Sir Robert Watson-Watt was a Scottish physicist and a proponent of radio direction finding and radar technology. His ideas were credited for the defeat of more than a quarter of German U-boats and subsequently enabled the Royal Air Force to win the Battle of Britain in 1941.
Several years later, he was pulled over by a Canadian police officer for overspeeding. The officer was ironically using a radar gun. His wife attempted to point out the ridiculousness of the situation, but the officer replied that it didn’t matter since he broke the law. So, they were fined $12.50 for the violation.
Watson-Watt recounted the incident with the following verse he titled “A Rough Justice”:
Pity Sir Robert Watson-Watt,
strange target of this radar plot
And thus, with others I can mention,
the victim of his own invention.
His magical all-seeing eye
enabled cloud-bound planes to fly
but now by some ironic twist
it spots the speeding motorist
and bites, no doubt with legal wit,
the hand that once created it.
Oh Frankenstein who lost control
of monsters man created whole,
with fondest sympathy regard
one more hoist with his petard.
As for you courageous boffins
who may be nailing up your coffins,
particularly those whose mission
deals in the realm of nuclear fission,
pause and contemplate fate’s counter plot
and learn with us what’s Watson-Watt.
Traffic Digest and Review, Vol. 11, 1963