Silly Games to Pass the Time on Long Road Trips

Kids playing Mad Libs

Kids have loved playing Mad Lib games since the 1960s. (Photo courtesy mmnicolet/Flickr)


I’ve always loved words. Most of my life, my head has either been in a book or hovering over a piece of paper writing my own stories. That’s why it came as no surprise that two of my favorite ways to pass the time on road trips has been playing hangman or filling out Mad Libs. 

For the uninitiated, Mad Libs are books filled with sentences that allow readers to fill in blanks with random words, then read them back to hilarious results. Published by Larry Sloan, who died Sunday at 89, these became a cultural phenomenon starting back in the 1960s. I discovered them a couple of decades later when I was growing up, and even now this game makes me laugh.

When I moved to Texas in May, my youngest niece and I were bored as my dad drove the truck back to Ohio where we were going to pick up my wife. To fill the time, I started creating some of my own Mad Lib-style stories and got my niece to fill in the blanks. When we read them back, we were in stitches over the silly results.

Here’s one of the stories I created. You can fill in the blanks to see if you find it equally fun.

Pedro Runs Away

Once, a _______________ (adjective) ___________________ (noun) named Pedro became _______________ (emotion) of his _________________ (noun). “Why are you always so _______________ (adjective),” Pedro asked. But he received no answer.

_________________(adverb), Pedro decided to run away. He packed his _______________ (noun), which was really soft, his _________________ (noun) because he liked its smell, and a ________________ (noun) because it reminded him of his mother.

Finally, Pedro _______________ (verb) out to the street and stuck out his ________________ (noun), wiggling it until a stranger pulled up in her _________________ (adjective) _________________ (noun).

“Want a lift,” she asked with a __________________ (adjective) grin and _________________(adjective) voice.

“Yes! I’m going to __________________(place). Will you take me?”

“Sure, but only if you ________________(verb) on my ________________(object).”

“Fine by me,” Pedro said. And off they drove into the sunset.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Silly Games to Pass the Time on Long Road Trips

  1. Pingback: ‘Mad Libs’ Publisher Larry Sloan Dies in Los Angeles

  2. Pingback: ‘Mad Libs’ Publisher Larry Sloan Dies in Los Angeles | Kicker 102.5

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