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Ponder This by Kelly Ponder

Kelly Ponder from Fordyce, Arkansas was a senior history major at Arkansas State University. The column originally appeared in the ASU Herald during 1997 the campus newspaper. Kelly's off the wall sense of humor is evident in his quirky presentations of campus life.

Road Game Offers Dangerous Diversion

All college students share in the age-old traditions of attending frat parties, forsaking laundry and skipping class for arbitrary reasons (i.e. I never learned to walk with a gait composed of alternating hops and steps).

But the most ubiquitous rite of passage is the road trip. Nothing is more fun than wondering where you're going, how much gas is actually left when the gauge reads E and what if you really need your appendix?

Your destination doesn't matter.

You could choose between Groin, Wyo., and Bland, W. Va., (yep, they exist).

What counts is that you have a harrowing experience that will deter you from wasting your precious gas money on wanderlust, or any lust for that matter.

First, to achieve this journey of jeopardy you must attain an unreliable vehicle, an automobile that is more dangerous than Marv Albert without a mouthpiece.

I would recommend the new Ford Hazard (motto: recalls are for sissies). It's anything but safe, and it's advertised as a "good work truck" even though it is a compact car.

Here's the brochure highlights.

UN-SAFETY FEATURES OF FORD HAZARD: Opaque windshield, perforated seat belts and intermittent brakes.

I've created a road trip game for your perilous odyssey to provide you with hours of amusement, if not a yearning for Dramamine.

My highway diversion is called Jerk the Steering Wheel. Here's the contest in its entirety.

Though "pulling someone's leg" and "yanking someone's chain" should be taken figuratively, "Jerk the Steering Wheel" should be taken orally; I mean literally.

EQUIPMENT: One car, hands

HOW TO PLAY: First of all, all drivers should be kept in the dark. This means play at night and don't tell them you're playing this game. When the driver nods off or becomes engrossed in a John Grisham novel, the game commences. Jerk away! Players should be careful not to tug on both sides of the wheel because it would counteract both jerks, negating the desired effect. The winner is the person who gets the driver's attention or the first person to climb out of the ravine.

WHY YOU CAN"T PLAY IN MISSISSIPPI: According to Mississippi Attorney General Max Roberts, who said, "Wheels?! Oh, sure! Ha, Ha! Why don't we cure tuberculosis while we're at it! Ha, ha! I bet the planets revolve around the sun, too. He, he! Progressive idealists, the whole lot of you!"

WHY YOU CAN'T PLAY IN ARKANSAS: The state has too many jerks.


NOTE: "Jerk the Wheel" is not for play in Kia-brand vehicles because the steering wheel tends to fall off. "Jerk the Wheel" is sponsored by the makers of "Revive the Roadkill", "Bite the Upholstery" and "Drink Some Power Steering Fluid with an Olive."

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