Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Derby

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The 2010 Pinewood Derby.

Every year this time rolls around and I dread it.  It's the making of the cars that bugs me.  Well, actually, it's the THOUGHT of making the cars that turns me off.  All that sanding & painting & putting on the weights.  Knothanksbye.

But then, just like with my Christmas decorations,  once we get started then it's game on.

The contenders.  In his final Pinewood Derby... JBird "Lightening" Anderson:

And, in his first Pinewood Derby....Tbone "Thunder" Anderson:

On the drive over to the church I could feel that familiar frenzied feeling creeping in.  I kept telling myself it was no big deal.  It was just for fun.  And lots of other lies.  It didn't work.  I was on edge.  Then walking into the church gym and seeing the track all set up and everyone running around either adding or removing weight to their cars didn't help either.

 Tbone's car was a little over-weight (dang them and their scale that went to TWO decimal places!) so Gty & I became surgeons.

Since JBird had gotten 4th place in his previous two derbies, our worst nightmare was that TBone would win & JBird wouldn't this year.   TBone, who is not that competitive and it's his first race, and JBird, who is very competitive and it's his last race.  We tried to do their cars exactly the same, but who knows, right?

You can just see the tension in the air.  

The winners will be determined after FOUR races.  One time down in each track.  The winner would be the one with the fastest average time after it was all said and done.

JBird was in the first race.
His car was literally a full car length ahead of all the other cars when they hit the finish line.  And I don't mean "hit" figuratively.  The track ended at a wall which the cars would smack into (not good).  Since JBird's had gotten there so much before the other cars, his bounced into another car's track and blocked it from finishing.  The officials said they needed to race again.  

Whaaaaaaaat????  Noooooooo!!  

Gty and I were giving each other looks that denoted swear words (in our own silent language).   They had the times off the screen so fast that we didn't even get a chance to see what JBird had gotten.

See?  My anxiety was not for nothin'!

But we weren't too worried.  JBird's car was sooooo much faster than the others that it wouldn't be too big of a deal.

So, they race again.  

This time JBird's car comes in third.

You heard me right.  THIRD.

I'm guessing his little wreck screwed up a wheel or something?  We don't know.  But again, the look exchanging swear words are flying.  JBird is being a good sport.  Keeping it together.  Doing much better than Gty & I. Gty says something to the poor scout lady like "Hey, is there any way we can find out what JBird's first time was and keep that?  This doesn't seem fair."   She claims it can't be done and as Gty walks away (not angrily) I hear her say to another leader "And so the tension begins."  

Ok, fine. We take some deep breaths and begin lying to each other and ourselves again.  No need to make a scene.

Tbone races a couple of races later and his car is exceedingly fast.  I dare say, faster than JBird's first run.  As a matter of fact, he now holds the new speed record.  My smile returns.  This is the beauty of having more than one kid/car.  All your hopes & dreams aren't pinned on one.

The races continue and no one is beating TBone's time.  
Things are looking good.  I'm starting to want it too badly though.  Sometimes it's almost better to just not even be close.

TBone's final race down he has a good run but the kid that was breathing down his neck the whole time finally beat him and, sadly, broke his record he had held the entire time!

But this kid could NOT have been happier with 2nd Place.

And JBird was happy for him.  A little disappointed with his 5th place finish (other peeps, 3rd and 4th placers specifically, were re-graphiting their cars between races.  Major no-no.  I don't wanna say that was the difference for Jbird not placing, but it was) but super happy for TBone.  JBird has a gazillion trophies.  This is TBone's first in anything.

You know how when a team wins the Super Bowl and they ask "What are you going to do now?" and they go "I'm going to Disneyland!"

Well, we asked TBone what he was going to do now and he said "I wanna go call my two grandpas!"
You've never heard a cuter conversation.  He described it all in great detail to each of them.  Then we hear him describing his trophy in detail... "and then, there's like a base and it goes up like a pole thingy, and it's red white and blue with cars on it and then, at the top...."  

He was giddy and couldn't stop talking about it or stop looking at his trophy until he fell asleep.  

We realized later that this was our worst nightmare (we thought) but actually, this is what needed to happen.  Tbone needed this more than JBird.   Srsly.  We were all grinning fools the rest of the night.

 It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Mostly the best though.


eekareek said...

Awwwww, Karma. This is what you get for deleting all of our first scores from the A.I. contest. Amy and I kept giving each other "looks" as well and were quite annoyed (secretly of course) about our scores being deleted. But now that is has happened to you, everything is cool again.
Congrats to Tbone and Jbird. Jbird got robbed tho but it makes us closer since I was robbed of TWO POINTS.

jill'E'jam said...

Jed's race was decided by the flip of a coin... A COIN! He got second... *%^&$@*^$%

I am a good sport... I am a good sport...

