June 5, 1998
I'm tired of feeling left out. I want my own
Everyone else seems to have one. All the crazy
former Soviet states have them. France feels
obliged to blow a defenseless South Seas island to
smithereens every couple of years just for the heck
And now India and Pakistan feel no one will take
them seriously unless they set off more A-bombs
than you can shake a stick at.
Not that it's a good idea to shake a stick at
anyone with an A-bomb.
So I've decided that I've got to have one too if
anyone is ever going to take me seriously.
After all, it must be awfully important to have
nuclear weapons. Why else would places with no
clean water, massive illiteracy and crushing
poverty spend billions of dollars to build them?
It must be more important than controlling
outbreaks of the plague, which still flares up in
India from time to time. There are few places on
earth where your mother can send a note to the
teacher that says: "Excuse Jimmy's absence from
school last week. He had the plague."
So you spend a billion dollars making an atom
bomb. You wheel it out into the desert - or at
least the suburbs - where no one will get hurt.
Then you set it off just to see if it works.
If it does work, you don't have it any more. If
it doesn't work, you've thrown away your billion
dollars that might have been otherwise wasted on
food or medicine.
I'm sure I'll be told I'm missing the big
picture. India and Pakistan are letting off nukes
like kids on Victoria Day for a very good reason.
They claim it will make the other respect them
more as neighbours.
And that's exactly why I need one. I don't get
enough respect from my neighbours.
They don't bundle their newspapers properly and
I always find them blowing around my backyard and
stuck in the rosebushes.
Sometimes I'll come home and find they've parked
their car in front of my driveway.
Even their cat doesn't respect me. It's had
more dates than Marilyn Chambers and conducts them
in my garden shed.
If an atomic test gets you respect, then that's
what I need.
So I went down to the library and got Martha
Stewart's guide to household projects and looked up
thermonuclear devices in the index.
I never knew you could make an A-bomb out of a
toilet paper tube, cranberries, and just two pounds
of weapons grade plutonium.
Plus it makes a festive centerpiece for the
The only hard part was scraping all the glow in
the dark stuff off the faces of about a thousand
So I'm dropping the big one to show my
neighbours they'd better stop messing with me. A
few bald cats and mutant vegetable gardens ought to
get the message across.
My first backyard test detonation is scheduled
for the end of next week.
Just a word of warning. If you come by and see
a "Gone Fission" sign on the front door, cover your
Like India and Pakistan, I'll be out back
teaching the neighbours the meaning of the word