Kids on their soapbox

I recently watched the South Slope Soap Box Derby, where kids build and ride gravity-assisted carts down a local street while the masses cheer them on towards their dreams of fortune and fame.  It’s a heartwarming image to think of a father and son hammering pieces of recycled furniture together into a makeshift vehicle that will carry them to stardom.  The more realistic image involved ramshackle death traps made of repurposed junk, with questionable steering mechanisms and a penchant for jack-knifing.  The carts all appeared to be made by average, white-collar Dads whose lack of manual talents were only surpassed by their disbelief in any testing whatsoever.  I was flabbergasted by how many of them involved 2 kids, with one of them facing backwards and trying to guess when to apply the brakes.  Locals had a good time anyhow, watching from the curb with an uneasy poise in case of the need to spring out of harm’s way.  Most carts ended up stalling or crashing violently into the curb, but thankfully a few managed to fly straight and true and remind us that a few of us will probably succeed in life.

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