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Bigger and Better Bombs

July 27, 2015

The next Sleeper Ave. story is another lighthearted account of living with the nuclear terror of the Cold War.

It wasn’t enough that the two emergent world powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, had enough firepower to kill millions of each other’s citizens; we each needed to keep building bigger and deadlier bombs until we had enough to completely destroy civilization.

The sense of impending doom deepened with each new test. The megatonnage grew and grew, and the amount of damage each bomb could inflict increased in turn, expressed in diagrams with concentric circles indicating the range of destruction. In the inner circle, everything would be totally obliterated. In the next circle, everyone would be killed instantly; in the next, those who didn’t die immediately would shortly die of radiation poisoning. In the next, some would succumb to radiation and some would survive. Outside that last ring the lucky(?) survivors would be faced with living in a devastated world. Which circle would Waco be in when the Russkies dropped the big one?

The possibility of nuclear annihilation was always there in the background, a dull fear that never completely went away. And that was when we had only the little old A-bomb to worry about.

Then I heard about the Hydrogen bomb.

Tune in on Wednesday for that charming tale.