On the rare moments when I’m not repressing my virgin experience, I ponder what kind of advice I would give to future Kinetics virgins. First of all, remember that old phrase about planning and failing. As a kid I never had time to remember it all the way through, but the point is this: if you enter the Kinetics race and your craft falls apart after 10 feet in the water, you immediately win the respect of the possibly psychologically irregular man on the beach dressed up in a wizard outfit and twenty other people you’ve never met before wearing matching lederhosen and pointy ears. That’s just one of those things money can’t buy. However, it did get my team the “What Were They Thinking” award AND one hundred dollars of food at Illegal Pete’s. Handing out football sized burritos to my teammates was a small, yet symbolic, gesture of thanks for their time, hard work, and loss of all personal dignity. (More on the parade sketch later)
OK, so maybe building a Kinetics craft isn’t so easy after all. Maybe I just didn’t know what I was doing. Maybe three-quarter inch PVC pipe is not designed to function as a structural element of the craft. All I know is that I’m not some kind of wizard. And just because the real wizard told me all of this a week before the race doesn’t mean anything. He doesn’t, however, know my secret plan to come back next year with my REAL craft, finish the race in record time, win every possible award, and take advantage of the situation to enslave humanity– unless, of course, he is reading this.
So what am I doing here? Living out my glory days? Taking cheap shots at the wizard because my craft fell apart? Well, yes and yes, but I also live in a world full of Kinetics virgins. I relate my situation to one of the characters of a relatively unknown low budget science fiction movie:
Trinity: I know why you’re here, INSERT YOUR NAME HERE. I know what you’ve been doing… why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
Neo: What is the KBCO Boulder Kinetics Race?
Trinity: The answer is out there, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
So, for all the virgins out there who don’t know what they are missing, I have completed Version 1.0 of “The Virgin Kinetics Handbook: Are you too normal?” So read through it, and decide if you are ready for the experience that will change your life. As one large, bald, black man wearing broken sunglasses told me while I was sitting on my couch the other night, “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”