Cast the First Stone

Then watch it bounce

May 19, 2004 at 4:00 am
As any ditch-billy will tell you, when skipping rocks, you gotta wing 'em. Not pitching, not tossing, not hurling, just wingin'. Relax your wrist and let the stone loose with a flick from hip level, and count how many skips your cast makes. Two or three is small fries; try to shoot for seven or more. If it's a big creek, see if you can skip 'em to the other side. It's dumb, mindless fun, but at least you're outdoors.

Although it's possible to skip just about any stone, part of the pleasure is locating the proper type. They should be reasonably small and flat, but with rounded edges. Whenever you find a perfect one you get a slight feeling of anxiety -- are you going to blow it with a bomber straight to the creek bed, or are you going to get the maximum number of skips out of it? Clear your mind, roll your jeans up, and let fly. And don't be afraid to get your feet wet. It doesn't hurt to have a dog with you, either. Or a six-pack.... -- Guy Gray

Sunday Drivers

SUN 5/23

Nothing terrifies a parent more than the thought of their teenager getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, or so we've been told (as far as we know, we remain childless; discovering we are parents is what terrifies the non-parent). Anywho, if you're worried about Junior wrapping the family Pacer around something immovable and pointy, your only option is training said kid in the art of driving -- but who has the time?

The BMW X3 Ultimate Driving Experience Student Driver Program, that's who. From 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway) your teenager can get behind the wheel of the new BMW X3 Sport Activity Vehicle and learn skid control, car control and something called "target fixation" from a professional. That last one sounds good for the kamikaze run at that dude what stole your girlfriend, don't it, Junior? The program is free, but advance registration is required, so visit or call 1-800-956-4BMW. --Paul Friswold

Give It The Thumb
Couch Race For Charity

The Last Starfighter, for those of you too young to remember, was a Galaga-era summer movie wherein a young man discovers that the video game he's been playing is actually a training device for an elite corps of space pilots. While you won't be recruited by NASCAR for your expert skills at "Project Gotham Racing" for Xbox, you can still win autographed sports memorabilia (and bragging rights) by testing your mettle as a superfast racecar driver at any area Game Crazy location before May 31. A $1 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation gets you registered. Call 636-527-5830 or visit for store locations. --Mark Dischinger