How to Survive a Nuclear War

No, a nuclear war is not looming. But this is hypothetical. Run with me on it.

Perhaps you, like me, are wondering what the world is coming to. Perhaps you, like me, woke up in the morning and, instead of getting up and doing something productive, you hid under your covers from the world.

PHOTO COURTESY Flickr | Street art by Banksy reminds us to hope, even in times that might seem bleak.
PHOTO COURTESY Flickr | Street art by Banksy reminds us to hope, even in times that might seem bleak.

Well, I’m going to take a cue from the Cold War-era school drill protocol for surviving a nuclear blast.

Do you know what they did?

They hid under their desks, that’s what. And if that is good enough to survive a nuclear blast, I say it is good enough for the rest of us. In fact, I’m writing this from under my desk right now.

But really, I think the schools had something right. They would hide under their desks and pass out snacks to keep all of the kids calm. Years from now, little Johnny may never look at a cup of fruit (with light syrup) in the same way after connecting it with a nuclear blast. But in the meantime, it’s a fantastic idea.

A little sugar on the tongue. Something that tastes good. Something distracting.

In fact, this is such a great idea, I think schools everywhere should instate it. For the drills, students can take a break from learning about the only things that matter — abstinence, intelligent design as an alternative to evolution, reading skills and mathematics (Because it’s important, apparently. The only things in life that are valuable must be both material and quantifiable) — and can sit under their desks and eat cups of fruit.

Although I’m not so sure cups of fruit are the best for distraction. Maybe adults can use something stronger while hiding under their desks. People in lucky states can light something up. Those of us living on a dry campus can take inconspicuous sips from brown bags.

But while you’re hiding under your desk, it’s important to remember a few things.

First, we all live in this country together. And we need to learn how to listen to each other. Go hug a Republican. Hug a Democrat. Hell, blow a kiss to the Libertarians and members of the Green Party. I know it’s hard, but just do it.

Second, recall the words of a certain voice (female, as it so happens), a somebody called Emily Dickinson, who, though long dead, speaks into our day:

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers — That perches in the soul — And sings the tune without the words — And never stops — At all.”

And even though I’d sometimes like to stay in bed and write or play sad songs or sleep the day away, the fish in my aquarium need me. And the people in your life need you. So remember — there is always hope.

Leave a Reply