Right from the beginning I knew Pitchcar was something special. Something that couldn’t be easily compared to other games. Despite having only seen the game played once, not me mind you, I knew the question wasn’t would I get this game, but when. Once I managed to a get a copy of the game, Pitchcar has done far more than just prove my hypothesis. It’s been a center piece, a game changer, the difference between having a good night and a great one. Whether I was at parties, family get-together’s, or just having a game night/day at my house,
Pitchar has always been sure to please; and perhaps this has never been more true than when we last played it at my Grandma’s.
One reason I love Thanksgiving is because it means a weekend full of my favorite people in the world and games! Last year was the first year I brought out Pitchcar, and it was a huge success. Naturally, this year, all I had to do is announce that we would be playing and within minutes I had a large group of eager-to-play siblings and cousins.
As I have already foreshadowed, this session proved to be once of the best, if not the best session of Pitchcar I have ever been a part of. The irony of this, is that this also happened to be one of the most frustrating sessions of Pitchcar I have ever been a part of. “How can that be?” you ask. Simple! You see, the single most influential factor to making this such a great session didn’t come in the form of miraculous play, intense competition, or any single great moment (though all of those things were present as is typical fashion for Pitchcar). Rather it came in the form of a person: my little cousin Cooper.
If you haven’t read my session on Incan Gold yet(No other game I own can do this: how Incan Gold brought an impossible group together.), I recommend you do so; because, this session introduces my cousin Cooper to the BGG Universe. But I’ll give you the essentials all the same. Cooper is 4 ½, Cooper has the patience of a squirrel (incase of any ambiguity here I mean to say he doesn’t have much), and Crayola Crayons are bigger around than Cooper’s fingers. Until this weekend Cooper had always been a nuisance to those who played games. Last year Cooper had participated in Pitchcar a little, but that happened more like this:
“Cooper don’t flick that . . . . .great! Would somebody get that car off the floor please”
Despite his little intrusions, I saw a glimmer of light in the eyes of this little toddler. While it might not be convenient for those of us who were desperately striving for fame and fortune (really just bragging rights) to have a little child interfere with our game, you couldn’t ignore the fact that this little guy had a fascination for games.
And so it was that on this Thanksgiving weekend I decided to let little 4 ½ year old Cooper join in the fun. And what happened during that game was sure to be nothing less than a classic retelling of David vs Goliath, or any other underdog story you prefer.
By no means am I the best at the game Pitchcar. That is to say, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that can woop the tar out of me. The thing is though, I haven’t met them yet. With this being my game and since it is a dexterity game in which your skill increases with each play, I naturally have the upper hand against most people I come across. To even things out, I let everyone else fight over qualifying positions whereas I simply put my car in the back and on this night I did the same thing.
Having flicked the car over 20 times to get around the track, Cooper should have been in last. But since he’s 4 and since we didn’t want to be cruel, we let Cooper go in the front of the track. We all knew he wouldn’t do well during the race, but who cares. As long as we encouraged him and made the atmosphere as a whole fun, that’s all that matters right?
Cooper was the first to go. A decent first flick, I mean, the car moved after all. Nothing special but for a firsts timer and for a 4 year old I was pleased. The first two turns started out this way for Cooper. Coming into our third flick Cooper was in 6th place (there were 7 of us) and the only reason he wasn’t in last was because someone else was having a string of bad luck and had yet to leave the starting line. I was in 3rd and was confident that after my upcoming flick I would either be in 1st or 2nd and with a straightaway coming up soon, the lead would surely be mine. But alas, this was not the case. Not just with my prediction for myself, but with Cooper as well.
I don’t know what happened. Maybe this was one of those stereotypical moments in movies where the hero digs down deep into the inner reaches of his soul and pulls out something bigger than himself? Or maybe it was begginers luck? All I know is that all of a sudden, Cooper began to play well. And by that I mean two flicks later Cooper was in
4th place and had a solid chance of taking 3rd. I on the other hand had ran into my old nemesis, my darkest of Pitchcar enemies: the table leaf. O’l Table Leaf isn’t able to do anything in and off itself, but it is able to some crazy stuff to the track. In this race, Table Leaf had created a hyper-vortex zone that made sending your car into low orbit an easy task (if only NASA had thought of this first. Clever Table Leaf!). All of a sudden having Crayola fingers was much better than the small sausages I lugged around. Cooper was able to zip steadily and surely around the track with surprising accuracy, whereas I couldn’t keep my car on the track no matter how lightly I tapped my car.
I was stuck on a seem between two track pieces and was hurting in a big way. Suddenly I didn’t feel like a Pitchcar big shot, because Cooper, along with the three cars in front of him, had just lapped me?
“your joking right?” I thought to myself. How in the world does a first time, 4 ½ year old, do what adults 10 times his age cannot do? For those who were actually in the thick of the race, it was actually an intense battle. First, Second, and Third place kept switching back and forth. Cooper unfortunately was finally passed by the person behind him, but he was still holding his own as we neared the end of the race. I on the other hand had still to enter my second lap. I was stunned, shocked, dumbfounded at the unfolding events of this race. Not only had I never encountered such a string of bad luck but I also hadn’t
seen anyone else play this bad before either. If only NFL kickers or
Soccer/Football players could have the same comparative success with their craft.
“Honest Coach, I tried to miss this time. I only got 2 inches behind the ball and moved my foot very slowly, but the ball still broke the speed barrier and has yet to land in a neighboring country”
Stuck in the same stinking spot, I was beginning to wonder if I would even get my first lap done before everyone else finished the race. Thankfully another player who wasn’t doing so great either managed to bump my car passed the deadly trap Table Leaf had set for me and allow me to start on my second lap before the game ended. But this wouldn’t be much of a focus come games end. Even though my sister, the winner of this game, played quite well, as did the other two people right behind her, it would be Cooper’s 5th place finish that fascinated us all the most. In the same fashion in which he wowed us all in Incan Gold, so Cooper wowed us in Pitchcar. And I, the ever so proud Pitchcar player who came in last, didn’t care because once again I saw that same spark in the eyes of this little boy. Maybe next year when he’s 5 I’ll see how well he does with Twilight Imperium or Caylus . In coming years I will be watching Cooper with great interest as should all of you.
- Last edited Sat Dec 4, 2010 6:40 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Dec 3, 2010 10:21 pm
Awesome! Yay Cooper!!