Alternative Solutions ?




Whilst playing with my son and his model racing cars this morning, and making myself late for work in the process, he came up with the question: “Is the winner of a race the first car to cross the line (by that he means the most forward part of the car to cross the finish line), is it the first complete car to cross the line or is it the first driver to cross the line.” My answer to which was that it was the first car.

This resulted in a debate on the merits of the alternative solutions after which he decided it had to be the first driver. I tried to argue that when cars had stopped prior to the line drivers pushed their cars across the line. This did not satisfy him as he argued the driver would still be with the car when it crossed the line and that the finish was when both the driver and car crossed the line. On reflection he may have a point. In these days of safety first and high technology, could the future mean dispensing with drivers altogether with the cars controlled by remote control? I hope not, that would be some Orwellian nightmare.

I blame the National Curriculum for this as it encourages children to ask questions and discuss problems, it also makes them argumentative little sods. In my day it would have been a case of accepting what Dad said or it would be a ‘clip round the car’ and no jam on your bread for a week.

If possible could you please help in resolving this argument. In the meantime I will attempt to sidetrack him with Thomas the Tank Engine.

David Dewsnip, Salford