“Did a nuclear bomb just go off?”, gasps our new, and normally very serious, IT guy, as he comes running through the door.
It’s late Thursday afternoon on Easter weekend eve, everyone is relaxed, and I’m just heading out on my way home. I look at him, and can tell something is bothering him. He’s deadly serious.
“What?!”, I say with a rising panic tone. My first thoughts turn to the antics of Kim Jong-il. And then flash past to an even more sickening thought of the new Obama administration and relations with Iran.
I feel a sinking lead knot develop in my stomach, like when you’ve just realised you’ve done an ‘rm -rf /*’ on your company’s source control server and it’s not being backed up.
In the back of my mind, my thoughts are already turning to Plan B.
“Did, like, a nuclear bomb go off in Newmarket?”, he asks again, interrupting my orchestrated survival action plan.
“Every fire engine, police car, and everything else has just raced past work towards Newmarket”.
“Last time that happened a truck near took out the Newmarket bridge”.
“Oh”, I say again. “Probably”. I wish him a good weekend, and head out the door.
I try to analyse my initial reaction on my way home. For a fleeting moment I took the new IT guy seriously. Maybe I’m just gullible. Global politics have entered a relatively quiet phase, with super-powers more concerned about dealing with the recession than who has the bigger arsenal. Right now in Europe, Obama is encouraging eliminating all nuclear weapons. And, frankly North Korea is broke, and there is reasonable grounds to believe their dear leader died several years ago.
Still, the people in charge of the red button are little different from myself and most of the people I know. They’re not super-human, and are likely just as insecure as most people, either that or they’re a megalomaniac. In any event, even today, I don’t think a nuclear strike is completely out of the question.