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» Thursday, January 22, 2009Shivery
Decided to avail myself of some music from my cassette collection this afternoon. I chose volume one of "Television's Greatest Hits." I don't know how many volumes this series went into, but I have seven of them, a collection of TV theme songs. The opening group is from children's television shows, and the sequence ends with "a test of the emergency broadcast system" (voiced by Don Pardo) and then the infamous "Duck and Cover" song that in the video is accompanied by the cute cartoon of Bert the turtle, retreating into his shell to protect himself from nuclear attack.
"Duck and Cover" was a part of the everyday life in the 1960s. Despite the attacks in 2001 and the different color-coded levels of emergency and inspections at airports and the Department of Homeland Security, kids today are not regularly made to hide under their desks due to the threat of nuclear attack. (Well, we hid under our desks until some perceptive soul realized that the fourth wall in every classroom was glass windows; if the nuclear blast didn't kill us, the flying shards of glass probably would have.) Instead, from about third or fourth grade on we had to hurry into the hallway, face the wall, squat, and put our arms over our head. This happened once a month (more around the time of the Cuban missile crisis). We just lived with it. It was part of our life.
Now I listen to that song and get the cold creeps when they say "When you see the flash, you know what to do." Yeah. Duck and cover. Of course if you can see the flash, you're probably dead already. Brrrrr...