I’ve had a great time looking at the junk that’s been offered for free on Craigslist, all in one handy place: http://itemnotasdescribed.com Take your pick of collapsed sheds, fallen trees, or wheelchairs that don’t wheel. The items are bizarre, and the comments offered by the website owner are a hoot. Among my favorite comments is the one that accompanies the home-made trebuchet (pictured): http://itemnotasdescribed.com/page/12/
"I have a trebuchet that i build for a physics project. It is stained and has gold paint on it. Its been in my backyard and i need to get rid of it. Its about 4.5 feet tall and very sturdy, holds 350 pounds from what i know. PICK UP ONLY!"
Comment by itemnotasdescribed’s owner:
On the off chance you don’t know, a trebuchet is essentially a catapult/giant slingshot. They’ve been out of style for 600 years or so, so you’re forgiven for that little gap in your knowledge. There are costs to owning a 350 pound trebuchet, there’s no getting around it. For one, it will render a huge swath of your yard unusable. The trebuchet becomes the focal point of your yard, obscuring all else. The kids can’t play ball. The dog can’t run around in high-speed figure eights.
But there are benefits. Well, one, really: you can lay seige to neighbors for blocks around. The Bostwicks over on Deacon Street? The ones who never trim the tree overhanging the sidewalk in front of their house? Load up a light bowling ball. Let them know they need to be a bit more responsible. The Singh kids down the block? The ones who bring the speakers outside on sunny weekend afternoons, blasting that weird foreign-language hip hop? Load some old Top 40 vinyl on this thing and whip it at them. A lesson in both music history and neighborliness. And Jim Edwards, with the two rusting Cadillacs out front that haven’t moved as long as you’ve lived on the street? Well, even he may get tired of looking at the cars once you’ve rained down ten pounds of landscaping rocks on them.
Be prepared for a little bit of disappointment, though. Given the arc of this thing’s swing, you’re always going to overshoot the next door neighbor. You may have to knock on her door and just ask her to mow the damned lawn.