Totally off-topic and mostly irrelevant post, but a quick side-trip today reminded me of one of the best practical jokes I've been witness to.
Okay, one of the big local industries we used to have in the area was a fertilizer plant. It took local natural gas and turned it into liquid anhydrous ammonia, and a dry product called urea. The urea came in small smooth granular form called "prills".
The prills were formed by spraying the semiliquid urea into huge tumblers like big concrete mixers. The tubs of those big tumblers had big steel rings around the outside- these rings were the surfaces the rollers rode on, that let the tubs rotate, concrete-mixer style to tumble the urea.
These rings are, naturally, simply called "tires".
And periodically, those tires wear out and have to be replaced. Each "priller" processes several tons of product per day, to say nothing of the weight of the tubs themselves. Changing said tires is a nasty, labor-intensive job involving multiple cranes, hydraulic jacks, lots of dunnage, and big-ass tools like 1-1/2" steam-driven impact wrenches. Each tire is some 12 feet in diameter, around six inches thick, and 18" wide, weighing- I'm going to stab a wild guess- somewhere around ten tons.
Got all that? Okay, here's the story: Years ago, in my oilfield days, I was driving a back road near the fertilizer plant (which has since closed, a few years back) when I passed by a Link-Belt crane and a couple of service trucks. The crane was inching along- tires, not treads- carrying a giant steel ring that was obviously putting quite a load on the machine.
It was interesting, but I paid little attention until a few weeks later, as I was working at the plant (as a contractor) and some of the guys were talking about it.
Apparently what happened was one of the employees had retired, after 35-40 years working at the plant. One of the last jobs he did was as part of the crew replacing the priller tires- again, a nasty, difficult job which, I was led to believe, he thoroughly hated.
During the man's retirement party, it seems, a crew was dispatched with trucks and cranes... to deliver one of the old tires to his house and leave it on his lawn.
A few weeks later, I was driving by- point in fact, heading over to join up with the local paintball crew at the time- and I passed by the guy's house, where he was using hydraulic jacks and scrap wood to level it out. Eventually he filled it with dirt and he, or perhaps his wife, planted flowers in it.
After all, what else are you going to do? You'd need an oxygen lance to cut it up or you'd have to hire another crane to load it intact to haul it off.
This evening, as it happened, I was in the area, and on a lark, I turned in to see, and sure enough, it's still there:
And it'll probably still be there when the house falls apart. Or will be struck by a hover-excavator laying fiberoptic cables, unearthed, and raised up like that scene at the beginning of Stargate whereupon the foreman will be heard to exclaim "what dumbass put that damn thing there?!?"