Boris Vian - La java des bombes atomiques (English translation)

French

La java des bombes atomiques

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English translation

The Atomic Bomb Java

My uncle, a famous handyman, was an atomic bomb enthusiast.
Despite having no training, he was a true genius in matters practical.
He’d spend all day locked up deep in his workshop carrying out experiments
And in the evening he’d return home and put us all in a trance
With everything he told us.
 
"Making an A-bomb, my children, believe me,
It is no piece of cake.
The issue of the detonator is resolved in a quarter of an hour -
After that, things are different.
As regards the H-bomb, matters are no simpler.
However, one thing torments me.
Namely, the detonators of my making only have a range
Of three and a half meters.
There’s something wrong here,
I’ll be right back."
 
He worked for days
Trying, lovingly, to improve the model
While he was having lunch with us
He devoured his pasta-soup in a single gulp
We saw his fierce expression, he had encountered an unforeseen obstacle
But we dared not say a thing
And then one evening during dinner, there’s my uncle sighing
And crying:
 
"As I grow older, I realize
My brain is faltering
Seriously, let’s tell it like it is, it’s more than a brain
It’s like white sauce.
See, for months and years I’ve been working to increase
My bomb’s range
And it did not occur to me that the only thing that matters
Is the place where it falls.
There’s something wrong here,
I’ll be right back."
 
Given the bomb’s imminent completion, all the high heads of state
Paid him a visit.
He welcomed them and excused himself that his shack
Was so small.
But as soon as they had all entered, he sealed them inside
And told them to stay put.
And when the bomb exploded, of all these characters
There was nothing left.
 
Despite this result, my uncle did not lose his cool,
He played the fool.
After the court was summoned, before the jury
He finally began to stammer.
"Gentlemen, this is a terrible accident, but I swear to God,
On my soul and on my conscience,
That by destroying these crazies I am convinced that
I have done a service to France
 
In our time of need."
They sentenced him, then they pardoned him
And the grateful nation
Immediately elected him
Head of the government.
 
Submitted by moceanu on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 19:29
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