Life in plastic, it's fantastic II


"Basically, I'm doing what the government says we should do," says Paul West of Winsted, CT. That's right, unlike Chuck Freund, West has wrapped his entire house in plastic.

By the way, Ralph Nader is also from Winsted. Maybe there really is something in the air there.

NEXT: Drug Czar Does Vouchers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Winsted is, how to put this, rather rustic for CT west of the river.

  2. He should have put down an underlayer of tinfoil.

  3. These government advisories on plastic and duct tape are a lot like the safety training on airplanes. Have you ever known someone to survive an airplane problem because they knew about the little oxygen masks’ dropping? Has any passenger ever actually used that dopey little slide?
    I appreciate what the administration and airlines are trying to do: give us a sense that, when we feel out of control, there is something we can do in case of emergency.
    Yes, it will be totally ineffective and no one with sense will waste much time, effort or money on it. But if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.
    (If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad? Shut up, Sheryl!)

  4. I am reminded of the “run, duck and cover” your ass drills myself. Which, for nuclear war preparedness, is about as useful as wrapping your home in plastic.

  5. I remember a “duck and cover” instructional film clip which always gives me a laugh: A boy us riding his bike, and suddlen they’re a flash. Oh no! Nuclear bomb! The boy jumps off his bike and uses it to cover himeself.

  6. My favorite was all the survival tips flying around right before Y2K. I wish I would have bought one of those books – it would have made for some good laughs right about now. If I remember right, we were supposed to fill up our bathtubs and sinks with water. We were supposed to have several generators fired up and ready to go. We were supposed to have about 6 months worth of non-perishable food stashed in the pantry. We were supposed to have our rifles loaded, cocked and ready to rock. We were supposed to have filled up our cars plus several extra tanks with gasoline. It was all very funny.

  7. Interesting you mention Yale, Madog. I worry that major US universities would make juicy targets for the bad guys: they’re vulnerable, poorly secured, and bunched up. An attack would affect thousands of families across the country, be highly publicized, and in one move would decapitate America of hundreds of its current best minds and thousands of its future best minds.

  8. “Duck and Cover” is easy to mock – but the easy dismissal and mocking of this response to very bright flashes on the horizon has no good grounding in fact.

    In a large zone of the area of effect of a nuclear weapon, radiant light energy will burn. Looking away from the blast may save your vision. Getting behind -any- cover may save you from serious burns. One of the classic old pieces of “duck and cover” footage shows people at a picnic pulling their (light colored) picnic blanket over themselves. This gets a good laugh from most audiences.

    One of the commonly seen pictures of a Hiroshima survivor clearly shows the pattern of dark embroidery from the back of her Kimono burned into her back. You understand what happened – and that if she’d had a light colored sheet at hand to quickly pull over herself, the injury may have been reduced or avoided.

    Yep, I’m on my high horse – and yes, it may make no difference at all. But it may also make a serious difference and the fatalistic “it’s funny to try to do anything to preserve yourself” attitude – well, fine for you. I’ll go down fighting, but most importantly, I think it’s sad that realistic preparations and responses to emergency situations are mocked.

  9. Erik – my intention is not to mock legitimate and reasonable measures to be ready for emergencies. But things such as “ducking and covering” under a bicycle, wrapping your entire house in plastic and duct tape, or filling your bathtubs and sinks with water for fear of Y2K, are simply ridiculous. I think the plastic and duct tape is a fine example of a level of paranoia that any terrorist would be darn proud to have been able to incite. I’m sure Osama is smiling somewhere.

    And remember, we’re at “Defcon Orange” or whatever now, so we’re all supposed to stare even harder at anyone who looks to be of Middle Eastern descent.

    I hate to revive a post-9/11 cliche, but it appears to me that the terrorists are winning.

  10. Brad S:

    I’m sure Mr. West didn’t lay in soup and hardtack stocks before Y2K. After all, the government didn’t tell him to. Back then, the government was reassuring everyone that there was nothing to it, so I’m sure he believed what he was told like a good American.

    I just hope the government doesn’t tell Mr. Sheeple (er, West) to start rounding up Jews.

  11. Brad S,

    Sure, most of that was laughable paranoia in 1999. But some of it is a good idea at all times. Y2K-induced power outages, food riots, nuclear meltdowns, etc., may not have been a very good reason, but there are some good reasons to keep stuff like that on hand. The Red Cross has always recommended that you keep a “go-bag” on hand, and more disaster preparedness is always a good idea, IMHO.

  12. A lot of people in CT have been overworried since 9/11. It’s understadable since CT is so close to New York and a lot of people had friends affected by the attacks. What people here seem to forget though that there’s really nothing here that terrorists would want to target, except mabye Yale.

  13. Perhaps we could make the artist Christo the Director of Homeland Security. The entire country could wrapped in orange plastic when there is an orange alert.

    Mmmmm! Ooooranges!

  14. Did someone say foooooood? Hmmmm foooooooddddd.

  15. I wonder if Mr. West sold off some of the excess cans of soup and hard tack that he bought prior to Y2K to help finance the plastic and duct tape. Come to think of it, he may have also leased out that bunker in his backyard as well to provide another source of free cash flow…

  16. Hmm.. I’m pretty sure my bunker will protect me from nuclear bombs, but I’m not safe from the other WMD until I cover it in plastic and duct tape.

    I just wonder what people will do when the government suggests that they install a firewall to protect against “e-warfare”.

  17. I bet he’s a Republican.

  18. Holding your breath for 12-14 hours will work too

  19. “…install a firewall to protect against “e-warfare”.”

    Ooh, ooh, I have a new software product that shreds e-mail messages to government standards; 5/64″ crosscut bytes

  20. This question is to Paul West.Did you wrap your bathtub with plastic too?

  21. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/25/2004 07:14:36
    Those whose paths are not the same do not consult one another.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.