We’re banking on Detroit getting its act together — and it’s not just because things can’t get any worse.
My heart stopped when I saw this….I can’t imagine
Mother and I had not yet begun to speculate seriously about what the radioactive mantelpiece might have done to our health, nor had we been encouraged to do so. Nor would we ever be encouraged to do so. Ulm, the director of civil defense and car-wash tycoon, had been getting advice on our case over the telephone from somebody at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC, to the effect that the most important thing was that nobody panic. In order to prevent panic, the workmen who had torn out our fireplace, wearing protective clothing provided by Ulm, had been sworn to secrecy - in the name of patriotism, of national security.
The cover story, provided by Washington DC, and spread throughout Avondale while Mother and I were staying at the new Holiday Inn, was that our house had been riddled by termites, and that the protective clothing was necessary, since the workmen had killed the insects with cyanide.
So we did not panic. Good citizens don’t.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Deadeye Dick