When we were young, we were deathly afraid of roller coasters, so a trip to Six Flags Over Texas was, understandably, a nightmare. Our parents, God bless 'em, made us go on every single ride. Judge Roy Scream, the Shockwave, all of them. It wasn't just that roller coasters made us sick, the results of which some Six Flags old-timers probably still talk about. That would have been one thing, a difficulty easily conquered with some Dramamine and a few well-placed trashcans. The problem was much worse than that, showing up physically in little chest pains that felt like heart attacks at the time, but looking back, were likely caused by one too many hot dogs. We finally conquered our phobia of roller coasters by taking a trip to the amusement park with a few of our friends just after high school graduation, the fear of embarrassment in front of our friends overshadowing the fear of death. Six Flags is in the midst of Spring BreakOut, its spring-break festival featuring a Titanic Obstacle Course, BMX Extreme Skateboard Show, and Escape from Dino Island 3D, the park's latest attraction. We can't wait to ride it. Spring BreakOut lasts until March 21. After that, the park will be open on weekends through May 12, when it opens for the summer. Admission is $35. Six Flags is located on Interstate 30 at Highway 360 in Arlington. Call (817) 640-8900.
Fort Worth improvisational comedy troupe Four Day Weekend celebrated its two-year anniversary a few weeks ago, but we let the event pass without any mention. We were getting tired of the plethora of improv comedy groups in the area, and still are, in fact. Recently, however, we found a missive from the Four Day gang that would have--and has--made us rethink our position for a moment. The letter itself, which somehow never made it across our desk before, wasn't all that noteworthy, just a photocopied facsimile of a ransom note promising that the members of Four Day Weekend--David Wilk, David Ahearn, Frank Ford, Troy Grant, and music director Paul Slavens--"would kill one hostage every day unless our demands for press coverage" are met. Cute. But the kicker was the photo included with the message, a Polaroid of one of the "hostages," swollen and bruised, holding a copy of that week's Dallas Observer. And in the corner of the photo was a smudged, bloody fingerprint. Bravo, fellas. Four Day Weekend performs at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday at the Four Day Weekend Theater (the upstairs theater at Caravan of Dreams), located at 312 Houston St. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10. Call (817) 226-4DAY.
While we weren't fans of the film The Exorcist (something to do with the fact that we were eating split pea soup when we saw it), we're suckers for the real thing. It fascinates us to no end, which may explain why we watch A&E so much. If you're like us, then the lecture presented by the North Texas Skeptics on Saturday is right up your alley. Danny Barnett, who has made a study of the practice of exorcism in the last few years, will speak about the resurgence of the practice. Bonus: no Linda Blair. The program is free and happens at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Call (972) 306-3187.
Way back in the day, farmers in the British Isles used to send teams of dancers into the fields to promote good crops by performing dances that involved stick-clashing and stick-waving. Now, if you want to do those kinds of dances in a field, you'd be more welcome at a Phish concert, and if a farmer wants to promote good crops, he'd just as soon fertilize his fields until you can smell it in another state. Nevertheless, on Sunday Dallas' Winfrey Bells Morris Dancers will celebrate the spring equinox onstage instead of in a plowed field, but it should be every bit as authentic as those ancient rituals. Or at least a really kick-ass Grateful Dead show. Japanese taiko drumming group Kobushi, dance and drum ensemble Akiwowo, and Rhythm Tribe will also perform. The performance happens from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Winfrey Point Building, 950 E. Lawther, and it's free. Call (972) 498-8783.
As we were watching Red Dawn for the several hundredth time a few weeks ago, we began to wonder what would happen if World War III really broke out. Would we join the military or bust cheeks for Canada? Well, when the United States became involved World War II, our grandparents went across the sea and kicked ass and cleared house. Some of them didn't come back. One of those men was Jack Miller, a 1941 SMU graduate who was killed in action in Guadalcanal in 1942. He was just one of 134 SMU alumni killed in the conflict. To honor Miller and all the other SMU graduates who fought in the war, Miller's sister, Carmen Miller Michael, and brother Henry Miller have given the university the money to build the Southern Methodist University World War II Memorial Plaza. They will be on hand to dedicate the memorial on Monday in a ceremony at the Fondren Library Center, 6404 Hilltop Lane on the SMU campus. U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, an SMU alumnus, will speak. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Call (214) 768-7658.
The only thing the Dallas area has more of than improvisational comedy troupes is poets, and sometimes you have to wonder which is less necessary. Either way, our city's number of poets grows by two on Tuesday when The Slap n' Tickle Tour hits town, featuring two of Vancouver's finest, Cass King and the Svelte Ms. Spelt. King will present her one-woman show, Uberlesque: Growing Up Glam in Ontario, and the Svelte Ms. Spelt will perform an entirely different act that only sounds similar. We're not fans, but maybe you'll be. Judge for yourself on Tuesday at Insomnia, located at 2640 Elm. The free performance begins at 9 p.m. and is hosted by Clebo Rainey. Call (214) 761-1556.
Figures that James "Big Bucks" Burnett, the man who never wanted to let go of Tiny Tim, Mr. Ed, or eight-track tapes, would be involved in Variety Nightmare, billed as "the early show extravaganza that is changing the way Dallas ignores music." The showcase, happening sporadically on Wednesdays at Club Dada, continues this week with a performance by The Darlies, featuring the former frontman of The Trees, Pat McKanna. Remember them? Didn't think so, but you should. Get educated on Wednesday at Club Dada, 2720 Elm. The show begins at 8:30 p.m., ends at 10 p.m., and is hosted by Burnett. Call (214) 744-