This was a story I read as a kid back in the 70s.

This was after a nuclear war and the term "massive retaliation," also called MR is used.

I remember the the woman was mentally handicapped.

I think the male was sometimes referred to as "mister."

The man doesn't want the women to associate "MR" for mister with massive retaliation because he thinks she might be frightened.

Women has annoying habit of exclaiming "praise god" when achieving climax. They have children eventually.

At one point the man concerned with his son's mental faculties asks that if the son could only save the mom or the dad who would it be? Son replies the mother because if worse came to worse they would at least be able to continue the species. Man knows his son is not deficient.

Would love to find this again.

  • Questioner's add - sorry - read this back in the 70s.
    – Matt S
    Mar 18, 2016 at 19:19
  • 4
    Welcome to SFF:SE. Questions are not static once posted. You can use the "edit" option below the question to add more info.
    – Praxis
    Mar 18, 2016 at 19:21
  • I read this as well. I remember the couple survived because they were in a test bunker for a tour when the world ended. I will research.
    – Vicpylon
    Mar 18, 2016 at 20:00
  • Found it. This one got much easier when I realized that the older stories still use what are today offensive terms for the mentally challenged. It narrowed the search significantly.
    – Vicpylon
    Mar 18, 2016 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


Mother to the World by Richard Wilson Has a "MR" character, a mentally challenged female survivor and lots of dead people after the apocalypse. Check the last two pages for the conversation between father and son about whom to save as well. Full text at the link.

  • Thank you very much, Vicpylon! I appreciate your help. Now to chase it back down.
    – Matt S
    Mar 21, 2016 at 17:13
  • Ah, at the link! Thank you again!
    – Matt S
    Mar 21, 2016 at 17:24
  • I remember this story -- sort of poignant and the last two pages have a "forrest gump" vibe iirc.
    – releseabe
    Jan 6, 2023 at 14:53

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