What do you fear, O Jeff’s mom’s 1970s Christmas candle?
What do you fear, O humble waxen villager of yore?
Behold: Gingerbread’s Bane!
Lest you think we’re all talk and no action here at Quid Plura?, we decided to try out an item that featured prominently on our own medieval gift guide. I’m pleased to report that this build-it-yourself tabletop trebuchet performed wonderfully, flinging nuts more than 25 feet across a rainy backyard, terrifying an imaginary gingerbread burgermeister, and earning a “cool” from our resident four-year-old.
There’s a whole online community of trebuchet enthusiasts centered around Trebuchet.com. Why am I not surprised? I once witnessed, when the competition was still in its infancy, the annual trebuchet-intensive “Punkin Chunkin” in Delaware, but now, thanks to TrebuchetPlans.com, you no longer need to be a physics obsessive to build your own full-sized siege engine. Heck, you can even run the Atreb or TrebStar simulators to optimize your rig for maximum flingability.
If you prefer to confine your sieges to the tabletop, you can graduate from the affordable trebuchet shown above to this expensive, 140-piece working replica of the “Warwolf” of Edward I—but if you’re really desperate (and one pathetic cheapskate), you can make an office-supply trebuchet out of paper clips and batteries.
Of course, if you do decide to join the proud company of trebuchet-builders, whatever the scale, remember the motherly admonition that’s as prudent as it is timeless: “Thine eyen out wilt thou shoote!” And then prove her wrong, marveling as diseased bovines sail like angels over your neighbors’ fences.