Monday, February 18, 2013


I have been reading a series of books set in what amounts to a medieval sort of time period. One of the common weapons of that age was the trebuchet. This device is basically a catapult that served as the missile delivery system of the day. A large bucket or sling could be filled with rocks or boulders, barrels of flammable liquids or boiling pitch, or even dung, that could be hurled great distances into the enemy ranks. The trebuchet sling is mounted at the end of a long arm that is set into motion through the use of a massive counterweight. The large angular momentum imparted to the sling as the weight falls is then transferred to the load when the pivoting arm impacts the stop at the end of its range.

If I had earned my siege engine patch from studying trebuchet mechanics (a hipster reference to The Doonkelberry Imperative - season 3 episode 43 of Phineas and Ferb) I should like to have such a device positioned discreetly in my castle's bailey (i.e. my back yard) and use it to launch things out over my fence. I would do this not so much to assault my enemies, but to rid myself of big or amusing objects that I no longer desire to possess. Things like an old lawn mower, some overly fragrant vegetation, leftovers that got pushed to the back of fridge for too long, overripe fruit, a broken exercise machine, excess body fat, some poorly conceived books from my personal library, and so many stupid things that I have done and said over the years. Once over the fence, I would be rid of them and their effects forever.