The Making of Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland

Man dressed in post-apocalyptic clothing with an atomic explosion in the background. Text: Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland. Who knew the end of the world could be this much fun?
Man dressed in post-apocalyptic clothing with an atomic explosion in the background. Text: Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland.


Welcome, Wastelanders, to a peek behind the story of Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland!


In Behind the Page for Episode 1, I told you how Maya was based on a couple of friends of mine. I also said that I wouldn’t tell you about the other friend until later. Well, today is that day.

So Maya, being the one who knew martial arts, was something that came from my childhood friend Dee-Dee. She was the other inspiration for Maya. Dee-Dee was the toughest person I knew in my elementary school. She had told me she knew martial arts, but I’m not sure that I realized how awesome that was until she had to use them one day while we were walking home. Man, she whooped the dude who tried to mess with us.

Much like Joe, my friends and I wanted to do karate after watching the Karate Kid. However, the closest I ever came to taking any martial arts was much like the way Daniel did before Mr. Miyagi began teaching him—you know, from a book. The part about me wrestling was real. I wrestled on my Junior Varsity team my freshman year of high school. And yes, I was pretty much as bad as Maya joked.


So, the emergency broadcast from Chapter 10 is based around the false missile alert that accidently went out via the Emergency Alert System in Hawaii back in 2018. It warned citizens to seek shelter from the incoming ballistic missile with the whole “this is not a drill” and everything. I guess a State emergency worker messed up during a drill, sending out the real deal to the people of Hawaii, freaking them out because there had been constant threats from North Korea—who had also been conducting missile tests right around then.

For 38 minutes, the people of Hawaii thought they were under attack, until they heard the second emergency alert informing them that there was no threat and that it was a false alarm. Because this was broadcast out, there are recordings of it, enabling me to hear a real missile alert from the United States.

Of course, Joe’s Titan One missile complex is outside of Sacramento, California, so I had to change it to California—and by the way, there really are three Titan One missile complexes outside of Sacramento. Why Sacramento? Well, because it is both my and Joe’s hometown.

Lucky for me, Beale Air Force Base was one of the military bases to have Titan One facilities. And since there were only a few Titan One sites built, I was really lucky, since I wanted Joe to live in the Sacramento area, and Beale is only 30 or so miles outside of Sacramento.


You might be wondering if those CDC infographics in Joe’s Decontamination Room are real. Why yes, they are. I found those while researching what it would be like in a Decon Room. I incorporated the infographics into the story because I would totally need something like that myself, and I placed them by where I would need them if I could afford to build said Decon Room. Like I said, those are the real directions, so if you find yourself in the unfortunate need of those type of instructions—they are solid. Well, I have to imagine they’re solid since the CDC said so, but for all legal reasons, I can’t say that I know for sure, since I just play a scientist when I write and all. I am married to a scientist, but sadly, that doesn’t make me one.


Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Kilo November Six Papa Foxtrot Alpha is my Amateur Radio call sign. That’s right, Joe’s call sign is really my call sign. I got my Technician Class and General Class for writing this series. I want to get the Amateur Extra Class, the highest amateur radio operator license, for my television series Beyond Geek. Until then, I’m happy to be able to spout off that I’m a General. You know what? Now that I think of it, General actually sounds cooler, but with an Amateur Extra Class I’d be able to hit a bunch of frequencies that I can’t right now, so I guess it doesn’t matter how cool it sounds.

As for all that stuff about why and when Joe got his ham license, it’s all made up. Bret is a real friend that moved away when I was a kid, and now I wish I had gotten into ham radio so we could have continued to talk.

People in their 20s and younger won’t understand a time when it cost a fortune to talk to a friend that moved away. The cheapest thing was good old fashion snail mail. Surprisingly, I never wanted to be a pen pal since I hated writing letters to people, so most of my friendships ended once someone moved to where it cost too much to call. I know. Total bummer, right?


In Chapter 13, I talked about the constant state of forest fires in California. Does it really rain ash here? Yes, it does. Not all that often, but it does—and sometimes it’s pretty dang bad. Otherwise, it’s just a ton of smoky days every year. I probably should air quotes the just, but it’s become our new normal.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love living in California. It’s a beautiful state with everything you could ever want: forests, the ocean, mountains, snow, desert, big cities, and Titan One Missile Complexes. 


Well that brings us to the end of another Episode, but don’t you worry, there is more Post-Apocalyptic Joe headed your way. This was only the second of six episodes that make up Post-Apocalyptic Joe in a Cinematic Wasteland Season 1.

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