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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Bore-Pellets  
  Anti-underground bomb shelter ordinance.  

When this short story was written, it was the height of the cold war. Plans for building bomb shelters were in every popular magazine.

But can you keep up with the Joneses, and still be safe? What if those pesky Soviets come up with something new.

The next day the news-machines shrilled out the news. The first revelation of the new Soviet bore-pellets.

Bob Foster stood in the middle of the living room, the newstape in his hands, his thin face flushed with fury and despair. "Goddamn it, it's a plot!" His voice rose in baffled frenzy. "We just bought the thing and now look. Look!" He shoved the tape at his wife. "You see? I told you!"

"I've seen it," Ruth said wildly. "I suppose you think the whole world was just waiting for you in mind. They're always improving weapons, Bob. Last week it was those grain-impregnation flakes. This week it's bore-pellets..."

From Foster, You're Dead, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Star Science Fiction Stories in 1955
Additional resources -

In the story, PKD combines cold war paranoia and capitalist sales hucksterism. Bob's despair doesn't end with the fact that his bomb shelter had been made obsolete. There was something new for him to buy! See the entry for grill-screen adaptor.

Also, sf fans with that underground bunker mentality may want to take a look at the robot earthworms from Harry Harrison's 1962 story War with the Robots.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Foster, You're Dead
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Foster, You're Dead
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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