Grandpa Webb's blog

Friday, 23 August 2013

No excuses please, I am only five

“It’s for you,” says grandma, handing me her mobile phone.

“Hello,” says a young voice. It’s my eldest grandson.

“Is that grandpa?” I say it is.

Grandpa Webb“Did you win?” he asks.

“Er, no,” I say.

“Did you come second?”

“Well, not really -- no.”  There is a long silence at his end of the phone. I don’t think the average five year-old can handle much more than first or second. If I had told him I had come third from last, it would not have meant much.

He gives up. “Here’s daddy,” he says.

Daddy knows what I’ve been doing. He has driven up the Prescott speed hillclimb himself and knows that negotiating two hairpin bends, the wiggle called the esses and a thing known as the semi-circle, which has a steep drop on one side, isn’t easy, particularly when grandma is watching and expecting to be driven home in the car you’re using for the competition.

Easy grandpa -- watch out for those shark's teeth...Our class is for road-going cars and is a handicap class. Your handicap is the fastest time you’ve made it up the hill. My 12 year-old car managed it once in 55.62 seconds. But this weekend I cannot do better than 57 seconds. The other competitors either beat their handicaps in their cars or got nearer to them than me.

A five year-old wouldn’t understand about the concrete ‘shark’s teeth’ that the car strayed on to at the side of the esses -- they shook the car so much I thought my fillings would drop out -- or the fact that at the first hairpin I selected fourth gear instead of second.

Five year-olds don’t do excuses.

Next time I think I’ll ring him.

But only if I come first or second.

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