How to Make an Atom Bomb While Your Wife’s Away
The wife’s away, my chance to make dishes she bans because they stink up the kitchen; linguini and clam sauce, salmon, weapons-grade plutonium.
Like the guy in Sweden who built a thermo-nuclear bomb in his kitchen. He was caught when he called authorities to ask if there were any laws against testing an atom bomb in his backyard.
Nobody ever told him the first rule of male do-it-yourself stupidity: It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
I’ve undertaken several large-scale projects when my wife wasn’t around with her carping criticism. As we stand watching the insurance adjuster do his work when she gets back, she says the words every man loves to hear: “Had I been here then, I’d be saying I told you so now.”
I’ve stocked up for mini-Manhattan project surreptitiously. The materials needed to build the bomb right for you are available at your local hardware store. The miracle of the internet—another military spin-off with civilian uses—puts easy-to-follow instructions just a mouse-click away!
I start with Uranium 235 isotope—the twenty pound bag should be enough. The recipe I found on the web varies slightly from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook—hers calls for turmeric, which imparts a custardy yellow color to your mushroom cloud. As a pending member of the nuclear community I don’t want to draw attention to myself, so I stick with the recommendation on the internet.
“Pipe uranium hexafluoride into gas centrifuge, spin on high.” I decided not to buy a centrifuge—a good one can run you $825—until I determined whether I liked hobby bomb-etry enough to stick with it. I rummage through our countertop appliances in the pantry.
There’s the yogurt maker that has served as an impromptu spice rack for a quarter of a century. The panini maker, the rice cooker—nope, I need a real muscle appliance.
Ah, the Cuisinart—perfect! I pick through the detachable blades—slicer, shredder, puree. Where’s the—here it is--centrifugal isotope separator.
I pour in uranium, snap the plastic lid shut and let ‘er rip. Very handy. You can’t buy enriched uranium from Iran because of school-marmish “trading with the enemy” laws, and the stuff that comes out of North Korea is about what you’d expect from a country where you find “deep-fried poodle” on take-out menus.
What would take you hours by hand is done in a minute. Use a plastic spatula to separate U-238 on the outside from lighter, fluffier isotopes in the center—you can use these for cake frosting; Mother-in-Law’s Day is the fourth Sunday in October.
Now, the chain reaction. You’ll need a hundred pounds of TNT to git ‘er done, as the rednecks say. Not comfortable mixing volatile materials? Your local high school chemistry teacher is looking for work due to budget cuts.
No nuclear explosion is complete without a detonator and I’ve selected an ultra-safe, radio-controlled servo mechanism that . . .
Fragment of article found on Upper Volta Glacier, New Zealand.