This is a very short story by Richard Matheson, a famous television writer and master of the short story form. Written as a parable about nuclear war (in 1953), it was not received well, and in some jurisdictions people actually wanted it banned. I rather like the darkly ironic tone and imagery of this short-short piece. I have always read it very differently from the author's intent, and took the allegory as representing the madness of popular culture. Go figure!