We all live in a total fantasy, a total fantasy, a total fantasy

A favourite ‘What would you do if…?’ question from recent weeks:

‘Sir, what would you do if a nuclear submarine suddenly came up through the floor of this classroom?’

Note that the questioner specifies this is a nuclear submarine coming up through the floor, not just any old submarine. It’s not an out-dated World War 2 U-Boat, it’s not Jules Verne’s Nautilus, nor is it that cute little sub they used in Titanic to bring up the safe with the old drawings inside.

It’s a top of the range, kick-ass, nuclear submarine, and you cannot reason with it. The size of a small skyscraper, this merciless destroyer of worlds is civilisation’s nightmare manifest.

The classroom where this is supposed to take place is, according to my research, about 1/16th the size of the typical nuclear submarine. The room has a solid wooden floor, presumably sitting on concrete, submarine-resistant foundations.

But it could just happen. Otherwise why would my pupil have stopped the lesson, stopped everything else going on in the room, to bring this issue up? We teachers have what people who know these things call ‘a duty of care’ to our cohorts. It is our responsibility to fathom what to do in just such an emergency as a nuclear submarine emerging from the depths of the soil into a classroom full of innocent, peace-loving teenagers.

It’s not such an outrageous proposition. A Russian submarine planted that country's flag in the North Pole seabed last year. Who knows where else they could be going?

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