Friday, July 9, 2010

Hey, back at ya

There's only 23* days to go until:
Yet another thing that we Yanks know about the Land Down Under is boomerangs.
You all know what a boomerang is:  It’s a curved stick that, when thrown through the air, returns to the person throwing it unless it’s me.
It’s the ancient relative of the Frisbee, which is a disk that floats through the air into the hands of your smiling friend, or onto the neighbors roof it was thrown by me.
Being the ever responsible journalist, I wanted to make sure I was factually accurate about boomerangs, so I did what any good researcher does these days. I looked it up on Wikipedia. There was a length article that said the most amazing thing:
Historical evidence also points to the use of non-returning boomerangs by the ancient Egyptians, Native Americans of California and Arizona, and inhabitants of southern India for killing birds and rabbits. Indeed, some boomerangs were not thrown at all, but were used in hand to hand combat by Indigenous Australians.
So let me get this straight:
  • Boomerangs are not always designed to come back, and
  • sometimes they were made for  "not throwing"?
Yea, right. I believe I have just found proof that people just make stuff up on Wikipedia.

I suppose if I look up Paula Abdul in Wikipedia, it's going to say that her Straight Up wasn't all that great. I suppose it will say that Stefano DeMira**, the evil villain of the soap opera Days of Our Lives, is totally dead this time and is not coming back - like the 12th time he was killed was the charm that finally did him in for good, that evil dastard. But I digress...

Maybe this is where my friends Merriam and Webster come to my aid:
  • Merriam says boomerang is a noun that is "a bent or angular throwing club typically flat on one side and rounded on the other so that it soars or curves in flight; especially : one designed to return near the thrower."
  • Webster, who I frequently feel I owe a beer to, says that boomerang is intransitive verb that is "an act or utterance that backfires on its originator."
Neither Merriam or Webster are fluent in Dharuk (Australian aboriginal language of the Port Jackson area), though they do know the word was bumarinΚΈ. (Webster does seem to be speaking in Dharuk after a few Fosters, though he doesn't think so.)

Does this settle the whole throwing and returning thing?


What we 50-year-old Yanks really needed was the Youtube, where you can watch any one of a dozen or so really good videos on how to throw a boomerang.  Please, watch this video many times before you actually try to throw a boomerang, especially if you're going to do it indoors.  It still looks like a pretty iffy thing.

As far as how the non-returning, non-thrown boomerangs work, I don't think a video is needed.
* 23 is a prime number. As we count down, there's a lot more prime number opportunities coming. I wouldn't be surprised if I got commendations from some prime number societies for how I'm breathing new life into prime numbers.  It really was about time, but I have to say the honor has been all mine.
**I actually saw the first time Stefano died in 1985. It showed good could prevail over evil. I'm not sure coming back to live 10 or 11 times is as positive a message.  He did have a cool accent, and when he would say "Rrrrroman Brady" and rolled the R really hard, it sounded really cool.

Not that I miss watching daytime soaps; I'm just more partial to minty soaps these days.
For those of you who have an a boomerang and have never thrown it, it's probably safer to sleep with it under your pillow and make friends with it, just in case it really does come back to you when you do throw it. A boomerang looks like it could leave a lump on your noggin if it was wanting to.

I'm not saying it should be your BFF; that should be someone special - but you should have at least a positive relationship.

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