How to Fumigate a Submarine
Up to Table of Contents

How to Fumigate a Submarine

1. Why fumigate a submarine?

A submarine is not well ventilated, and pockets of heat and humidity build up in nooks and crannies around the boat. Food is brought aboard in cardboard containers. All cardboard worldwide contains many cockroach eggs, and probably eggs of many other species. If you were a cockroach, you would want to live in a submarine.

2. Who fumigates submarines?

Specialists from out of town came in to do the job. They were from an obscure office with a name that did not quite say that it was responsible for pest control. We assumed that they came from the chemical warfare labs.

3. What chemicals are used to fumigate a submarine?

We don't know. We assume that is cyanide, fine tuned by experts for efficacy.

4. What are the procedures for fumigating a submarine?

a. Abandon ship. While in port, after supper one evening, the duty section, consisting of one officer and twelve enlisted, take their blankets to the pier.

b. Remove food from the boat. Cans may be left aboard.

c. Cover the mattresses. Zip up the Naugahyde covers on all the mattresses and pillows.

d. Open all interior doors and ventilation flappers.

e. Close up the boat. It is a simple and straightforward process to make a submarine airtight. For obvious reasons.

f. Send the guys in the spacesuits aboard, briefly.

g. Wait ten hours. This part gets boring. It helps if you remembered to bring the movie screen and the 16-mm projector out onto the pier. That way you can watch Italian westerns until you fall asleep on your blanket on the pier.

h. Open the hatch to the forward torpedo room. Send an engineman in a space suit through this hatch, thence aft to the after engine room. He starts a large diesel engine, without opening the main valve for the engine intake air. He immediately comes back out onto the pier and takes off the space suit, and his mind is never the same again.

g. Wait another hour. Wonder about the effectiveness of a diesel engine in burning the cyanide. Wonder about the toxicity of the exhaust fumes. Move upwind.

h. Send the guys from the Pest Control Headquarters (heh heh) below with their funny test instruments.

j. Go back aboard and pretend nothing happened. Sweep lots of dead cockroaches out of the boat.

k. Develop hypochondria.

5. When do you do it again?

In three months.

Up to Table of Contents