Saying he heard God tell him to build a giant catapult in his backyard, seventy-three-year-old Andrew Canard of Swampy Town, Florida hurled Bibles into Hurricane Irma. His mission was to fight off the Devil’s storm, and the word of God were his weapons.
The retired engineer spent last week building a 100-foot tall siege engine used in medieval times to destroy castle walls. The device uses a heavy counterweight that is cranked into position. Once released, the stored energy propels the long wooden arm forward releasing its payload.
Neighbors of Mr. Canard had their reservations. His friend Jack “Banana” Matirko expressed the concerns many had:
Andy tried to be considerate, but Hurricane Irma was coming fast so time was of the essence. He was sawing, drilling, and praying loudly late at night and in the early morning. I commented it looked like it was going to be a big catapult and he corrected me saying it’s a treb-u–chet. Trebuchet? Sounded French to me. I didn’t want any French contraption blocking out the Sun and ruining my heirloom tomatoes.
A community commission was formed and lobbied the municipality to stop the building of the trebuchet. Mr. Canard countered by saying his religious freedoms were being assaulted by godless tomato eaters. Seeing that 2018 is an election year no one on the zoning board wanted to appear anti-Christian and pro-reason, Mr. Canard’s project went on without further resistance.
Swampy Town sits on the southern tip of mainland Florida. Hurricane Irma made landfall there over the weekend. Mr. Canard and his trebuchet were ready. Hundreds of hardcover King James Bibles were delivered earlier that week in large crates. Mr. Canard needed to decide whether to shoot the Bibles in the boxes at Irma or to take the Bibles out of their containers and load them individually onto the machine. In the former case, he knew he’d achieve greater distance. In the latter case, he’d achieve a wonderful buckshot effect against the devil storm.
And then he had an epiphany.
Why not both?
Shooting Bibles into 100+ mile per hour winds may sound easy, but the seventy-three-year-old found the labor difficult. The rain gummed up the works by swelling the ropes and making the device difficult to operate by hand. That required some problem-solving. Mr. Canard jerry-rigged an old motor in his garage to put the heavy counterweight into position as the rains poured down.
Unfortunately, the divine assault against Hurricane Irma was short lived. Twenty minutes into the assault on the weather system it was shut down by one Alexander King. Mister King’s gazebo was demolished when hit by a large crate of Bibles falling from the heavens. Incensed beyond reason, the man took his shotgun and went into the storm to punish whatever idiot was responsible. Once he found the idiot and his trebuchet Mr. King gleefully shot the machine. After shooting several times, the medieval siege engine was inoperable.All in all Mr. Canard considers his brave stand against Hurricane Irma to be his own faith-based Alamo. While defeated, he stood up for the principles he believes in. Whenever the next hurricane arrives, he will be ready. He plans to buy land outside of town so that no innocent gazebos will be killed next time.
Andrew Hall is the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Besides writing a blog, co-hosting the Naked Diner, he wrote two books, Vampires, Lovers, and Other Strangers and God’s Diary: January 2017 . Andrew is reading through the Bible and making videos about his journey on YouTube. He is a talented stand-up comedian. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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