February 1, 2011
The Pinewood Derby
Some would say that the reason why you become a boy scout is to participate in the famed Pinewood Derby.
For others, the annual event is a disincentive for joining.
Last week, each of my boys brought home a small rectagular box from their pack meeting, which I immediately put on top of the refrigerator for safe keeping.
I remembered the boxes at 8pm the night before the race.
"The boys have to decorate these before we go tomorrow," I said, tossing the boxes on the kitchen counter.
The minute my husband saw those boxes he broke into a cold sweat. "You don't understand," he replied.
I rolled my eyes and told him to stop being dramatic. I was prepared and empowered. Earlier that I day, I had purchased a dollar store glue gun and an industrial-sized tub of glitter. My kids could decorate anything in less than two minutes if they had to.
When my boys opened the boxes, I saw right away that both sets were defective. Specifically, there wasn't a car inside either box, but, instead, a solid block of wood.
"What is this?" I said in disbelief as I held up the piece of wood.
That's when my husband told me that my problem had to do with sequencing. You can decorate your pinewood derby car. But first you have to carve it.
I sucked in my breath sharply at his hideous and unexpected news.
"It's going to be a long night," he sighed.
I reminded him that the boys would and could help him. Then I remembered that neither of them can be trusted with a plastic knife, much less a power saw.
In the end, my husband stayed up until 3 in the morning fixing the blade on his saw so he could make one vertical cut on each block of wood.
"It wasn't that bad," I reflected out loud after the event. Despite the delays in construction, both of the boys came home from the race wearing huge smiles and plastic medals around their necks.
My husband shuddered and put a blanket over his head. "I don't want to talk about it right now," he said.
Maybe I'll buy him a boy scout uniform for his birthday.