(From the government pamphlet "If an A-Bomb Falls", 1951.)
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The Secret Lair
It was all the lead in the ink back then!
“And wait untill someone comes to wipe off the dust with a tree branch”… (That’s what they tell to Finnish soldiers in the army) These instructions tend to overlook the fact that if you are that close, you are going to die anyway so it makes no difference what you do.
Also, consider the fact that light (i.e. “The Flash”) will come in your direction faster than anything else. So THAT is the first (and last) thing you’ll see. In the “end” the checklist goes something like this:
1) temporary blindness; check
2) stumbling around blinder than a bat; check
3) get very toasty by heat wave; check
4) die; check
no time to tie handkerchiefs, finding ground depressions or covering up with lead-saturated newspapers.
Well that’s what the air-raid sirens were for, Worf; if you knew something was incoming, you just looked away from what you hoped was the target and covered up. If you were outside the city, you could bet the city was the target, so you were all set! You know, so long as somebody left you a newspaper….
I was watching an interview with Stan Lee, and he was part of a division to worked on “comic” panels with instructional details like this. Humble beginnings.
It all came down to the fact that the public was so terrified of nuclear war (justifiably so) that the government had to tell them SOMETHING, even if it was complete nonsense. My older siblings told me of their “duck and cover” drills in first and second grade, when they were told that, were the bomb to be dropped, they were to kneel down and put their heads between their knees — and, as my brother added, “Kiss your ass goodbye,” though that part wasn’t mentioned in school.
The best way I can sum this up is with a man of wisdom and experience on the 1950s nuclear scare… Lewis Black
Warning: Following link is NSFW!
Back then, all the papers carried … (puts on sunglasses) … hard news.
You know who gets to live through the nuclear holocaust? The homeless. They’re always sleeping under newspapers. Ironic, ain’t it?
@X-stacy: I suppose you should always get friendly with the local blind newsstand owner. There’s one around every street corner isn’t there? At least that’s what comedy TV would have us believe. He won’t care about going blind, you can hide behind him WHILE wrapped up in all the newspaper he has on hand, plus, all the other print material all around you is sure to provide extra protection and not turn into a giant fireball itself, right???? 😉
The bad thing is, the dumb a$$es that launch the nukes are all in under ground bunkers and will live, while all the innocent people will be the ones that die. The newspapers today are not worth the paper that they are printed on any way. You might as well cover yourself with cow $h!t, it would be better then the $h!t they put in the newspapers.
@Mr. Q: My first thought was Kevin Meaney.
I guess newspapers were made out of lead in the 1950’s
Hebert will survive, Hammerknight! Well, probably. Due to the way the winds blow, the relative paucity of targets worth hitting, and the mountains between us and anything that is worth hitting, southwestern Colorado is (or at least was) one of the areas where the government planned to send survivors in the event of nuclear war. Of course, that was back in the 80s, so by now there’s probably a nuke aimed special at us just for that.