Wednesday, March 11, 2009

he could've been a contender.

You know that day after you've had a horrible night's sleep disrupted by nightmares that your therapist would probably tell you are related to your issues with your mother and then you step on the scale to find out yes, you're bloated and it might be PMS or it might be that you're a lazy chocolate-chip-cookie whore and your kids are whiny and it's hard to get out of bed because now it's dark out and there's a -4 degree wind blowing at 30 mph and you take your 6 year old to open up his first savings account but you can't because ever since 9/11 all people, even little kids, need 2 forms of government-approved ID to prove that they're not using their $30 in a plastic piggy bank to fund a terrorist cell because OMFG that's going to keep the populace safe?

Yeah, I'll write a different post.

I saw an honest to goodness robin yesterday out our back window. A sign of hope.

Mr. T's Boy Scout Pinewood Derby was last night. It took a village to transform my boy's car from that block of wood. Our neighbor Mr. M cut the wood. Our friend Mr. S helped weight it and assure we had a legitimately sized car. Three pierced and pimpled teenaged boys at Hardware Hank helped me add more weight and the lady at the post office placed it on the scale to confirm we came in at an even 5.0 oz. Mr. D attached the wheels, Mr. T did all the paint/design work, I coordinated all the parts of the car's development and handled the transportation and funding of the car.

We didn't expect to win--I only hoped to qualify to compete and not come in dead last. The car weighed in at a pretty respectable 4.9 oz. on the official Boy Scouts of America Pinewood Derby scale and Mr. T got lots of complements on how his car looked from seasoned veterans of the derby. As a 1st year Scout, my boy had no edge in this race. Last year's winners were brothers who have a father who builds and races racecars in real life. The kid who came in 2nd last year is the 3rd son of the Cubmaster--his dad has built over a dozen of these Pinewood Derby cars. Most of the parents involved have built houses, cottages, engines, deer stands and trailers--they understand things like drill presses and skill saws and flathead screwdrivers. Mr. D has built a healthy 401K for his employees. I've built Brio train tracks and block towers in our playroom. We figured Mr. T was screwed.

He came in fourth. FOURTH! The son of the racecar driver came in 2nd. The son of the Cubmaster came in 1st. Mr. T's car was a contender--right in the pack, just an inch behind the leader in his losing heat.

It was a triumphant night for all of us.


  1. Triumphant night, indeed.

    You had to have two forms of ID for your son to open a bank account? I just waltzed right into our credit union and opened our girls' accounts. I might or might not have had their birth certificates, but certainly didn't take their social security cards or passports.

  2. Seriously, the cub master's son won? Isn't that fishy?

    But yeah for your little contender!

    And WTF about two IDs for a kid to open a bank account?!

  3. Good for him. Cool car. Congrats.

    I understand about the savings account...I couldn't help our kids open theirs at all, because I am not the active duty military member and the active duty member has to give the sign off and the blessing before the kids or I can even pull out all our many forms of ID and use the Federal Credit Union. Never mind that I do all the bill paying. Grrrrr.

  4. Wow, what a great car! Everyone knows that red cars are the fastest!

  5. Oh, that's a beauty! Well done.

  6. Congrats on placing! I remember the fun we used to have with the Pinewood Derby. My son built some really cool cars.

  7. In this day and age... with all of the financial woes, banks should do absolutely everything to encourage young people to learn how to save rather than spend money! Grrr.

  8. See, there's my problem - I would have written the first post...

    Congrats on the Derby! That was always such a big deal with the boys when I was that age. Way to go!

  9. WOW! A triumph, indeed!
    Congratulations!!! :)

  10. That car is rockin', Mr. T! I love the lightning bolts. (We're all about lightning here -- it connotes *extreme* speed)

    Isn't it hilarious how 'into' pinewood derby all the adults are? My nephew just had his, and there was a similar assembly of experts to guarantee toy car perfection.

    He came in fourth too. ;)

    Congratulations, Mr. T! - Julia

  11. Woo Hoo! I can tell by his design that he was destined for speed:)

  12. Score! Imagine what he'll do next year.

  13. That's awesome Mr. T!!!

    And yes, go to a credit union. The bank I worked for wanted to charge $5 a month for a savings account when Shortman was 12 and had a paper route. If he didn't have $200 balance. Considering he had all of $20 to open the account - I walked out, drove to the CU and he got his money deposited and lots of little freebies.

  14. don't let me depress you when i say that robins are around all winter...

    it was -2 this morning here too.


  15. Right on, Mr. T!!!
    I especially love 'the village' part---
    Here I go again with the corny comments... but what a great 'life metaphor' the Pinewood Derby is!

  16. I'm a weepy mess here from all the laughing. I haven't actually read beyond the first paragraph yet but already must say thank you for the laugh... I needed it.


  17. Very, very cool. We flunked Scouts. I signed J3 up in Kindergarten and DOTR was not happy. He said he didn't even like Scouts when he was a kid, he sure wasn't going to have to do all the work for it now! So it was me or nothing. We lasted one year. I guess that means it was nothing!

    Congratulations on the race and the car. Quite impressive, indeed.

  18. That is one HOT rod!!! I'd be embarrassed to show the ones my kids made - now.

  19. Please tell me he had champagne to spray over everyone?

    Well done Mr T!

    PS...I too think it's dodgy that the cubmaster's son won!

  20. Oh, you don't know the guilt I have reading this post. My girls got car parts from Awana's and 1) I didn't pay for them, 2) they are still in their plastic baggies and 3) I didn't tell them when the race was so they wouldn't complain that we didn't make the cars.


  21. The car looks great! It has the same shape as Dean's car. I didn't think I was taking the race at all seriously but I was so happy for him to have placed (right up there with the kid who's dad is an industrial designer/engineer).


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