Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We had a deal, California: You get the good weather, we get the solid ground!

It’s a miracle that I’m alive right now.

Yes, I’m talking about the earthquake that shook the entire east coast yesterday.


And yes, California people, I can hear you laughing at me right now.  All the way from California.  But shut up. A 5.8 (or 5.9, since in true Washington fashion, the experts keep flip-flopping on the actual answer) earthquake is really intense for us. But it’s normally a fair trade. You get the good weather, we get the solid ground. No one gets both. It just doesn’t work that way. You made your choice and we made ours.

But the planet broke that sacred trust yesterday, and took my earthquake virginity.

Yes, I know that it’s shocking, but I was an earthquake virgin.

I mean, there had been other earthquakes, but they didn’t count because I didn’t actually feel them. (Which is the definition of date-rape logic, but we’ll ignore that for now.)

Like the one last summer that led to this picture of the damage being circulated.

Yeah. Saw that one last summer. So those of you who think you’re being clever by sending it around now, you’re not. The National Cathedral was actually damaged. Don’t feel so clever now, do you?

But I didn’t actually feel the one last summer. Which is how I know it doesn’t count, because I slept through it. And I’m the world’s lightest sleeper. I suffer from the Butterfly Effect. If a butterfly flaps its wings anywhere in the world, I’ll wake up.
(Okay, I’m not sure if that’s actually what the Butterfly Effect is because I categorically refuse to see Ashton Kutcher movies. I won’t even look up terms from his movies on Wikipedia to find out if I’m defining them right. Dude may be pretty, but he can’t act.)

Yesterday, however, was a legitimate earthquake. Maybe not by those lofty California standards, but I come from the DC area, where nothing earth-shattering ever happens—because Congress can’t work together well enough to make anything earth-shattering happen! (Sorry. I know that was terrible. But it had to be said. And because it had to be said, I’m going to need you to laugh now. It’s a requirement of reading my blog. Don’t ask questions. Just do it.)

And like the true earthquake novice that I was, I had no idea what was going on. There I was, sitting in a meeting in my new school, when everything starts vibrating.

Which I, quite logically, assumed was the rapture and that the Mayans had only been off by a year.
No, not really. But I did stand there like an idiot in a room on the third floor, while everyone else ran out into doorways. And I’m ashamed to say that the first thing that I thought of when I felt the earth quaking wasn’t “earthquake” but, “hey, this feels like a moon bounce! Cool!”

Then, when everyone ran out of the room yelling, “Earthquake!” I laughed and sauntered out into the hall after them, then went back to my room to get my purse before leaving the building.  Because we don’t get earthquakes. We live in DC! We have a deal with nature! Ten billion percent humidity at all times and no earthquakes.

Damn you, Mother Nature.

But Sara, you’re fine. And unlike all other disasters, both natural and man-made, it didn’t even damage your car!

(Sadly, my car does tend to be the first casualty of any and all disasters. And I JUST got the most recent damage—from when construction workers dropped something through a hole in the ceiling of my parking garage and put a hole in my convertible top—fixed, so Murphy’s Law does indicate that any disturbance in the universe is bound to damage my car.)

So why am I so pissed at Mother Nature?

Because I believe in evolution. And during natural disasters, I become incontrovertible proof that natural selection does not exist. And I REALLY do not want to give the creationists any solid evidence that they can use to dispute evolution.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice. Because I apparently have the worst survival instincts in the world. And if natural selection existed, I would be dead by now. But as I’m not writing this from beyond the grave, evolutionary theory has a problem. Sorry Darwin.

Need more proof other than my moonbounce analogy?

Well there was that catastrophe that happened almost exactly ten years ago.

No, I do NOT mean September 11. In fact, I want to punch everyone who compared yesterday to 9/11. It was an earthquake people, not a terrorist attack. The only things the two have in common are that it was hard to get a cell phone call through and the Pentagon had to be evacuated in both situations. And in case you missed the memo, we got Osama months ago. (Although I do have a theory that people secretly loved Osama Bin Laden. Think about it, he’s caught on Obama’s watch and Obama’s approval rating goes to hell. Talk about letting the terrorists win! And by terrorists, in this case, I mean Glenn Beck and Fox News.)

I’m talking about the tornado that hit College Park in 2001.

I’m quite familiar with tornados and have been since a very young age, thanks to a slightly unhealthy obsession with The Wizard of Oz. And I do know that you’re supposed to get away from all windows during a tornado. Under no circumstances should you stand there with your face pressed up against the glass.

Like I did.

Then there was the tsunami incident.

Well, okay, I guess it wasn’t TECHNICALLY a tsunami. But the one time I got in the ocean this summer, I wound up facedown in the sand and minus one bathing suit. Disaster caused by nature = natural disaster in my book.

I mean, I'm sure it was a good day for the guys on the beach.  But a bandeau-bikini top in the ocean was not my finest hour.

But I do have a newfound sympathy for my California cousins and my brother, because that feeling of having no control over your environment is pretty scary.

Actually, I take that back. I feel no sympathy for you. You have the good weather. If you want to make fun of us for freaking out about a 5.8 earthquake, I want to see how you react to a blizzard in LA.

Which, sadly, would still probably be better than how DC reacts in a blizzard.

Fine, California. You win this round.

But we never elected Arnold Schwarzenegger to any position of power.

So I think we’re about even.








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