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By O. Tyrone Shulaise

LOS ANGELES, 5 AUGUST 2010Editor's Note: In his series of comic essays, The Imagined Dénouement, Mr. Shulaise selects a book he has not read and based solely on the appearance of its cover presupposes what the final page would (or more accurately, should) be.


and virulent, which will have the added benefit of greatly reducing the population of any flesh-eating zombies.


The survivors of an atomic disaster will have to tap into the same pioneer spirit that made the USA the greatest and most advanced civilization in the history of the world. Will you, your wife and your children face hardships? The plain answer is "yes." But stop for a minute and think of the benefits a nuclear disaster will bring.

What will you see as you exit your disaster shelter? A world nearly wiped clean of the myriad of problems that burdened it before! The industries that employed unsavory workers will be idle. The insects that made your family picnics difficult to enjoy will be gone. The modern influences that threatened your children – everything from the popular "music" on the radio to the unwelcome philosophies of the new breed of public school teachers – will be silenced!

And just who will you meet in this newly-washed world? People like you! Those who shared the same forethought, the same vital urge to plan ahead, the same valiant fortitude you showed. People who think like you, look like you, speak the same language and share the same values as you. Gone will be the cacophony of gobbledy-gook languages and the crazy-quilt of foreign ideas expressed by those who spoke them!

You and your fellow survivors will share so much in common that the goal to rebuild, renew and re-arm the new USA will be quickly and easily achieved. You will march shoulder to shoulder bravely into the future, secure in the knowledge that atomic disaster can be survived. And, as with anything, practice makes perfect. Having survived the first attack, you will be all the better prepared for the inevitable future ones.

God bless you, brave pioneer! And God bless the USA!

How To Survive an Atomic Bomb
By Richard Gerstell

Bantam Books, 1950

At the time of this article’s publication, several vintage copies, ranging in price from $20 - $50, were available at

O. Tyrone Shulaise is a writer and phrenologist based in Norwich, Vermont.

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