Thursday, March 17, 2011

What To Do In A Nuclear Holocaust

What happens in a nuclear holocaust? Nothing pretty. Face-melted cannibal mutants will eat you and everyone you love.

Okay, something pretty. And it turns out that my memory of what happens at 1:12 in the trailer is a lot clearer than the actual plot of Empire of the Ash III. (I was 22. The defence rests.) Apparently it was a "virus" that made all the cannibal-people's face melt, and in an off-the-record deep background interview, eminent scientitians have informed this reporter that "viruses" are not the same thing as "radiation." But they are related, and radiation viruses from Fukushima will be blanketting Vancouver tomorrow by 3.

So you're thinking of escaping? Some possibilities can be ruled right out. For example, the viruses will act quickly to release trillions of tons of radioactive cobalt into the atmosphere, which will get to Australia as soon as the winds shift or something. (Fred Astair was in that movie? Fred Astaire? Did he do the "Slowly Dying of Radiation Sickness Waltz?")

No, and here I have the advantage of being a really old nerd, because in a series of highly controlled exercises, I had occasion in the early 1980s to test likely post-nuclear scenarios with a simulation study produced by Yaquinto Games.

Yes, beer and pretzels were involved
I can therefore report that by the time the catastophe goes to completion, all that will be left will be mutants (some more radioactive than others), a football team including the quarterback, a beautiful scientist and her scientist dad --And this is the most important part-- a transdimensional portal-device that will transport all the survivors to a nice, virginal dimension somewhere. (Human survivors: the original test scenario was developed in the 1950s, when radioactive face-melted cannibalistic mutants had to sit at the back of the bus and couldn't get into the nice dimensions because it would ruin property values.)

As may be statistically deduced from the parameters of the scenario (it's all stochastic: chi equals the standard deviation,and there's a big fat tail risk), the portal device breaks down, and it's a race against time while scientist-dad tries to readjust the amplidyne's commutator brushes to excite the distributor and fire the swashplate engine that drives the cams and the mutants attack the Nerd Sciences Building. They manage to kill all the extras, but are distracted by their attempts to abduct the beautiful scientist-daughter, resulting in the daughter and the handsome quarterback escaping to the alternate dimension.

So let's think about how that goes for a moment:
BSD: "How come we never talk anymore!"
HQ: "That reminds me of the big game against Central!" [Woah. Springsteen yaoi.]
BSD: "Oh. That's why."
HQ: "I'm going out to have a beer with the trees. Don't wait up."

Why are they doing this? On the one hand, this is clearly an emergency. Alternate dimension trees are going to have their night out ruined by some drunken frat boy talking about glory days! But there's got to be more to it. A close examination of the scenario suggests that the mutants' real main objective is to grab the beautiful scientist daughter and carry her off frequently and often. The scenario says that she always gets rescued, so it must be something that happens along the way. Some lucky mutant will get her cell number!

Sure, there are probably more straightforward ways of going about this, but what if the mutants are pathologically shy? They're certainly lacking basic social skills, what with the cannibalism and all.

Oh, come on, don't be so judgmental! Half the human race wouldn't be here if it weren't for the inhibition relaxing powers of alcohol. So what if you're too chronically tired for alcohol to work anymore?

Radiation. If there's one thing about nuclear holocausts that I do know for sure, it's that they lead to parties. Sure, there's a down side to being fatally irradiated, but also that upside.

So if you're in Vancouver tomorrow afternoon, look me up. I'll be the one in the lampshade.

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