This past Monday morning, on the anniversary of September 11th, a 5th-grade classroom at H.B. Mattlin Middle School in Long Island was presented with a bizarre, if not inappropriate, and certainly difficult, assignment. Their health teacher handed them a printout that explained they were 20 minutes away from a nuclear blast and had to choose six individuals from a list of ten to bring into their bomb shelter.
Those individuals were:
1.) A 16-year-old pregnant girl
2.) A police officer with multiple charges of brutality pending against him, he has his gun
3.) A 38-year-old retired prostitute
4.) A 75-year-old priest
5.) A 35-year-old sterile female doctor
6.) & 7.) A husband and wife. They refuse to be separated. He is a lawyer. She is an alcoholic.
8.) A 31-year-old homosexual architect
9.) A 50-year-old musician, previously addicted to cocaine
10.) A 28-year-old drifter with no apparent skills
“Our school, and our District as a whole, do not approve nor support assignments that are age-inappropriate, out of alignment with the curriculum, and fall outside of New York State standards,” Principal Dr. Joseph Coladonato said in a statement given to ABC 7 News. Fair and probably good judgment—something the middle school health teacher, who has subsequently been removed from the classroom, did not wield.
A little Googling revealed that versions of this assignment are available on a number of lesson-planning websites. “Looking for a way to make the Cold War time period realistic for your students? Then try this Bomb Shelter Game,” the description of the downloadable printout for one “Bomb Shelter Fun Activity” reads. Racially outdated and insensitive language in that particular document makes me assume (and hope?) it’s from the Cold War era. The Eisenhower Foundation also has a handbook of different rationing logic games for school children that was created in 2017.
All of that being said, while this surely is an inappropriate assignment for students who are probably just going to health class wondering why they’re growing hair in weird parts of their bodies, I, as a 33-year-old woman, will gladly partake. So here is my conclusion as to who would be best suited to bring into my bomb shelter and subsequently restart civilization.
Let’s start with the obvious “no’s.” The offending police officer with a gun is the last person I want to be in close quarters with. He can go shoot the mushroom cloud outside. Unfortunately, the 75-year-old priest also does not bring much to the table. What is he going to do? Get raptured and leave us all behind immediately? While I am inexplicably partial to the co-dependent lawyer husband and alcoholic wife, I have to imagine that a lot of bickering goes on between the two of them and they will always be threatening to break up, which feels like it would get annoying fast.
The obvious “yes’s” for me is the 38-year-old retired prostitute. Thirty-eight and already retired? Sounds like she (OR HE!!!) has great business acumen and social savvy—both great skills to have in these dire circumstances. The next obvious yes is the “31-year-old homosexual architect.” I imagine this will be helpful when we have to build shelters in the new world and they might be able to design a nice deck to sit on and admire all the wreckage the bomb left behind. And then having a doctor around, regardless of their ability to reproduce, is essential. Honestly, happy that the doctor can kick back and fuck without abandon, and won’t worry about getting pregnant after all the hard work she’s going to put into treating our ailments.
That leaves room for three but there are three and a half people remaining (if I’m going to consider the unborn baby of the pregnant teen a half-person, which in this scenario, I am.) I think the assignment is betting on the fact that we are going to dismiss the 28-year-old drifter, but they would be wrong! Your late twenties are for aimlessly wandering around and fucking up a little bit. And who is to say that the 35-year-old doctor wasn’t once a 28-year-old drifter!? Also, I feel like those two can have fun having sex without worrying about bringing a baby into this new hellscape.
If the pregnant teen counts as two people then I will choose her over the 50-year-old sober musician. That is only because I imagine having a Gen-X’er who used to do a lot of cocaine means we’re going to be listening to a lot of techno jungle music from the 90s. That might cause some of the few people we’re hunkering down with to off themselves and we can’t have that. But if the pregnant teen only counts as one person, then I’ll gladly let the 50-year-old sober musician jam with us.
Alright, dear readers, I would love to hear who you’re bringing into the bunker.