Friday, July 19, 1996

What to do in case of atomic attack



Notice the small glass case on the wall to your right. See the little metal hammer dangling from the chain on the left side of the case. Remove the hammer from its niche and strike the glass case, shattering it. But DO NOT use the hammer unless you are absolutely sure that atomic war has begun.

Here are some checkpoints which will allow you confirm that your neighborhood or city or rural delivery area has indeed been attacked by one or more thermonuclear devices:

YES or NO (Check the Appropriate Box)

1) Your retinae are broiled off by the blinding flash of the atomic fireball.

2) Your flesh is seared down to the bone by a blast of superheated air, and your bones are reduced to a fine powder, or

3) You're completely vaporized, or

4) Those parts of your body exposed to the blast are reduced to blackened, bubbling, carbon cake.

5) If, by some freakish circumstance, you survive, you are infested with an ungodly array of cancers which will shorten your life and make it a living hell.

6) Your balls or ovaries, depending upon your gender, are so micro-waved by radiation that, if you are not completely sterilized, you will conceive six-fingered two-headed monsters, most of them stillborn. Those babies who live wish they hadn't.

7) Life as you knew it before the blast has ceased to exist.

8) There are no more songbirds in your part of the country for the following 4 decades. When birds do return to the blast area you used to call home, they are buzzards and vultures.

9) The infrastructure of your community is no longer worthy of the name, to put it mildly. For example, you have an even longer wait than usual when you dial 911 with your telephone, which is a puddle of molten plastic. And you no longer need to pull off to the side of the road for ambulances and fire engines, because there aren't any, though there is plenty of need for them.

10) Your life, if you still have one, is hell on earth.

There are many more indicators that your community may have been successfully targeted by nuclear warheads. For example, the day after your town takes a direct hit from a ten megaton device, there are no more crossing guards posted at the crosswalks in front of the elementary schools, because the elementary scholars and their crossing guards are toast.

If you have checked "yes" to eight or more of the aforementioned indicators of nuclear war, you may take the small metal hammer from its niche and smash the glass case on the wall to your right. Inside the smashed glass case you will find a scroll tied with a purple ribbon marked with the international symbol for radioactive material.

Remove the purple ribbon. Unscroll the scroll. It will read as follows:

Dear Asshole,

You have just allowed yourself to get your behind parbroiled by a nuclear device. The rest of your life will be spent in a state of intolerable suffering. Everyone and everything you know and love looks like the aftermath of a weenie roast. Your organs are probably metastizing as you read this.

Knowing that the possibility of nuclear war existed, why did you stay on earth instead of fleeing to a safer planet? Somebody must have hit you double hard with a stupid stick. Oh well, the damage is already done. There's no use crying over spilt precious bodily fluids such as those which are undoubtedly bubbling out of that fried pork rind you laughingly call your "skin."

We of the Civil Defense Department long ago recognized that atomic war is a hopeless proposition, and that no one will suffer more unspeakably than those unlucky enough to survive past the first day. That is why we have laced the scroll you are holding with trace amounts of plutonium which you sucked into your lungs as soon as you shattered the little glass case with the cute little hammer.

The plutonium in your lungs will kill you in a matter of hours, if not minutes. So you can relax. You will not have to mourn your loved ones, your home, and your nation, for long. You will not have to give birth to monstruously mutated babies. You will not have to endure decades of radioactivity induced tumors. All you will have to do is blow blood bubbles and die.