The other day I passed a car that had only one headlight working. It reminded me of a game that I played years before called “Padiddle.” The object of the game was to spot a vehicle with only one headlight; yell padiddle; and hit the ceiling of your car; all before anyone else in the car did. At that time, you would get a point. The winner would be the one who had the most points.

It seems to me that years ago, more vehicles operated with one headlight on. Technology has improved so much that today’s headlights last so much longer than before. Plus, cars now tell you when a headlight was out, while in the past you had to rely on your own perception of darkness to tell.

Either way, I played this game every time that I got into a car. My friends played this game. My brothers played this game. It was a simple game and it was enjoyable. We played it on five minute car rides and on long road trips. We did not have DVD players in our cars or Nintendo in our hands.

During high school, I was a member of the debate team. Being from Rapid City, we had limited options for debate tournaments, so we traveled across the state to compete. I spent so many hours riding in the back of a school van traversing the Interstate system in South Dakota. This time was passed in a variety of ways, and spent with great friends. We played a variety of games, including hearts and other card games. And we played Padiddle.

Our coach, Ms. Maass, was the Padiddle champion. Even though she had a natural advantage, riding in the front seat and paying attention to the road ahead of us, she still kicked our asses nearly every time. It was a challenge to beat her and we all enjoyed the chance to try. Occasionally, someone would sneak in a win against her; but that was rare to say the least.

Today, my children don’t play the Padiddle game. Ian knows the game, but he has never tried to play it with me.  The others aren’t even sure what it really is, and when I tell them, they look at me like I am nuts. Today they have cell phones, iPods and tablets that distract them while we are driving. They don’t have time for such simple pleasures. Perhaps when we take our next family road trip, I am going to start beating the roof of the car….


Evidently, Wikipedia has some info about it as well…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s