Saturday, March 04, 2006

Go Speed Racer Go!

Today is our Cub Scout pack's Pinewood Derby. For those uninitiated to the ways of the Pack, this is an annual ritual which pits boy against boy on a four slot race track as their hand-crafted wooden cars speed to victory. Round robin eliminations, awards for fastest cars in each pack level (Bear, Wolf, Webelo I & II, Tiger, Bobcat...) and award for most creative car. I think one of Geoff's den mates will win for that. Geoff missed out last year because we went to the inauguration, and he still complains that we missed it. So this year, he's in.

pinewood racer 1Last night was weigh-in for the cars. The instruction in the book said it has to weigh "no more than 5 oz." So Doug cut the wedges off the front and back of the car, Geoff sanded for three days straight. He painted his car on Wednesday night and on Thursday night the boy and dad affixed a wicked red racing stripe and the number "6" (not sure why Geoff picked that) to the front of his racer.

We figured for sure we were under five. At weigh-in, we sure were. The car weighed 3.6 oz.

So I was pleased. But they told me we needed to add weight to get it up to 5 oz. "But. The instructions didn't say it has to weigh as close to 5 oz as humanly possible... where does it say that?" And I swear to you it doesn't say that ANYwhere. I scoured the internet for instructions, and they all say "under 5 oz." So I was a bit miffed. But I figured I'd add lead to the bottom of the car, and someone told me to go over to the "shop" table and they'd help me out.

No one had extra lead to share. We were supposed to bring our own. Yeah, I wasn't prepared for that possibility, and neither were a bunch of other parents. One dad had a car that was seriously 1.5 oz. It was really nice and pretty, and he was bitching that he had to glue weight all over the damn thing.

I hate when instructions aren't clear, and I especially hate when I'm not the only one who misinterprets said directions. When 10 other people are like "What The F!" I don't feel vindicated, I feel pissed. If I'm the only "What the F"er, then I'm sure it is only me and my constant string of stupidity and dumbness.

So I went out to the car and got quarters and nickels. And I hot-glued them to Geoff's beautiful car.

There were some dads there saying 'No, no! Glue them to the BOTTOM of the racer so no one will see it!" and other dads were like "Dude, the racer will drag on the bottom."

"No way, the wheels are higher than the coins."

"That doesn't matter because the wheels go into grooves on the track, and then the weights will scrape the track. You have to put the weight on top."

"Well, LAST year we didn't have that problem... so..."

I glued them on top. I figured it was a better bet. And now the car looks shitty. And I'm mad. We could have drilled out holes in the back and set little lead sinkers in there. We could have made a wicked "engine block" sticking out of the front. We could have had a passenger compartment and set them in there under the passenger. But no. We've got quarters haphazardly glued all over the damn thing. Nice.

Race time for Geoff's rank is at 10:30, so we have a little time to kill. Doug took the dog for a walk, I have dishes to do and laundry to fold. I have to find his uniform shirt... and Geoff is on the couch reading "The Magician's Nephew" for a book report he has that is due Monday.

He has 100 pages left. I don't know that he'll finish, because he comes in every five minutes to tell me that he's read three pages. Then I catch him looking at the fish tank. Then he's in making toast.


I rode his ass all week about reading at least 10 pages a day. He'll be able to do his report, because it is a stupid report. He has to fill in the blanks on "If you could be any character in this book, who would you be?" And he has chosen Uncle Andrew. For those familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, He can write the report based on the first eight chapters.

I just want him to FINISH at this point. He's had two months to read 202 pages. Jebus.

Anyway -- there's stuff to do. I'm sure I'll have an update on the races and some pictures. My sister and Ronnie are down at my mom's so I think we're heading down there for "Linner" this afternoon, possibly even with our Gammy. We'll see.

Right then. Carry on.

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