Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beer and Atomic Science-

I am a relatively intelligent person. That being said, I am also a bit slow on the uptake. I should have learned a critical lesson by the time I finished high school. I did not. I should have learned that life was made up of a certain percentage of dumb-assed shit. Pardon my French, but that is really the way it must be put, if the full impact of the matter I had missed is to be grasped.

I joined the Army after high school. During the Vietnam War. As I said, I really didn't have a grip on how much dumb-assed shit comprised the world in which I lived. That speaks well for my childhood experiences, by the way. One cannot grow up that naive without a loving and caring support network. Relatively successful American families work hard to create an environment sufficiently insulated so as to grow up children who are at least naive, and if all goes well they are supremely entitled, as well.

Why do I make this point? Because when I entered the Army I joined with the guarantee that I could study Nuclear Weapons Electronics. Why? Because nuclear weapons are not deployed in war zones. I could get my military obligation out of the way in an era of the draft and avoid combat. I could serve my country, and get my G.I. Bill without being maimed or perforated or psychologically damaged. I really thought I was smart.

While playing with the electronics and nuclear weapons, I learned something interesting. Beer and atomic science were related. Yep. Go figure. I liked beer already, but this just put the whole nuclear thing in perspective. And, yes, I was in the presence of genuine nuclear weapons. We did lots of secret stuff, which you can read about on the Internet but I probably shouldn't share.

How does beer relate to nuclear science? I am glad you asked. If you play with nuclear weapons there is some small  risk of exposure to radiation. Radioactive material, whether in the form of a solid, a dust, or a gas. Radiation is bad. If exposed, one of the first things they do is give you a lot of beer. If you are a beer drinker, you will probably see where this is going.

Beer is loaded with 'vitamin P.' It makes you pee. A lot. A sound bit of beer drinking leads to a substantial amount of urination. That is why a lot of the quality establishments in which I consumed mass quantities were equipped with the trough style urinal in the restrooms. Easier to hit. Less collateral damage. You probably get my drift.

So, lots of beer is prescribed to aid the body in eliminating the radioactive contamination. It doesn't hurt that it works well in conjunction with other anesthetics in taking the edge off of the symptoms of radiation sickness. It probably reduces the complaining during the long hours until recovery or death. Mmmmm. Beer.

What happened with me and the whole nuclear thing? I washed out of the program. You see, there is a lot of dumb-assed shit associated with the whole Army nuclear program, and I hadn't developed the requisite skills for managing the combination of shittiness and dumb-assedness. I got sent to supply school. I may have been a wash-out, but I was still enough of an asset not to waste as a bullet-catcher.

I don't know if supply was a good match, but I eventually got enough of a handle on the dumb-assed shit to make my three years into a fairly tolerable experience. A far superior experience to what I deserved. I was sent to Germany to fight the Cold War, and not to Vietnam to do whatever it was we thought we were doing over there.

Talk about dumb-assed shit. At least we actually won the Cold War. Sort of.

I need another beer.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Now my education is complete. If we get nuked, drink beer. Why didn't someone tell me that before?

I enjoyed this. Thank you.