When it comes to R/C cars, there is nothing more fun than trying to show off to the neighbor kids by flying up and down the streets, catching some big air, or maybe busting out a donut or two. By now, all of the neighbors (young and old) know that I am an avid R/C enthusiast, and therefore have a tendency to gather outside of my office when I’m out breaking in a new engine, street running a car, or just bashing around. These spectating neighbors make me feel like some sort of super human stunt man as they cheer, applaud, and constantly praise how cool R/C cars are while watching me drive around. Each and every day they make me feel so good about what I do…that is until the new kid moved in next door.
My office is located on a street that one side has all business buildings, while the other is lined with a neighborhood full of houses. These houses are the homes of my R/C spectators/fans. To my surprise I arrived at work on Monday to find that long-time fan, Eleanor Grimme (age 83), had moved out over the weekend, and a new family had moved in. The new family appeared to be a nice family with a mom, dad, two small dogs, and a young boy.
Before I knew it, time had passed and it was lunch time. As with most days for lunch, I grabbed the nearest R/C car and took it out in the parking lot for some fun. Monday was like any other day as I started out driving a little track in the parking lot, hit the homemade wooden ramp a few times, jumped the sewer drain, and soon out came the spectators. We all talked and laughed as I raced my way around everyone, when all of the sudden the new kid (maybe 5-6 years old) from across the street appeared out of no where. His face was full of disgust, and he just stared at me from across the parking lot. I wheeled my way over to him and introduced myself. He said nothing, and continued staring at me.
I then asked him if he liked R/C cars. He rolled his eyes and said, “Toys are for kids, I’m a big boy.”
Stunned by the little man’s response, I was determined to convince him otherwise. I drove out across the parking lot, hit mach 1 speeds, and slammed into wooden ramp. The car flew as high as the power lines above, performed a backflip, and landed back on its wheels…the kid was not impressed. I then drove it over to us and began doing massive high speed donuts around us in the parking lot. The loyal fans cheered as the tires were screeching as the car drifted across the asphalt, but the kid showed no signs of interest, let alone being impressed. I threw in a fresh battery pack and took to the street. I raced as fast as I could up and down the street, reaching nearly 50+ mph. The crowd was stunned at the speed, but yet again the kid was unimpressed. At this point I was desperate to seek the approval of the new kid on the block, and was willing to do anything.
I spotted a fast moving minivan coming down the street from afar, and I knew this was my last opportunity to convince this kid how cool R/C cars really are. As the van approached, I positioned my buggy in place. I was about to begin a high speed pursuit down the street in an attempt to race the van. The minivan reached my starting point, and off we went! The van had a bit of a headstart, and I was pulling the trigger as hard as I could to catch up. It didn’t take long and I was along side the van, neighbors cheering and watching in awe! I had gained enough speed and decided to go for the the pass! Out of nowhere, from the opposite side of the road, a squirrel ran out from across the neighbors yard. The minivan driving mom swerved hard to miss the cute and furry squirrel. She successfully missed the squirrel, and in the process successfully buried my buggy into the asphalt.
The squirrel saving minivan mom had no clue she ran over my R/C car, and continued on. The crowd was silent, shocked at what had just taken place. After such a tragic affair, I had no words, as my heart sank staring at my buggy lying dead in the street, flat as a pancake. I slowly looked over at the kid I had worked so hard to impress, he smiled and broken the silence by saying, “That was close…that squirrel almost got hit.”
Good news here is that the population of squirrels in the area is in no danger of extinction anytime soon. Bad news is that despite my big air backflips, Ken Block style donuts, high speed runs, and fatal race with a minivan, the new kid AND the squirrel still think I’m a loser. Maybe when he grows up he’ll be a kid like me…