A Sample Chapter from my new book, And The Horse You Rode In On

So, a few very frugal people asked for a sample chapter from my new book.  Here you go.  Its a reprint but a fancy edited one.

Enjoy, then buy my book dam you.. its ten bucks.. four if you get the eBook.  jeesh.


Road Kill Bingo


My late sister and I had a game we would play when driving long distances.  We shared it with few others as often people did not appreciate our borderline psychotic level of black humour.  The game, as you can see from the title of this chapter, was called Roadkill Bingo.  I share it with you now in hopes that you, your friends and any children you choose to thrust upon the world can utilize it to pass the time and find a way to enjoy long, painfully tedious family trips.


The rules are fairly simple and we could never actually remember which one of us came up with the initial or rules.  Essentially, one need be in a moving vehicle, especially one that the players are stuck in for a long tedious distance as already mentioned.  During said drive as players take part in talking, listening to music or better yet, arguing about how one or another players boyfriends or more often girlfriends are skanks and/or losers, eyes constantly flit to the road ahead.  Scanning ditches (risky due to lack of a clear view), gravel or paved shoulders or inside shoulders between directional lanes, you search for, get ready, roadkill.  As soon as a player sees a dead thing they then as quickly as possible yell out “ROADKILL” followed hopefully by a successful guess at its species.  Other players have the opportunity to try to guess the species as well but to lodge a successful guess one must yell the word ROADKILL first.  This gives the initial spotter the chance to guess immediately upon saying Roadkill.  Guesses can go back and forth until species is verified or agreed upon.  Typically as the car gets closer and closer, the guesses fly faster and faster until someone relents and acquiesces to their opponent’s abilities.


Points are determined before game starts.  Sometimes it is simple, five points per roadkill call and a further five for an animal correctly identified.  Sometimes stakes are higher, like money high.  Incorrect identification is a negative five or more points against your score however this only counts against the initial caller (so as to prevent someone calling roadkill randomly every time you see something at the side of the road).  Usually a point score total is shot for i.e. 100 points for a long drive with the winner not having to drive for an hour they would normally be entitled to or (more safe on long drives)  something innocuous like liquor or beer purchases at the next stop.


When we were kids, we were forced to go camping on and off, at least (or so it seemed) three weekends out of four from May till September.  It always started out fun but as the mind numbingly long drives to the campground wore on and on, stops were made very infrequently (unless Dad thought he saw a UFO) and one of us would get bored and it then turned to fighting.  Dad would pull over, threaten to kill us and dump our bodies in a ditch, we would quiet down and the drive would continue.  A détente would be in silent effect till one of us decided the risk level had lowered enough to poke the other in the head (my sister would do this) or call the other one in hushed whispers “Lardass” (this being my insult of choice as it was Dad’s painfully hurting pet name for my sister which lead to anorexia later on in life).  Aside: when my sister was at her lowest and skinny as hell I still called her Lardass as I was by that time allowed, it accepted that I was being sarcastic.  Had anyone else said it she or I would have killed them and left their body in a ditch.  Then most likely we would punch if not call the cops on each other.  It’s how we “rolled”, Lardass and I.  Had we developed this game in our early childhood we probably wouldn’t’t have suffered the threats of physical violence and post-death abandonment that likely caused all sorts of psycho-social issues to both of us in our adulthood.


Another aside: When my sister was at her LOWEST of low, talking suicide and such, I told her that if she killed herself I would personally make sure her dogs were put to sleep the next day.  Kept her from doing herself in for a good four years.  Damn, I should write books on suicide prevention.


One weekend in the late 90s, Lardass and I were driving the hour long trek to our hometown of Dirtville from the much larger metropolis she had moved to a year or so before.  I was driving her home to visit my mother and it was just the two of us in the car.  After the usual arguing, teasing, laughing, snide remarks and threats of violence and post-death abandonment if she lit up another cigarette in my car, I noticed that she was hanging her hand out of the car window.  I told her that if I let go of the wheel (it was a straight stretch of highway) and she stuck both hands out, palm toward the wind, she could steer the car to the shoulder.  She opened the window and tried.  The car shifted ever so slightly to the right.  “Holy Crap, that’s awesome!” she yelled and did it again and again as I kept re-straightening our travel path in between.  Then she on an insane whim stuck hands, head, arms and shoulders out the window. I grabbed the wheel and on the busiest highway in Canada, swerved the car about ten feet onto the gravel shoulder screaming that we were going to die as I did.  She screamed, yanked her body in and I steered us back into the lane laughing and trying desperately not to slam into a transport truck that was passing us at the time.  She swore, she punched me, the usual. 


A few minutes later after the fear and violence had subsided and we both laughed at the situation, I noticed her bouncing in her seat, mouthing words and not making noise, pointing ahead, excited, frantic and unable to speak.  I looked forward.  I could see a police car with lights flashing.  I could see an ambulance, the cops and paramedics standing beside a stretcher with someone on it covered up, talking, waiting.  Our father had been a paramedic. We knew the business. She found her voice and before I could say a thing and blurted out “ROADKILL… HUMAN!!! ROADKILL HUMAN!!!”. 


We looked back and forth and passed the scene of a horrid crash.  I looked her way and we both smiled and cheered!  She was granted an immediate 1000 points and the title of champion.  She had won the ultimate game of Roadkill Bingo. 


We never played again.

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