Pinewood Derby Cars - A Perplexing Perspective

I'll bet you thought I'd forgotten about this little mini-series? Well, I tried - especially since Aaron Job's car didn't win DIDDLY SQUAT at the Pinewood Derby Race. Well, technically, he did win a ribbon for "Best Paint Job" - basically they sent the judges around and told them to make up a category for each car and award a ribbon based on each individual category. I.e., consolation prize.

consolation prize
a prize, usually of minor value, given to the loser or runner-up in a contest, competition, etc., or to all losers who have performed well or met certain standards.


Some of the competition.

I'm not bitter. It's just a race. Aaron Job had fun. And besides, there's always next year. Yee-eeessssss.....next year! Bwah ha ha ha!!!!!

So now on to the perplexing perspective of the Pinewood Derby. This is totally unrelated to the previous 2 posts, in that it doesn't involve the recent Pinewood Derby Race, and also this story is two years old.

It all takes place at the Timberfest. Timberfest is the annual festival held in my hometown of Sheridan, Arkansas. Need I remind you of Sheridan? So we're going to Timberfest and Grandma tells us about the Pinewood Derby Race that they're having for the children. She offers us Dee Da's (that's Aunt Amanda to the rest of us) old AWANA Grand Prix car to enter in the race. We agree, she brings the car, and we get registered to race. Now, no offense to Granddad, but this wasn't the most attractive car - it sure wasn't as nice as my - um, Aaron Job's first car.

2007 Green Hornet

199? Blue Car

So we're all registered, and we're gathered around the track waiting for the race to begin. I start noticing some of my old schoolmates with their kids entering the race. These are some of the same schoolmates I was in cub scouts with...some of the same guys that probably ran out of that old, musty armory that spring day in 1980, after choking on my graphite dust after I smoked them with my little red pinewood lightning.

So I start to ponder..."I wonder if they remember that day?...Are they here for revenge? Are they working vicariously through their children to bring vengence upon my head? C'mon guys! That was over a quarter of a century ago. Let it rest. It was just a race, it was - whoa - a quarter of a century! Dude, I'm old! Dude, is that Craig? He's gotten... he's changed! Hey, I wonder if they sell funnel cakes around here."

Ok, back to the race. There's several dozen cars entered, so we're expecting a long day. After waiting for about 30 to 45 minutes, Aaron Job's car still hadn't raced. So we decided to walk around for a bit and enjoy the exhibits and rides. Grandma decided to stick around and keep an eye on the race.

Yeah...that was the year that Abby - 2 1/2 then - fell off a pony during the pony ride and got a pop knot on her head so big that the guy operating the ride gave her a free pass to the petting zoo. Like she's gonna want to be around MORE animals at this point! That's exactly why I don't like horses. They're monsters...killers...poor little Abby. I digress.

So after a couple of hours, we rendevous at Granddad's booth where he sells iron work. Upon arrival, I immediately noticed a tall trophy with the following inscription "Timberfest Pinewood Derby 2005 Best of Show". I looked up and found Grandma...she just shrugged her shoulders. The conversation ensued somewhat like this (my paraphrased - and slightly imbellished - version based on a 2 year memory):

Me: What's this?!

She: I don't know...I don't know?


She: I waited until the end of the race, and when they started handing out awards, I realized that they hadn't even raced Aaron Job's car.

Me: Never raced?

She: Nope.

Me: Never.

She: Never.

Me: Never touched the track?

She: Nope.

Me: Never left the holding table?

She: Never.

Me: Really?

She: Never.

Me: So how'd he get this?

She: The last award they handed out was the "Best of Show". I was waiting until after the awards to tell the judges that they missed Aaron Job's car... next thing I know, they're calling Aaron Job's name out. I told them that there must be a mistake - his car didn't even get put on the track. The lady said she double checked the score and it was correct... congratulations.

I tried explaining all this to Aaron Job, trying to get it into his 5 year old brain and beyond that ear to ear grin he was sporting. To this day, I still don't think he understands why this trophy sits proudly in his bedroom.

And neither do I.


Anonymous said...

I won the derby at Mt. Olive last year. I didn't get a cool trophy though. It kinda felt bad beating all those little kids... but I got over it. :)

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that just maybe those old "friends" (schoolmates) may have had payback in store for you. You leave and next thing you know Aaron Job's car never made the track.
They couldn't beat you so "let's go after his kid."


Aaron said...

Johnny -
Dude, you're like, 20 something...you should be ashamed.

Jason -
You know, you may be on to something there... but we gots the trophy BABY!