We’ve just finished our fifth and final Cub Scout Pinewood Derby (Al will bridge over to Boy Scouts next month). Our alligator did the best, in terms of speed, of the five cars we’ve made over the years. But not well enough to win a trophy, much to Al’s disappointment.
It wasn’t slow enough to win “Safest Driver” either – an award added this year to recognize the slowest car in the race (no trophy, just a toy football and helmet donated by a local insurance office). (Amusingly, the award went to the winner of the Best of Show award – evidence that speed and good looks don’t necessarily go together – or that parents like me who lack the skill to make a fast car compensate by putting extra effort into appearance.)
Our alligator does have more personality than our previous cars, of course. And with Al’s help, he has joined the cast of characters who converse with Al and me (most of which are plush animals or puppets, but just about anything with two eyes and a mouth will do – and for that matter, a cyclops would no doubt be welcome also).
In the end, I think creativity and imagination count for a lot more than fast cars. But they don’t win a lot of trophies.