Game

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Game

Postby SAC Killer on Thu May 24, 2007 1:21 am

The 31 July 1965 issue of The New Yorker featured a short story entitled "Game" by Donald Barthelme.

This was a story of two MCCMs who had not been relieved, and had been underground for 133 days. The MCCC was named Shotwell, and the DMCCC told the story.

I read this story as a teenager, and it stuck in my brain. Little did I know that (1) I would end up an MCCM myself, and (2) to my astonishment, a guy in 490SMS was named Shotwell. At the time I never told him or anyone else about this story.

Those of us who stood alert know that it was never ever like the alert in Game. And the Shotwell I knew was a pretty sane guy. None of us were as crazy as the two in Game, unless it was me.

Nevertheless, I have never read another piece of writing that so elegantly captured the surreal nature of Global Thermonuclear Alert.

Here is a link to a pdf version of Game.

http://williamstallings.com/SS/Humor/Game.pdf

Note to the moderators: I have researched the copyright status of this story, and it is now in the public domain. Pay no attention to the disclaimer at the bottom of the pdf. The copyright was held by The New Yorker, not Barthelme nor the estate, and it was not renewed.
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Postby SAC Killer on Thu May 24, 2007 4:26 pm

How do the current 3 day alerts work? Because before coded switch, the alerts were either 36 or 40 hours, depending on wing. 341SMW did 40 hour alerts. Pre-dep in late morning. Drive to site. Go under for evening shift. Up to sleep in the mid-watch. Then down for daytime. Up to (try) to sleep on the evening. Underground for the mid shift, up around dawn and back to base. Exact changeover times varied depending on distance from base and vehicle routing to sites.

Before coded switch, sleeping downstairs was a no-no (2 man policy violation).
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