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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Duck, cover and don’t forget your survival card

By Paul Turner The Spokesman-Review

As regular readers of the Tuesday Today section know, there are health concerns and then there are health concerns.

Back during the height of the Cold War, members of certain B-52 crews were given pocket-size info cards addressing “Survival in Fallout Areas.”

I came across one not long ago. And as Spokane used to host B-52s and we still have an Air Force survival school, I thought I’d share.

These handy little fold-up guides were intended for use if and when a nuclear war had commenced and your airplane had been shot down over what was known then as the Soviet Union — presumably after dropping an H-bomb. Any way you look at it, we’re talking about a really bad day.

The card includes graphic guides to “Soviet Contamination Markings,” “Soviet Radioactivity Level Markings,” and “Russian Alphabet Equivalents.”

But the truly surreal stuff is the small-type text dealing with basic survival tips. Here are a few snippets, with The Slice’s comments added.

“1st to 6th Days: Dig in 3 feet. Rest. Maintain complete isolation.” (Yes, any surviving Russians might be a little ticked off.)

“During all periods of exposure, wear cap, scarf and gloves to prevent fallout from reaching the skin.” (No sunscreen?)

“WATER: Springs, wells best sources. Snow 6 inches below surface safe. Lakes, pools unsafe.” (So I guess sushi is out.)

“FOOD: …Skin and gut animals. Avoid meat near the bones or joints.” (Those critters might actually be OK with being dead.)

“Don’t worry if you get sick. Even a little bit of radiation can cause this. You will recover.” (Sure.)

“Avoid blast or heat-damage areas.” (Peace talks apparently having failed.)

Slice answers: Pattie Felland refers to her pet as “the Demon Kitty, 17 pounds of mean.”

He’s loyal and loving to her — especially when she’s having health struggles. But everyone else had just better watch out.

Wendy Marshall calls her cat “Charlie Girl.” Others feel that “Devil Cat” is more apt.

Pat O’Doherty’s daughter-in-law, Sam, has a cat named O’Malley. This pet loves Sam. Everybody else on the planet? Not so much.

“He is the meanest cat,” said O’Doherty.

They probably meant “gone”: Marilyn Othmer saw a notice in a little community newspaper saying that an Oktoberfest dinner would run from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., “or until the food is good.”

Today’s Slice question: How do you feel about gas-powered leaf blowers?

Wordcount: 386
Tags: The Slice

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