It was a treat to read this in London Rules, the fifth in Mick Herron’s Slough House series of spy novels.
“Yellow car,” said Shirley.
“Yeah, not really.”
“Not really,” said Louisa. “On account of one, it’s a van, not a car, and two, it’s orange, not yellow. So orange van, not yellow car.”
Louisa suppressed a sigh. Until ten minutes ago, the rules of Yellow Car had seemed pretty straightforward: when you saw a yellow car, you said, “Yellow car.” There wasn’t much room for controversy. But that was before she’d introduced Shirley to the game.
From the Acknowledgments:
The rules of “Yellow Car,” as cited by Louisa, were laid down by Mr. John Finnemore in his delightful BBC Radio 4 series Cabin Pressure. But American readers should note that this is a British game designed for British conditions. Attempts to play it in—say—New York City will result in madness and death.
The Slough House series is great. Very highly recommended.