The homeland security press is just getting wind of Joe Weston-Webb’s attempts to deter vandals with nonlethal weapons, but the story became all the rage in Britain when it broke last year.
The stories hit all the timely bits: Joe got burgled, so he announced plans to install a catapult. A what? A catapult. Why? To launch chicken droppings at miscreants. Unfortunately, the local constabulary warned him off, and the catapult wasn’t ready when burglars returned. Or, it could have been that the catapult didn’t work. But, aside from the fact that Joe does floors for Strictly Come Dancing, the real story is that Joe previously used to put the dung tossing, home defense catapult in question to launching his wife, Mary, across the River Avon in 1976. Joe’s bio tells more.
Joe’s years spent building catapults and other contraptions (and a cannon not yet converted for his home defense), hasn’t worn him out on experiments, or from re-using those circus acts to protect his property. But what of his wife? “She’s 54 now and far too big to fit into the cannon in any case,” Joe is reported to have said.
Mrs Weston-Webb was one of Mr Weston-Webb’s squad of “Moto-Birds”, travelling the world driving motorcycles and cars over ramps and water features. While injured with a broken arm, she climbed into the catapult her husband is now employing to defend his warehouses, before an expectant crowd of 30,000. “I flew across 160ft of the Avon,” she said. “Unfortunately the net was set at an angle and I bounced into the river.”
Mrs Weston-Webb stood by her husband as he attempted to build a car with wings that would fly from the edge of a quarry (it didn’t) and a ramp that would take a double-decker bus across the Avon.
And she stands by his decision to lay booby-traps. “We just feel so helpless,” she said.