Back in the days when American dads were building fallout shelters in their basements and backyards, I always wondered where we would put our garbage during a thermonuclear war.

I wondered this because one of my chores was to put out the garbage on collection days. Between Mom, Dad and my seven brothers and sisters, our family produced lots of trash. Where would we put it in the tiny room my dad was building in the basement? Wouldn’t the garbagemen be in their own shelters? Chances seemed pretty good that they wouldn’t be picking up our trash on Tuesdays and Fridays for at least a couple of weeks. And nine of us using that tiny little toilet he was installing? How would that work? Sure, millions of people would die hideous and untimely deaths, but what about my privacy? A shower curtain is not going to do it, Dad. I had many deep, profound questions about the shelter for which no one seemed to have any good answers. Why weren’t we stocking any cat food for Buster? Why isn’t Timmy’s dad building one of these? Are they planning to stay in our shelter?

Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@gmail.com.

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