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Cheap Thrills

Jake Delhomme

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ELIZABETH BILLIARDS If you haven't discovered the coolest watering hole south of the Square, it's time for a trip to EB's (hip, regional lingo). Voted best pool hall as well as best first date place, it's also dirt cheap. Pool is free. Darts are free. Card tables can be set up to start a poker game for free. Friday nights, EB's orders pizza for patrons to consume for free. Catching the trend? OK, the drinks aren't free, but large pints are only $3 (we recommend the Red Hook IPA). EB's also has the best White Russians in town. For $5, you can get a bucket's worth of the delicious milkshake-like digestif. With a satellite signal EB's, located at 1400 Central Ave., in the giant parking lot behind CVS, is a great place to catch a ball game on TV.

CHARLOTTE COMEDY THEATRE Have ya been moping around, feeling a little blue? Then here's the thing for you! Check out Sunday's Open Mic Jam, a combo of comedy, spoken word, music, you name it. Show at 7pm; $3. The location is 1308 D the Plaza. Call for reservations 1-866-467-7681. Web: www.charlottecomedy.com.

IMPEACHMENT RALLY FOR BUSH AND CHENEY Well, now they've done it. Bush and Cheney have so angered area organizations, that they're rallying for their impeachment. Not quite sure what impeachment means? It's the the proceedings started by the U.S. House of Representatives to kick the President and Vice President out of the White House. Join civil rights leaders, anti-war activists, Iraq vets, legal experts, musicians and more as they protest the current administration. The rally takes place at Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd, at 1pm. For more info, log onto www.charlottegreens.org.

SPORTS CONNECTION The ultimate cheap thrill is, of course, sports! Among the conventional sports offered at this complex are unconventional (and cheap) games like laser tag and skating. For $5, future Tony Hawks can skate all day -- and Star Wars fans can play laser tag. Enjoy while you can because the skate park is closing on Sept. 30. Go online www.sportsconnectionnc.com or call 704-583-1444.

LEARN TO MEDITATE Take it from loyal practitioners of meditation: There's nothing like it to take the stress of your workday off your shoulders. That's why the Pain & Rehab Institute is offering a free class in the breathing techniques and imagery used in ancient qi gong meditation (betcha didn't know there was more than one kind). The office is located at 128 E. Plaza Drive in Mooresville. Classes are Thursdays at 7:30pm. Call 704-649-1629 to get started on the path to serenity.

FENCING TOURNAMENT The art of fencing has a long and not entirely pleasant history. Many a man has died at the end of a blade during the age of duels over women, property (which considering how old-fashioned a male you are, may include the former), but mostly just wounded pride. Today, this fascinating art has been turned into a sport where it pays to be fast with "Mr. Pointy". Come out to the free tournament at Touché Fencing Club, located at 5410-B Old Pineville Rd, and find if you have what it takes to advance. Time: 10am-5pm. Web: www.touchefencingclub.com.

SALSA NIGHTS Be Shakira for a night and prove that your "Hips Don't Lie" at the free Latin-style dance lessons offered at LOFT1523, 1526 Elizabeth Ave. Learn salsa, merengue, bachata and more. Touting "celebrity instructors," this joint gets hips swiveling every Wednesday night at 8pm. Hit www.hispanos-usa.com or call 704-333-5898.

TANGO & TAPAS Patou and the Charlotte Tango Society host this free informal lesson on the Argentinian tango, perfect for making friends. Learn this sensual dance and improve existing skills with instructor Daniel Arredondo. Monday nights at 7pm. Patou, A French Bistro, 1315 East Blvd. Call 704-376-2233 or visit www.patoubistro.com or www.passionfortango.com.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH Mark your calendars. October has been relegated as Substance Abuse Awareness Month like February is Black History Month and November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Just because there's been a specific month assigned to something, doesn't mean that's the only time you deal with it. Major issues like these produce effects that carry-over into the entire year. That said, this month is for Substance Abuse and several events have been planned to, duh!, up awareness. On September 30, a Kickoff Breakfast is scheduled for 7:30-9am at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 3601 Central Ave. Later that day, have some fun with the whole family at the SAAM Kick-off Rally taking place at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center, 750 Beal St, from 12-3pm. Register for the breakfast online at www.preventionservices.org or by phone 704-375-3784.

GLOVER MICROCINEMA A new series featuring the "The Films of Ingrid Bergman Directed by Roberto Rossellini" begin this week on Tuesday nights. Upccoming titles include: Journey to Italy (Oct. 3), and The Chicken/Jeanne d'Arc au bucher (Oct. 10). The regular screening times are Sunday afternoons at 4pm and Tuesday nights at 7:30pm. The Glover Microcinema is located in the Art House on 3103 Cullman St. For full details: www.glovermicrocinema.blogspot.com


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