Voices from the Backseat
Mad Libs: Kids Car Version
November 6, 2017
My kids like to do Mad Libs in the car. I'm sure you remember Mad Libs--someone asks for random parts of speech, and they're transcribed blindly into a story, the results of which are invariably hilarious to anyone under the age of 12. I think my kids are learning something from Mad Libs. For example, I'm fairly certain that they both know what a noun is by now, and that an adverb usually ends in -ly. And I'm glad that they're doing something somewhat creative in the car and not just staring at a screen or bickering with each other. And it usually keeps me in relative peace and quiet.
Generally they start by trying to involve me in the Mad Libs activity, but after a few words I'm generally deemed unworthy and my turn is routinely skipped. You see, I always break the rules of Juvenile Car Mad Libs, which are specific, predictable, and unvarying:
All nouns will be something immediately visible out the window. So, "tree" "mailbox" and "WalMart" are all fine. Intangibles such as "happiness" or "sanity" are not and rapidly disqualify one.
All verbs will be dramatic actions such as "jump," "run," and "punch-in-the-face." Quieter, intransitive (like that, mom?) verbs such as "become" are frowned upon.
All adjectives will come from the usual descriptor set for an ogre. Examples would be "hairy," "stinky," or "gross."
All adverbs will be similarly disgusting
If the category "part of the body" comes up, you will dither dramatically for about 15 seconds before answering "butt." Alternatives are acceptable only if butt has been used two or more times already, and must be another potentially stinky body part.
Resulting Mad Libs are as follows: (taken from the kids' book, but typed for legibility purposes. This one is apparently a short dialogue.)
Actor #1: Why did we have to come to this warty old castle? This place sends shivers up and down my butt.
Actor #2: We had no choice. You know all the windows in town were filled because of the tree convention.
Actor #1: I'd have been happy to stay in a smooth motel. (mom was included at this point but summarily dismissed after this answer.)
Actor #2: Relax. Here comes the bellboy for our stopsigns.
Actor #1: Hilltop! Look, he's all bent over and has a big PetCo riding on his butt. He looks just like Natalie from that horror flick.
Actor #2: No. I think he's my old buttocks teacher. ("What's buttocks?" "It's what those tea drinking people (the British) call a butt").
Actor#1: I'm putting my armpit down! I'm not staying in this ridiculous place. I'd rather fart in the car!
Actor #2: You're worrying stupidly.
Actor #1: Really? Look at the bellboy. He has my traffic in one hand and your Toyota Camry in the other, and his third hand . . . His third hand . . . Ahhh!
This was read with gales of uncontrolled laughter, pure comedy gold, and the whole "farting in the car" thing rapidly crossed the line into nonfiction. Gotta love a Kid Car Mad Lib.