Roll the Dice ….

The more he drank, the friendlier he became. He liked that I recognized him and chuckled at a couple of things I said. For an hour he knocked back booze and I sipped a Coke.

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written by 

jaron summers (c) 2023


“We thought it was worth the risk,” ET said to me.

ET reminded me of Spielberg’s fun feature about a little guy who was trying to get home.

ET and I were flying to San Francisco.  The year was about 2002.  We were on a commercial airliner.

When I sat beside ET I noticed his tie, beach towel sized.




In addition it had a clasp with the initials ET.

I recognized him from TV.

For an hour he knocked back Scotch; I drank Cokes.

The more ET drank, the friendlier he became.  He liked that I had recognized him and chuckled at a couple of things I said.

As we landed at noon in San Francisco he said, “I can tell you want to ask me a question, what is is?”

“Dr. Teller, at the first test of the hydrogen bomb, didn’t someone ask you if you were worried that a chain reaction would vaporize the earth?”

“I wasn’t at the Pacific Proving Grounds.  I watched the results from a basement in Berkley on seismographic equipment.”

I had to find out more about our planet vaporizing.

Again, he guessed what I was thinking.

“In answer to your question … sure, we thought there was a chance that the earth would be vaporized.  But I felt it was worth the risk,” said the man, known as “The Father of the Hydrogen Bomb.”

A delightful traveling companion … even if he was stark raving mad.


Many think Peter Sellers played Dr. Teller in

Kubrick‘s Dr. Strangelove.


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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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