Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And the 2011 Pinewood Derby Winner is...

No one we know... Pinewood Derby. What is it? I did not know but I learned this past weekend the hard way. Let me back up to early last month. I was handed two small boxes with races cars printing on the outside packaging and was told they were for the cub scouts annual pinewood derby. I thought hum...okay we can assemble and paint the wooden cars and enter them in the race. That should be easy. I really did not think much of it, that was until I opened the boxes and to my horror I discovered someone had made a mistake. There was no car in our box just a piece of wood. Clearly someone at the assembly plant did not check this box for quality control. So I opened the next box and shuttered to discover it too was just a piece of wood. So then I reluctantly did was most people do first---read the directions.

THE PINEWOOD DERBY REQUIRES YOU TO CARVE OR CUT OUT YOUR CARD WITH WOOD SHOP TOOLS! What? We are the Tomato's! We have every tool imaginable for making things in the KITCHEN. Not in a wood shop. I knew at this point we were doomed.

So I sat the two pieces of wood on the dinning room table and called for the boys to let them know the situation. I explained that neither their father nor I possessed the tools let alone the skills to hand carve a car out of chunk of wood. So we had better come up with another plan of action. Just then I looked down at the table and saw the answer sitting right next to the block of wood. The Wii remote. Why, it was the same shape, length and width and would requite no carving or cutting. Voila! problem solved. Forget a fast race car...we would go for the interesting category. Tobbers loved the idea and took on the challenge. HooHaa had a whole other idea. I suggested, stick of butter, candy bar, lego brick, and toothpaste box, but nooooooooooooooooo he wanted a Bumble Bee transformer car. (yeah right?)

We strong armed mister T in to taking on HooHaa's car and with some outside help he cut a car using some wood power tools. I must say it looked quite snazzy.

So the cars were painted and assembled and we thought we were good. Ahhhhh that would be NO. We grossly neglected to understand that the Pinewood derby is serious business with much research done by participants with regard to weights, design and such. We also were negligent in researching what other Pinewood derby cars have been tried in the past---which is easily done with a simple Internet search. Basically we had all of the makings of newbies.

So we show up at the derby and entered the boys cars. There were over 200 entries. We were feeling quite proud. Each car got to run six times (one in each lane of the track). The winner is based on accumulative times some or another....did not really end up mattering to us because BOTH CARS NEVER IN THEIR SIX RUNS EVER MADE IT TO THE FINISH LINE OR EVEN NEAR IT! Yep, both cars went down the ramp and proceed to stop at the about the half way point. We were the only cars that lost EVERY race they were in. The good news...we keep out wheels on.

Surprising the boys are ramped up for next year and are already thinking of ideas for their cars.

No comments: