Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival – Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Nuclear Attack


South Africans have grown complacent insofar as the threat of nuclear attack is concerned. We aren’t even particularly concerned when the Koeberg reactor shuts down because some or other Homer Simpson protégé has dropped a bolt into the cooling stack.

Being prepared for a nuclear disaster is as important as being prepared for other life-threatening events, like tsunamis and marriage.

In July 2006, former Namibian president Sam Nujoma said: “We have uranium in Namibia and we train our own scientists and engineers. If they (external forces) create nonsense, we can make our own atomic bombs.” The fact that Nujoma is a delusional recluse with a Standard Two education makes him all the more dangerous.

Preparing For Total Destruction

In the event of an imminent nuclear attack by Namibia, the people of South Africa will have plenty of time to take evasive action as the Cuban-trained pilot stops off in Lusaka and again in Harare to ask for directions to Pretoria. And our early warning system should kick in once intelligence agencies have verified the threat. Powerful air-raid sirens will be sounded in all the major cities. If you do not live in a major city, look for thousands of frogs heading in one direction. If there are no frogs in your area, then it will probably be a mass exodus of scorpions. Or even sheep and goats. Insects and animals are hypersensitive to the threat of attack, whether real or imagined. They are very similar to Americans in that way.

When you hear the sirens or see the frogs, stop what you are doing (unless you are having sex or drinking) and fetch the emergency nuclear attack survival kit that you keep ready at all times. Perhaps you have never got around to packing your emergency nuclear attack survival kit. What is wrong with you? Do you want to die with your flesh melting from your bones and your eyeballs turning to jelly?

Emergency nuclear attack survival kit for voters

  • Vaseline (rub on body to soak up radiation)
  • Earmuffs (to drown out sound of blast and hysterical wife)
  • Baseball cap (to prevent radiation from falling on head)
  • 50 cans bully beef
  • 100 litres water
  • Sandbox (for ablutions)
  • Heat magazine
  • First aid kit with aspirin, Band-Aid, thermometer
  • Portable radio

Emergency nuclear attack survival kit for members of parliament

  • Full-body airtight reflective safety suit
  • MP3 player
  • Titanium helmet with tinted visor and built-in two-way radio
  • Seafood selection (sushi, oysters, crayfish, caviar)
  • 100 litres Kristal champagne
  • Freestanding designer portaloo with heated seat
  • Leadership magazine
  • Personal paramedic with morphine, pethidine, cocaine
  • Plasma screen television

Ten minutes after the sirens have sounded or the frogs, scorpions, sheep and goats have disappeared, your council will begin its emergency evacuation procedures. You are not obliged to listen to them. After all, they never listen to you.

If you plan on staying, fetch your survival kit and your favourite members of the family and find somewhere to hide. Most South Africans have Wendy houses and tool sheds instead of bomb shelters in their back yards. This is an oversight that will ultimately claim millions of lives.

If you don’t have a basement, break into empty houses in your street until you find one. Make yourself comfortable. You could be there for anywhere between three days and 10 years. It all depends on how close you are to what New Yorkers call ground zero. Unless the bomb falls directly on top of the house in which you are sheltering, you stand a very good chance of surviving the blast.

The Attack

You will know when the bomb has dropped. Do not worry that you might mistake it for a car backfiring in the street. It will be considerably louder than that. Once you have heard the blast, resist the temptation to rush outside and see what happened to the nosy neighbours and their bastard dog that never stops barking. You need to wait a while for the radiation to blow away. If you get bored waiting for the wind to pick up, read your copy of Heat. Whatever you do, don’t have unprotected sex. This is not a good time for a woman to conceive. Unless, of course, you can afford to have another three mouths to feed. And you don’t mind if they are all attached to the same baby.

Keep your radio or television set on. News stations will let you know when it is safe to emerge from your basement. Watch or listen to independently owned stations only. Information disseminated by the government is unreliable at the best of times. Don’t leave the safety of your shelter even if you do get the all clear from the health department. The chances are extremely high that two minutes after you stick your head out into an impenetrable radioactive cloud, the ministry’s spokesman will issue a retraction, a denial and a warning that legal action will be taken against anyone who claims to have acted on any advice that the department never provided.

If the bomb drops before you can reach an underground shelter, avert your eyes or quickly put on a pair of good Polaroid sunglasses. The flash is very bright and could easily damage your eyes. The flash is also very hot and can leave you with a nasty burn if you’re not careful. If this does happen, put a little butter on it right away.

