Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A bad case of boomerang arm

The other day, a good friend from my college years (haha, that makes me sound like an old fart) visited me here at my folks' place in the middle of nowhere. Accompanying him was a boomerang that he discovered while cleaning out his aunt's garage. Perfect, right? I mean, two young guys with not a lot going on, middle of nowhere, and the house here is right next to a big abandoned agricultural field with lots of room for flying objects.

The trick, apparently, is how to make said boomerang actually fly in a somewhat appropriate or intentional manner. Being recent college grads, and with at least one of us a physics geek, we figured we were now more educated than the average joe (plumber?), and with a few hints, should easily have been able to overcome this challenge. Resourceful guys, we asked the all-knowning google, which took us through meandering pathways to a page on "wikiHow". We read about how to hold and aim a boomerang, as well as tips on adjusting for wind, layover, and catching without fear. While we doubted that we'd achieve the prowess of this dude:

We are in awe... this boomer' is easily three times the size of ours... Formidable indeed!!!

we were feeling pretty confident that we'd get some acceptable results. The phrase "Always wear open-fingered gloves and some form of eye protection to guard from shrapnel" caused but a momentary concern.

Two hours later, we'd traversed all around the field many, many times, chasing mis-directed boomerangs, and often walking in circles looking for a brown piece of wood amongst dead brown vegetation. Also climbed trees and finagled our way through brush and briars when a few throws went especially wrong. By the end of it, we'd managed to throw and catch the boomerang upon its return exactly once each. Both times as I recall, there was a bit of mad dashing and athleticism involved, as the boomerange refused to return to its actually point of release, although often it would wizz over our heads, tantalizingly close, but beyond our jumping abilities. Despite this, we felt fairly pleased with ourselves as we headed in to lunch and to warm ourselves at the woodstove.

A day later, I'm here to report that the boomerang had the last laugh... nowhere on the wiki page was it suggested to stretch thoroughly before and after boomerang sessions, or better yet, spend a few months weight training before attempting a 2 hour session. Alas, today, my arm is sore enough as to complain about carrying and putting on a coat, a rather necessary ability up here in the cold north... Next time maybe I'll use the boomerang for the purpose it seems made for at first glance - not hunting or sport, but kindling wood!!!

1 comment:

Karina said...

While we were driving to Jon's dad's house to exchange gifts, we passed a hill where Jon said, "I have a boomerang in that brush somewhere." He never did get it to come back to him.

Then at his dad's house, what did he get for Christmas? A boomerang. No joke. What did we do? Returned it for the $20 he paid for it.