Sunday, January 13, 2008

Time for the Killer Joke

Given all the brouhaha over the Iranian Precision Speedboat and Littering Drill Team giving an impromptu performance for the entertainment of the US Navy recently, it occurred to your Humble Snarkatron that there is a distinct need for a new category of military deterrence -- namely, mockery and humiliation. Since it isn't always possible to just blow up people who are annoying you (usually with the *intent* of making you blow them up so they can claim to be unjustly attacked), and the only remaining option appears to be "do nothing and encourage more of the same." If we can't kill them yet still want to persuade them that mucking with us is a Bad Idea, what could we possibly use?

Some suggestions:

- The Mk I high-pressure Olefactory Offensive Watergun. Uses seawater with an additive tank containing really, really bad perfume and a non-toxic dye. Remember that ghastly Giorgio perfume department store employees were always trying to spritz you with if you didn't deck them first with a flying judo kick? My sources tell me there are giant tanks of the stuff still available (well, nobody bought it did they?). Plus, in the course of my scientific career I have encountered dyes that will permanently mark the skin--can't be washed off, and you have to wait for the skin to grow out to get rid of it. Coumarin was one of the best. Nice bright orangy-red color.

- Aquatic Silly String. Biodegradable over a period of a day or so, these long-chain polymers preferentially attach to high-speed motor propellers and intakes. No permanent damage to equipment if motor is not run while goop prevents movement. (We'll have filters and counteractive treatments for our ships, if necessary) I'm thinking pink is a nice color for this.

- mini-mines. Limpet-like attachments for boat surfaces, or engine intakes. Only detonate if target is "painted" with narrow-beam frequency, and so small that minimal damage is done -- but enough to immobilize the boat. Then the US Navy will, *of course*, come to the aid of the poor stricken jellyfish farmers, rescuing them, providing them with nice comfy "Hello Kitty" footy-PJs to replace their wet clothes, and maybe even a pink, flower-encrusted goody bag to take home with them! We'd even take pictures of the event to share with them, their friends, their government, the AP wire, Nigerian spammers, Martians ....

- Floaters. Think barrage balloons, but floating on the surface of the water. Sure, you can pop them, but then you get coated in that obnoxious powder that they stuff airbags with. Or itching powder. Every fifth one will be filled with Nair. Bald, beadless Iranian nutjobs ... that would be very funny. To us.


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