When I was in school we had fire drills and tornado drills. But the days of bomb drills were over. I have never ceased to be amused by the idea that having children crawl under their school desks would somehow protect them from the dreaded atomic bomb. Fire bombs? Maybe. Napalm? Perhaps. But not atomic bombs.
Here's how Sharon Doubiago describes her elementary school bomb drills in My Father's Love: Portrait Of The Poet As A Young Girl :
We had to learn to distinguish between the sirens to know the correct thing to do. The Bomb siren would go off and instead of lining up and filing out of the building to the sand dunes we had to jump out of our desks, throw our right arm up across the back of our neck to shield our selves -- the neck is where the Bomb's radiation will penetrate -- while maneuvering with the left to get under the desk. Being exactly between Los Angeles and Long Beach, being a neighbor of Douglas Aircraft and right on the Los Angeles River, at the very heart of the Basin, Hollydale School was a prime target.
When I worked at the nursing home, we had a book with instructions to follow in case of an emergency. The instructions for nuclear warfare were hilarious:
Stay inside. Do not open any windows or doors.
Yeah, a lot of fucking good that would have done.
Close the door! Here it comes!
Infinities of love,