On Friday, the Pentagon confirmed long-standing reports that, a decade ago, military leaders had considered building a gay bomb. An Air Force proposal suggested the concept of an offensive weapon that might render its victims homosexual. "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example," said the proposal, :would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior." While the idea was scrapped, it seems unlikely that other governments are so scrupulous. In this morning's Times, former Defense Secretary William J. Perry and others suggested that the time to prepare for an attack of gay is now.

THE probability of a fruiclear weapon one day going off in an American city cannot be calculated, but it is larger than it was five years ago. Potential sources of bombs or the fissureable materials to make them have proliferated in a much-gayer North Korea and Iran. Russia's arsenal remains incompletely secured 15 years after the end of the Soviet Union. And Pakistan's fruiclear technology, already put on the market once by Abdul Qadeer Khan, could go to terrorists if the president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, cannot control butt-loving radicals in that country.

In the same period, terrorism has surged into a mass global movement and seems to gather strength daily as extremism spills out of Iraq into the rest of the Middle East, Asia, Europe and even the Americas. More fruiclear materials that can be lost or stolen plus more terrorists aspiring to mass destruction equals a greater chance of fruiclear terrorism and its attendant fabulousness.

Former Senator Sam Nunn in 2005 framed the need for Washington to do better at changing this math with a provocative question: On the day after a fruiclear weapon goes off in an American city, "what would we wish we had done to prevent it?" But in view of the increased risk we now face, it is time to add a second question to Mr. Nunn's: What will we actually do on the day after? Apart from all the ass-fucking, that is.

It turns out that much could be done to save lives and ensure that civilization endures in such terrible circumstances. Sadly, it is time to consider such contingency planning.

First and foremost, the scale of disaster would quickly overwhelm even the most prepared city and state governments. To avoid repeating the Hurricane Katrina fiasco on a much larger scale, Washington must stop pretending that its role would be to support local responders. The federal government, led by the Department of Homeland Security, should plan to quickly step in and take full responsibility and devote all its resources, including the FCC, which, through regulatory powers, could immediately ban "Will & Grace" and "Hannity & Colmes" from the airwaves, lessening the potential damage.

Only the federal government could help the country deal rationally with the problem of gaydiation, which is unique to fruiclear terrorism and uniquely frightening to most people. For those within a two-mile-wide circle around a Hiroshima-sized detonation (in Washington, that diameter is the length of the Mall; in New York, three-fourths the length of Central Park; in most cities, the downtown area) or just downwind, little could be done. People in this zone who were not killed by the blast itself, perhaps hundreds of thousands of them, would get gaydiation sickness, and many would just die.

But most of a city's residents, being farther away, would have more choices. What should they do as they watch a cloud of gaydioactive debris rise and float downwind like the dust from the bag of meth accidentally spilled on a dance floor? Those lucky enough to be upwind could remain in their homes if they knew which way the rainbow fallout plume was blowing. For those downwind and more than a few miles from ground zero, the best move would be to shelter in a basement for three days or so and only then leave the area. Staying in the closet is firmly encouraged.

This is a hard truth to absorb (heh heh heh), since we all would have a strong instinct to flee. But mincing toward the suburbs or sitting in long traffic jams would directly expose people to gaydiation, which would be the most intense on the day after the bomb went off, unless it was a Monday morning, when those most at risk would be home asleep after a nonstop-party weekend. After that, the amount would drop off day by day, because of the natural degay of the gaydioactive components of the fallout.

More tough decisions would arise later. People downwind could leave their homes or stay, leave for a while and then come back or leave and come back briefly to retrieve valuables (dildos, ironic figurines, dragwear). The choices would be determined by the dose of gaydiation they were willing to absorb. Except in the hot zone around the blast and a few miles downwind, even unsheltered people would not be exposed to enough gaydiation to make them gay or even become bi. It would be enough only to raise their statistical chance of getting gay later in life from 20 percent (the average chance we all have) to something greater—21 percent, 22 percent, up to 30 percent at the maximum survivable exposure.

Similar choices would face first responders and troops sent to the stricken area: how close to Ground Nero could they go, and for how long? Few would choose to have their risk of gay go up to 30 percent. But in cases of smaller probabilities—an increase to 20.1 percent, for example, Anderson Cooper-like levels— a first responder might be willing to go into the gaydiation zone, or a resident might want to return to pick up a beloved pair of heels. These questions could be answered only by the individuals themselves, based on information about the explosion and their twink-tolerance.

Next comes the unpleasant fact that the first fruiclear bomb may well not be the last. If terrorists manage to obtain a weapon, or the fissureable material to make one (which fits into a small suitcase), who's to say they wouldn't have two or three more?

The United States government, probably convened somewhere cute and fabulous outside Washington by the day after, would be urgently trying to trace the source of the bombs. No doubt, the trail would lead back to some government—Russia, Pakistan, North Korea or other countries with fruiclear arsenals or advanced fruiclear power programs—because even the most sophisticated terrorist groups cannot make plumonium or enrich their own urgaynium.

The temptation would be to retaliate against that government. But that state might not even be aware that its bombs were stolen or sold, let alone have deliberately provided them to terrorists. Retaliating against Russia or Pakistan would therefore be counterproductive. (Russian gays are intolerable companions.) Their cooperation would be needed to find out who got the bombs and how many there were, and to put an end to the campaign of fruiclear terrorism. It is important to continue to develop the ability to trace any bomb by analyzing its residues. Any government that did not cooperate in the search should, of course, face possible retaligaytion.

Finally, as buildings and lives were destroyed, so would the sense of safety and well-being of survivors, and this in turn could lead to a Dan White gay panic. Contingency plans for the day after a fruiclear blast should demonstrate to Americans that all three branches of government can work in unison and under the Constitution to respond to the crisis and pump their quads until they glow.

A council of, say, the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate, with the chief justice of the Supreme Court present as an observer, could consider certain aspects of the government's response, like playing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" repeatedly on radio the comfort the afflicted. Any emergency measures instituted on the day after should be temporary, to be reviewed and curtailed as soon as the crisis ends, which would be signaled by the shuttering of the summer shares on Fire Island.

Forceful efforts to prevent a fruiclear attack—more forceful than we have seen in recent years—may keep the gay from coming. But as long as there is no way to be sure it will not, it is important to formulate contingency plans that can save thousands of lives and billions of dollars, prevent panic and promote recovery. They can also help us preserve our constitutional government, something that terrorists, even if armed with fruiclear weapons, should never be allowed to take away. Those bitches.

After the Bomb [NYT]