A Slug's Life

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Slugging, the practice of standing in line to form spontaneous carpools, reportedly began at bus stops in the 1970s to take advantage of high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The passengers, or "slugs," have created a set of rules and a lingo.

Rules

· Slugs do not speak unless spoken to.

· Talk of religion, politics and sex is forbidden.

· Cell phone conversations are banned, except for a quick call to say you are on your way.

· No money or gifts exchange hands.

· No smoking or eating by the driver or the slug.

· Slugs do not change the radio station and do not adjust heat or air conditioning.

· Women are not to be left alone at a pickup site.

· Slugs are permitted to pass on a ride.

Terminology

Slug The term might have been coined by bus drivers who were comparing carpoolers near bus stops to fake coins, or slugs, dropped in fareboxes.

Body Snatching Forbidden practice of picking up sluggers before they get into line.

Caller or Head Slug First person in line, who is charged with calling out a car's destination.

Scraper Little-used term to describe drivers who pick up slugs.

Will Call When the driver picks up someone, usually a friend, who is not at the front of the line.

-- Steven Ginsberg


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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