Car Game – Zitch Dog

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Japanese American
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Garden Grove, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 12, 2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Basically, the point of the game is if you see a dog, you have to be the first person to say, “Zitch Dog!” and then you get a point. Person with the highest score by the end of the car ride gets free dinner.

My informant brought up this game during a long car ride with me and a couple other friends.  He told me that he learned of this game when he was taking a road trip with some of his other friends.  Although, the last time he played, the person with the lowest score would have to pay for everybody’s dinner.

I decided to research the origins of Zitch Dog and found that it came from an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”  As an avid fan of the television show “How I Met Your Mother,” I had seen the episode before but had assumed that it was already an established game.  I was surprised to find that the writers of the show had invented it.  The one main difference between the TV show version and my informant’s version is that in the show, there is no real prize for the winner, only bragging rights.  When I asked my friend if he was aware that it came from the show, his response was that he had never even heard of the show before.  While folklore has had a big influence over published media, this case is an excellent example of media creating and affecting folklore.

Annotations:
Harris, Chris. “Arrivederci, Fiero.” How I Met Your Mother. Dir. Pamela Fryman. CBS. 26 Feb. 20007. Television.