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Slingshots are useful tools for the dirty trickster. The modern ones are as different from the forked-limb-and-inner-tube variety of your youth as a Daisy BB gun is from a Taser. They aren’t even called slingshots any more. The technocrats have renamed them hand catapults. I bet Goliath is turning over in his grave.

Any good sporting-goods store can outfit you with the proper nylon-and-steel Hand Catapult to carry on your missions. If you’d prefer to deal through the mail, write to Wham-O, Box 4, San Gabriel, California 91778. If you want a giant assault model, there’s one available, according to Mike Hoy of Loompanics. Mike reports that an outfit known as Information Unlimited, Milford, New Hampshire 03055, sells plans for a “giant slingshot,” which is five feet tall and anchored into the ground.

I recall some of the boys in my old neighborhood using an improvised version of the giant slingshot to propel large fruits and vegetables against the home of the neighborhood grouch. They used the fork of a walnut tree and an entire inner tube. A winch drew back the pouch, which could load several cantaloupes, pieces of watermelon, a half dozen tomatoes, or combinations of the above. Effective hits were scored at about 75 yards, as I recall. Perhaps this technique could be put to modern use by means of a mobile weapon.

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