Landee said...

The flip of a coin???? What??? Why not have the two tied cars race again? I must have an explanation here. OUTRAGEOUS!!!

Sara. Not. Another. Word. ::shooting you even worser swear word looks than I even knew possible::

Hot Pants said...

If you had argued and the pine wood derby judge just said, "sorry you feel that way" and then did nothing to right their wrong, would you have been more annoyed? Cuz that happened to me yesterday when I tried to reason with someone screwing me over on a contest.

joe said...

Loved loved that story. This will certainly be one story that my kids will act out when playing "Uncle Garret's Family".
this is not Joe, btw. I don't have a google. Did you know you can change it so Anyone can reply? loves! Chrissi

ManicMandee said...

I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE Pinewood Derby. And like you, it's the making the car/thinking about making the car that is the worst part.
The whole fiasco is not worth putting my bi-polar child into a cycle of depression!

Sure enjoyed your commentary of the event though. Super entertaining.

Markie23 said...

That's just good storytelling. I felt like I was actually there, and I'm still swear-looking at that one scout lady.

On a side note, I have never won a single trophy for anything... ever. Of course it doesn't matter to me. It's just a meaningless symbol of skill, effort, talent, and success. ::silent sob::

solidgold (a.k.a. our family) said...

The look on Tbone's face is priceless! Loved your commentary on the whole thing too. I think I'm going to have to look into doing those silent swear-word looks with Dave. I'm just proud that you/Gty didn't give the girl the Full Bridge.
The pinewood derby is the one thing we miss the most about having older boys now. (sniff).

Annalisa said...

I've never been a fa of scouting and I'm dreading this time of my life. Congrats to the boys on there "wins". Oh and why is that kids head shaved to the skin? I'm hoping the guard fell off while doing the hair cut.

Jenny ESP said...

I wish pinewood derby was never invented. Hate its guts. Not only am I the lazy overwhelmed parent, who is sick of making cars that never win (9 so far, 5 more to go), but I'm also the harassed scout leader and recipient of silent curse words. I spend most of the night soothing the parents and agreeing that the whole thing is not fair and pretending that I'm gonna do something about it, when really all I wanna say is, "look, your car obviously sucks, you lose, get over it."

Anyway, sorry J got gypped. That really was unfair, and I'm not even pretending. Also, the coin flip thing... I'm shocked!!

Memzy said...

Lollerz at Jenny. It's all in your perspective.

But this Middle Child Karma Action is really making it's rounds lately isn't it? First Cracker with the iTouch and now this? It feels......right.

cog said...

Brilliant idea to put a wall at the bottom of the track - must've been the *assistant* Scoutmaster's. TBird got jobbed. Next year you should put a bumper on the front so that the whole thing explodes on impact and takes out all the other cars and track with it. Make em think about doing that again.

Kim said...

Best they learn now that contests are rigged and the most skilled, smartest, best drawer/dioramma maker people get short sheeted every time. Scouts must be a family run thing. Cuz family contests are the worst. In case you aren't getting the references like when the Morgans skrizzed you outta those 4 contests and how you are skrizzing me and Sara and Amy out of our totally hard and fairly earned points on this "I'll start the contest over contest if I am way behind" AI thing. HEART the pics of the boyz. That one of J-bird lookin all intense.. hilarious. Um.. who took the one of you and Gty? Beebs?

Carol said...

LOVED the post. LOVED all the above comments. Very entertaining. Here's my take: Pinewood derby is simply a training ground for what's to come. As in CHURCH BASKETBALL. Need I say more? I think not.

Landee said...

I don't want to hear anything more about the other contest that might be going on right now, mmmkay? This is about the PINEWOOD DERBY and I'd appreciate it if all comments were regarding that, how cute my kids are, how awesome the paint jobs on the cars are and other flattering things.

And just so we are clear, Gty was the Cub Scout Master for a Pinewood Derby just before JBird went into scouts so he gets it. He was not rude or anything. And afterward he was slathering on the accolades for a great Pinewood Derby and all that. The scout lady goes "I didn't even know what graphite was until an hour ago!" So yeah, they are new and needed some breaking in. :)

A friend saw us doing that to TBone's car and grabbed my camera and took a pic, Kimmerz, if you must know.

Kim said...

by "a friend" was it someone that said "do you want me to take a pic of this for your blog?" or did you say "hey StandsMom, get a pic of this for my blog post!"? I must know.

Kim said...

p.s.s. behind that partition by you and Gty...was there a wedding reception going on by chance?

Kimi said...

p.s.s.s. I can't get my picture to show up. I wanna be "part of" so badly too.

Anonymous said...

JBird needs a better pit crew next time.