Maintaining Your Sanity in the Car: Joke Party

  by Erik Wolgemuth

I had reached my breaking point and the only thing on the line was my adult sanity.

Thirty minutes of drive time stretched in front of me as our crew headed home from a birthday party and there was no question in my mind that exactly none of those minutes would feature the CD that had been spinning nonstop during our recent drives for, oh, say the last month or so (give or take an eternity). This is not my wholesale dismissal of kids’ sing-along music, but our current selection had the audacity to remain in pristine working condition despite a thousand repetitions. Not even a singular song had the good fortune to be slightly scratched to allow for a blessed “Track Skip” selection. But this trip was going to be different.

With the stereo firmly placed in the off position, I readied myself for a mutinous backseat. Mercifully, an alternative and a bit of dadcraft presented itself for the taking…instead of complaint, the backseat offered the suggestion of hearing a joke. Enthusiastically and immediately supported, the next thing I knew we had launched into a full-scale joke party. Though initially fueled primarily (okay, solely) by the need to avoid yet another progression through the sing-along playlist, I quite quickly found myself thoroughly enjoying what we had stumbled into.

The gist of the joke party is that it’s a joke free-for-all. Everybody takes turns sharing a joke and collectively you enjoy the hilarity that ensues. That’s it. Participant age dictate joke-quality; if your demographic skews young, you’ll likely find yourself laughing more about the odd word combinations (many of our jokes included a “cheese goat”) and attempts at humor than at punch lines per se, but hey, whatever gets a laugh. If your crowd is little bit older, consider doing a little prep work so that you have a few ringers to toss into the fray.

Days later, my kids still get a glimmer in their eyes remembering our joke party (mostly the “cheese goat”), and I’m confident it won’t be our last. The languishing CD player is an added bonus as well.


Another in-car game to try is the rainbow game. And here are some great YouTube videos that young kids enjoy. After all that driving around, consider this approach to a family car wash.

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Photo by; used by permission.