The Thing About Bunkers

characters Heather and Burt Gummer,
driven up onto the roof of their bomb shelter
– from the 1990 film, Tremors (Universal Pictures)

Food for five years, a thousand gallons of gas, air filtration, water filtration, Geiger counter, bomb shelter! Underground… Goddamn monsters.

—Burt Gummer, from the 1990 movie, Tremors – lamenting the loss of his desert fortress, due to something he wasn’t prepared for and never could have possibly foreseen


The thing about bunkers
and hunkering down
Is they’re not supposed to be
a permanent solution
You can store up food and weapons,
safely underground
But what if it’s many
thousands of years of toxic pollution?

If nothing is left to come back to,
if you can never go outside
If the world is never livable again,
somewhere down the line
A few years in, most folks will
start committing suicide
Rather than live in a subterranean box,
after society’s decline

In a total climate collapse,
everything would come undone
It’s not like one nuclear bomb drop,
in a single place on the map
The whole of Earth, uninhabitable,
you’d never again see the sun
Any psychologist will agree,
without sunlight, people snap

A few years after a nuke,
the radiation may die down and then
People might come back up top,
from the way-down-there
That’s if there’s any kind of habitat
for plants, critters and men
But what if it’s still too hot
and you still can’t breathe the air?

There are snazzy bomb shelters,
well-thought-out, for sure
Decades worth of water, food, meds
and every type of supply
And lots of entertainment to help you
psychologically endure
But ultimately, you face the hard question;
you need a reason why

If there’s never a return to safety,
an opportunity to re-emerge
Then, no matter how well
you think you’re equipped
If nothing grows up top,
if heat and humidity constantly surge
The very best bunker in the world
is just an expensive crypt


©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell

From the black book of horrifying, awful, terrible things that will keep you up late at night and drive you to drink, Out On The Killing Floor


WARNING!!! Take only as prescribed. Keep out of reach from children, pets, pregnant women and anyone who still has any hope for the future. May cause sleeplessness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or visions of impending doom. Some readers may experience weight… not weight gain, just the heavy weight of existential dread. User assumes all risk and releases the author from any and all legal liability. This book is not approved by the FDA or anyone else who enjoys being happy. May be illegal in your area.


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