I haven’t been here for a while due to holiday craziness and general life craziness. I need to fix that, so I was thinking about posting light-hearted generally funny stuff.

As it turns out, I do come from a family of story-tellers. My relatives used to cap off holidays by hanging out at the table for an hour or two with coffee and pastry, talking about these family stories that were too funny to lose. I have a bunch of those, but I also have some of my own.

So for now, let’s talk about…the boomerang.

My dad used to take me and my brother two days a week after school and alternating Sundays. (I think.) During the spring, summer and fall we’d often go to a really nice park about a mile from our apartment. When I or my brother was in baseball, we’d practice hitting or practice throwing. I learned to scale those huge batting cages, so my dad and brother would be pitching and hitting below while I lay twenty-five feet in the air on top of the fencing and looked out over the field.

My dad had a business trip to Australia and returned with gifts. One of the gifts for my brother was a boomerang.

You can’t throw a boomerang in the house (er, I mean, you can, but you shouldn’t. Sorry, Mom!) so the next time, we brought the boomerang out to the park and trekked out to one of the huge fields. We carefully read the instructions and noted the notch on one side of the boomerang, learned how to lift it, practiced swishing motions through the air to get a sense of how it should feel. Then, with the breeze just right, we stood at the crest of a tiny hill and unleashed this juggernaut of magically-returning wood, hurling it about fifty yards.

(At this point in the story, my Patient Husband said, “And then it turned around in the air and you all had to duck like in a Loony Toons production?”)

No, actually. Then we got to walk about fifty yards and locate a boomerang.


Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?

A: A stick.

As it turns out, they’re rather difficult to throw. Well, difficult to throw correctly. You can get quite a bit of distance throwing them incorrectly, and subsequently you can get quite a bit of exercise.

I’m happy to report that eventually the boomerang did begin to arc in the air and come kind of back to us. Kind of. And we did have fun with it. For real.

I’ll have funnier stories tomorrow, but for now that’s what I’ve got.


  1. whiskers09092006

    Neither of my parents were very actively athletic. It’s very difficult to play Frisbee by oneself, but I managed. *grin*

    1. philangelus

      It must have been a bit like our early boomerang attempts! 🙂 I guess you could throw the frisbee straight up and try to catch it, although I would advise against that tactic…

  2. Monica

    I love the image of you climbing the batting cage and looking out over the field.

    1. philangelus

      Then you should also love the image of my father saying, “You know, if he pops one up into your fingers, you’re going to regret it for a week.” 🙂

      1. Monica

        Yeah, I love that image, too. I can hear him saying it now. 🙂

  3. Rain

    Wow, cool beans. My brother got a boomerang from an aunt of ours who visited Australia. But I don’t think he ever tried to throw it.

    1. philangelus

      They’re beautiful devices. This one was a dark wood, highly polished, and it begged to be thrown.

  4. Ana

    Hysterical! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Lorraine E. Castro

    It’s nice to to be able to read your stories again. I missed them.

  6. Ken Rolph

    I don’t recall ever having problems throwing a boomerang. guess it’s something we just grew up with. I don’t recall knowing anyone who had a problem throwing boomerangs, except for tourists. They seem to have problems getting the correct throwing angle and making that final short sharp flick.

    They also seem to have problems catching it when it does come back. You are throwing into the wind, so it’s coming back with the wind behind it, flying horizontally at you. If you put up your hand to catch it like a ball you will just mangle your fingers. You need to clamp it between one hand coming up and one hand coming down.

    And remember never to stand right behind the boomerang thrower. When it comes back they might step aside and it will come straight at you.