I had some legitimate deep thoughts about Easter, but I think my road trip home would be more entertaining for you to read about than my revelations about guilt and what Jesus did on the cross. Not as meaningful, but definitely more humorous.
Some friends of mine introduced me to this car game on an epic road trip in December of 2009. It’s called “My Cows,” and the goal is to be the first to see and claim cows. If you see a field of cows and are the first one to say “My cows,” they’re yours. You only get one point or “cow” per group of cows though. Groups are mostly defined by fences and such.
Also, if you see a church and claim it first by saying, “Marry my cows,” your cows double. That might not seem like a big deal when you’re going from 2 to 4 cows, but imagine doubling your cows a few times in a row. You get to the thousands pretty quickly. Last but not least, if you see a cemetery, you can claim that by saying, “Bury your cows.” If you “bury” someone’s cows, you get all of their cows added to your numbers.
Things move along in a fun, semi-competitive way for the first few minutes of “My Cows.” You see some fields with cows in them, you feel good about yourself, and the other person in the car sees some fields of cows first, too. Yay, healthy competition.
Then you get to your first church, and one person is suddenly way ahead. And before you know it, oh no! That’s a cemetery! Now somebody is totally out of the game (temporarily). By that point, people are starting to care way too much about their number of cows. Some players rub in their success, others are angry the whole time they’re behind. If you’re playing this game for more than an hour, it gets less and less funny. You think to yourself, “This is serious. The fate of my cows depends on my vision and distraction tactics, and there’s no way I can lose.”
Yeah, it gets ugly after that first hour. Scott and I probably played for 2 hours on Sunday. One of Scott’s roommates was riding back from Blacksburg with us, and we explained the rules to him in case he wanted to join in, but he politely declined and kept reading his book. Then out of nowhere, a few minutes before the end of the trip, Lucas chimed in with, “Bury your cows!” Yep, he stole all the cows as the clock ticked down to zero. Way to go, Lucas.
It was actually pretty perfect, since neither of the super competitive people in the front seat should have won. That perfection was marred a little by the fact that I was one of the competitive people in the front seat. Sigh.
So what’s the take-away message of the story? Never play a road trip game that shows everyone exactly how selfish and petty you can be. Instead, just turn on some nice music and enjoy the scenery. When you pass a field of cows, think, “They add so much to that pasture. It really is beautiful here. Way to be, cows, way to be.” Or you could learn how to avoid being petty and selfish. I think that might take more time and effort though.