The detonation of a 300-kiloton nuclear bomb would release about 300 trillion calories within about a millionth of a second. If you make a habit of watching calories, you should be able to see these babies coming from a mile off. But even so, you are going to have to move quickly. Get behind a wall or down on the floor and make yourself as small as possible. You really can’t afford to pile on more calories.

The energy of the blast will also create a giant fireball. This wouldn’t be so bad if the bomb had to drop on Cape Town in winter, but if you lived in Durban and it was mid-summer, the additional heat would be unbearable. Waves of thermal energy will ignite fires across the city and suburbs. If you have been trying to light a braai in the wind, you will probably welcome the extra help. Very hot high-speed winds will also spring up, so postpone the paragliding or kite surfing if there is any chance of your city coming under nuclear attack that day. If you have any old furniture that you have been meaning to strip down, leave it outside on the veranda or in the garden. The blast wave will remove the paint nicely.

Once the blast wave has passed, have a quick shower to wash off some of the radiation and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea. But be quick about it because the rising fireball will create a suction effect and a lot of stuff will start heading back towards ground zero. If you see cars, trees, cats and dogs flying past your window, hold on tight to something that is fixed firmly to the floor. Wait until the winds die down before letting go.

There will be a lot of dust and other stuff in the air, so if you suffer from hay fever, now would be a good time to take an antihistamine. The streets will be quite warm from all that hot air passing over them, so put on a sturdy pair of shoes before venturing out. When you see what the neighbourhood looks like, don’t panic. Keep telling yourself that at least the neighbours and their unspeakable dog are gone.

How To Build A Bomb

If you wish to launch a nuclear attack of your own, you will need to build your own bomb. Forget about getting a second-hand one from Iran. People from that region are notorious for their reluctance to share things. And the Namibians are still trying to find somewhere cool enough to store the one they haven’t started building.

If I told you how to build an H-bomb, the authorities would probably want a word in private with me. Since I don’t want any trouble, I am reproducing this recipe lifted from The Journal of Irreproducible Results, Volume 25/Number 4/1979. PO Box 234 Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411. So if anyone has any problems, you have the address.

    1. First, obtain about 110kg of weapons grade Plutonium at your local supplier. A nuclear power plant is not recommended, as large quantities of missing Plutonium tend to make plant engineers unhappy. We suggest that you contact your local terrorist organisation.
    2. Please remember that Plutonium, especially pure, refined Plutonium, is somewhat dangerous. Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling the material, and don’t allow your children or pets to play in it or eat it. Any left over Plutonium dust is excellent as an insect repellent. You may wish to keep the substance in a lead box if you can find one in your local junkyard, but an old coffee will do nicely.
    3. Fashion together a metal enclosure to house the device. Most common varieties of sheet metal can be bent to disguise this enclosure as, for example, a briefcase, a lunch pail or a Buick. Do not use tin foil.
    4. Arrange the Plutonium into two hemispheric shapes, separated by about 4cm. Use rubber cement to hold the Plutonium dust together.
    5. Now get about 220kg of trinitrotoluene (TNT). Gelignite is much better, but messier to work with. Your helpful hardware man will be happy to provide you with this item.
    6. Pack the TNT around the hemispheric arrangement constructed in step 4. If you cannot find Gelignite, feel free to use TNT packed in with Playdo or any modelling clay. Coloured clay is acceptable, but there is no need to get fancy at this point.
    7. Enclose the structure from step 6 into the enclosure made in step 3. Use a strong glue such as “Crazy Glue” to bind the hemispheric arrangement against the enclosure to prevent accidental detonation that might result from vibration or mishandling.
    8. To detonate the device, obtain a radio controlled (RC) servo mechanism, as found in RC model airplanes and cars. With a modicum of effort, a remote plunger can be made that will strike a detonator cap to effect a small explosion. These detonator caps can be found in the electrical supply section of your local supermarket. We recommend the “Blast-O-Matic” brand because they are no deposit/no return.
    9. Now hide the completed device from the neighbours and children. The garage is not recommended because of high humidity and the extreme range of temperatures experienced there. Nuclear devices have been known to spontaneously detonate in these unstable conditions. The hall closet or under the kitchen sink will be perfectly suitable.
    10. Now you are the proud owner of a working thermonuclear device! It is a great icebreaker at parties, and in a pinch, can be used for national defence.

And that’s it. Easy as pie. Funny, though, how a simple act of plagiarism could quite possibly lead to the destruction of an entire city. If anyone does take the time to build an atomic bomb, could I ask you to please not drop it on Cape Town? Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Ben Trovato’s Art of Survival – Chapter 17

  1. As usual … out of the box and good fun. One question ….. are you thinking of coming back to Cape Town? If so, give us fair warning 🙂


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