I remember the day the computers died. It started out like any other day. My smart phone woke me at the appointed hour. I picked it up and looked through the Tweets and Instagrams and posts and comments that had come in while I was sleeping.
Kept seeing this one tweet that got retweeted over and over about HEMP, but I figured it was Colorado bragging about legalizing pot, so I didn’t pay any attention to them. I went downstairs and used the IoT app on my smart phone to tell the Kuerig machine to make me some coffee.
I checked the home command center to see if anything had happened to any of the home appliances or systems while I was sleeping. The only thing that was there was the refrigerator telling me that the milk was past its date. I told the refrigerator to tell the smart phone to put it on the order for Pea Pod.
The Kuerig was done, so I picked up my coffee and went back upstairs to shower. On the way up I used the IoT app on my smart phone to tell the shower to turn on to the pre-programmed temperature I liked for my showers. While the shower was warming I woke up the PC and checked my office email. More stuff about that HEMP, but I still had no idea what it meant. Gloom and doom. I resolved to Google it when I got out of the shower.
The shower messaged me to tell me it was up to temperature, so I set the smart phone down on the dresser and went to the bath. I stepped in the shower and waved my hand at the sensor to start the seven jet nozzles into their programmed dance that I liked as I showered. Just the start to another typical day, I thought to myself.
I was just finishing my shower when there was a painfully bright flash through the window followed immediately by what sounded like hundreds of fire crackers and cherry bombs and sticks of dynamite going off simultaneously in the house. The shower dance died suddenly and all the lights went off in the bath.
It was light out, so I could still see, and I figured the power had just gone off. As I walked past the shower sensor I saw black sooty traces running up the wall from the sensors faceplate. It smelled kind of burnt, like wires had gotten hot. I resolved to IM the installer to come back and fix his poor workmanship.
When I walked past the vanity I noticed that the rechargeable toothbrush and the electric beard trimmer and the water flosser were all black and sooty like the shower sensor. All the bulbs above the mirrors had exploded. There were sooty traces coming from all the switch plate and power outlet covers. I resolved to call the electrician to come over and have a look.
The smart phone was dead. The PC was sooty like the shower sensor, the home command center too. I put on my bath robe and walked down the stairs to the front door and went out to see if there was a ComEd truck in the neighborhood.
That’s when the pressure wave from the nuclear explosion struck and incinerated me. As I was disintegrating, I remembered something from my college days. HEMP. Yes, that stood for high-altitude electromagnetic pulse. It preceded every nuclear explosion. That’s the day the computers died.