boys”), the primitives do not become more civilized; The civilized become more primitive. So after awhile, they had Abagail playing Slug Bug.

My five year old – who doesn’t like the fact that Abagail gets much of the attention during her visit – pointed out to her that she was not spotting many Volkswagens.

“I have seven,” he said. “You have none. It’s seven to zero. ZEEEEEEEROO,” said Ian.

“That hurts my feelings,” responded Abagail, apparently oblivious to the fact that was precisely what Ian was trying to do. “What would YOU think if I said ‘I have seven, you have none?'”

Ian got suddenly quiet. He appeared to be thinking this over.

“How would I feel? I would think I wasn’t very good at playing Slug Bug.”

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter


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