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The Arithmetic Bug

The Arithmetic Bug

aa 114 liceU.S. Air Service Balloon Troops spotting for the Field Artillery were plagued by all manner of vermin and pest. Among them were rats (blacks and browns), fleas, flies, frogs, nits, mites, maggots and the Arithmetic Bug.

The latter was the ubiquitous cootie. And the infestation was universal; in other words, both sides of No-Man’s Land. This hardy pest proved resistant to the most stringent efforts to eradicate it. Indeed, Doughboys consigned themselves to reality and came to accept their little brothers in the trenches. The popular refrain was: “The Arithmetic Bug added to or misery, subtracted from our pleasures, divided our attention and multiplied like hell!”

Source: Page 8, Army Aviation, March-April 1964 issue.