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When I was reading the Clifford books to my children, I had the same thought. I don't know if they did, perhaps because we didn't have a dog.

"Alas, Babylon" --I read that in high school, actually read it over and over. A few years ago I found an anniversary edition, and re-read it. Still impressive, and so much was familiar! I didn't know there was a television play of it (1960, I was 10).

Dave from Phila

When I was 11 and did the duck-and-cover under the desk in case of a nuclear attack, I argued vehemently with my teacher that I should be allowed to go to the roof of the school so I could see the explosion before we were all vaporized. (I lived outside of Philadelphia close to a Naval Air Base. I figured in the even of a nuclear war - it was only a matter of time.) I recall the teacher having the look of "Yea, I know your are right ... just get under the damn desk!" My parents got a note telling them to get me to obey instructions better.

Mary in Ohio

I was way older than your kids when "War Games" came out - and it is still one of my all-time favorites. With my all-time-go-to-favorite movie quote, when (the character of ) Dabney Coleman says to Barry Corbin's General "...you pig-eyed sack of..."exactly what you are talking about. And believe me, I had already met several of those before then but just didn't have the right term!

Mike Peterson

I'll admit I'm not sure "Alas, Babylon" is the one that included the father of the family with the fallout shelter being forced to hold off his friends and neighbors at gunpoint as they locked down, but I do remember discussing that with my father: That you didn't really want to be the ones who survived.

I was 10 when "Alas, Babylon" aired, and it seems like a young age to have that conversation, but my dad was an honest guy and would not have lied to me on a point of honor and morality, no matter what age at which I broached the topic.

Whatever specific program sparked that specific conversation, it was one worth having, and it's the sort of moral pragmatism, or pragmatic morality, that my father instilled in us. He had little use for ivory towers, and firmly believed that doing the right thing was not only "right" but objectively sensible.

However silly and futile crouching on the floor was, at least it sparked some good conversations.

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