We have this tree with a massive amount of very dead wood in it, the sort of big branches you can just snap off by hand... if you can reach them. It's a good idea to do so, too-- it's dangerous to leave them in the tree (fire hazard, branches-falling-on-people's-head hazard), and when they come down, they make good firewood.
Only one problem; some of them are too high up to reach. So, brilliant person that I am, I decide that I can rope the branches like so many cattle and haul them down. Only first I need something heavy to tie to the rope so I can wrangle me up some tree. Like... a brick!
Or not, because the brick keeps hitting branches and bouncing back down, and also manages to escape the rope tied around it (all the while, of course, They Might Be Giants are singing away in my head about having a rock to wind a string around...) and little brick chips go flying as it hits the patio, and I wonder suddenly what will happen if the brick comes down on something fragile, like my head...
Well, anyways, it worked better with a bent stick tied to the rope (one shaped kinda like a boomerang-- it wedges nicely around forking branches). What I really needed was one of those little grappling-hook dealies. But I'm making due with what I have today. Like rope and bricks and sticks and an oversized hoe (for cutting through the undergrowth under the tree) and part of a water-hose-nozzle thingy that is bent almost like a hook and works for snagging branches that are lower down (no good for throwing, though-- too lightweight). Eventually I had to quit when it turned out that I was stronger than the rope (it was left-over clothesline, after all), and it snapped over a particularly recalcitrant branch.
I'm not going to be winning any Indiana Jones-ing awards any time soon. But at least I got my firewood!