The Austin Chronicle

Public Notice

By Kate X Messer, October 8, 1999, Columns

Can You Dig It? Right On …

"Honey, have you seen my atlatl?" we imagine the cave babe saying to the cave dude. We just love saying that word: Atlatl. Atlatl! Atlatl! (Aht-laht'l) What's an atlatl? Well, that's what we said when we read about this weekend's upcoming Archeology Fair. So we called our pal, Mr. Archeologist of the First World, and asked, "Mr. Archeologist of the First World, what's an atlatl?" "Okay," says MAFW, "You got your spear. It's long. It's six feet long, and you could pick it up and throw it, or you can pick up this device, the atlatl, which is only two feet long, and it attaches to the spear so you can throw it harder because it makes it like your arm is longer. It gives you leverage! It's been in use for around 40,000 years!" "Wow!" we thought. "How primitive, yet forward-thinking!" We love science dudes almost as much as we love saying "Atlatl! Atlatl!" Our science dude pal inspired us to do a little research of our own. We decided to plunker the word "atlatl" into our favorite trusty search engine, and guess what? There is an entire culture around atlatls. There are Atlatl Tournaments, Atlatl Webpages (try or on for size), heck there's even a World Atlatl Association. People still use the derned things today. In fact, the cult of the atlatl reminded us very much of those jolly sorts who cavort around disc golf courses. The Paleo/Mesolithic spear accelerator will be just one of the cool things you can see and touch at the Archeology Fair hosted by Texas Archeological Research Laboratory on UT's J.J. Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet, this Sat, Oct 9, 10am-4pm. The fair is being held to promote a better understanding of our history and to encourage preservation of the irreplaceable archeological heritage of Texas. Ya dig? Good. Now dig a little deeper. Oh, and one last word from our relic revelin' friend, Mr. Archeologist of the First World, "If people are real nice and they come, we'll let them use the battle atlatl!" 471-5960.

There Goes the Atlatl

Well, we were going to stick in a fetching photo of an actual atlatl right here, in this column for your enjoyment, but then this little nugget came in at the last moment, so we thought we'd share it with you instead: This Sat, Oct 9, 10am-6pm, Half Price Books at 3110 Guadalupe is hosting one of their Infamous Parking Lot Tent Sales. All books are only $1! After the sale ends, they will host a one-hour Clearinghouse Smorgasbord, 6-7pm. Any interested nonprofit, school, or library is invited to come and take whatever books remain. These are free books, covering all sorts of subjects. There are only two requirements: Be prepared to show proof of your organization's nonprofit status, and do not bring the books back to Half Price Books once they are gone. If this clearinghouse is a success, they will do it after every tent sale. 451-4463.

When I Was Hungry …

Those fine and Good Samaritans at El Buen Samaritano are hosting their annual Art Show & Sale this week on Tue, Oct 12, 6-8pm, at the Texas French Bread at 2900 Rio Grande. El Buen's mission is to offer programs that help the working poor move beyond subsistence to self-sufficiency by providing health care, education, emergency food and clothing, and leadership development to low-income, predominantly Spanish-speaking families. 441-7977x13.

When I Was Naked …

Talk about getting down to brass tacks. Activists Patch Adams and Helen Caldicott (he of the Robin Williams movie fame and she of articulate anti-nuke repute) staged a Nude March in San Francisco last week. Yep, as a part of the well-attended and all but media-ignored Creating a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century conference, the active parties did what they could about that lack of attention and went out and got some by getting naked. One of the purposes of the conference was to call attention to possible Y2K nuclear accidents and other disarming topics. Austin activists could take a lesson from the SF protesters, and so could Austin writers (yours truly included) in the department of effective subtlety: Buried in the middle of a wonderfully restrained piece on the action, the San Francisco Examiner reported that (our italics) "The night air was chilly enough to have a noticeable effect on some participants, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm ..."

When I Was in the Closet …

... You outed me. And brothers and sisters, what a relief. C'mon, we hear you rustling around in there, amongst the trenchcoats, the bowler derbies, and the three shades of wingtips. We know you're still in there. Or maybe your closet has corsets and lace and wigs, girlfriend ... did we say wigs? Right on. So how's life in that cramped, dank place? Do you prefer life alone in the dark? Do you enjoy the mellifluous whiff of mothballs and last season's sweaters? Are you staying in there just because you are afraid of the bad people who will tell you to get back in? Or are you afraid that you just might enjoy yourself a little too much out here in the light? C'mon. Take it nice and slow. Come to Texas Coming Out Day sponsored by Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, this Sat, Oct 9, noon-6pm at Wooldridge Park at 10th & Guadalupe. Enjoy an earful of Samba Thistle and the Shelly King Band; enjoy a handful of that spunky, punky Handful. Then check out the Women's Coming Out Dance later that same night, Sat, Oct 9, 8pm-1am, in the parking lot of that new girl mecca, Gaby & Mo's, 1809 Manor. Then take your new self and your new friends on over to the Dia de la Raza the next afternoon, Sun, Oct 10, 4-8pm at Plaza Mexico Tipico, 1707 E. Sixth. C'mon, everybody's waiting. It's free. And more importantly, it's freeing. 474-5475. end story

Next Week: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.