Yesterday morning I was on the phone with a guy I work with and there’s this loud rumbling noise. Nevermind the house shaking. I interrupt myself to say to my co-worker, “What the hell is going on out there?” as I shoot a look of total annoyance towards the open glass door. I mean Jesus, I’m ON THE PHONE HERE.
Left Brain is immediately searching for a logical explanation for the noise while I attempt to continue what I was saying in a louder timbre.
Left Brain: ::pokepoke:: Is there a train that runs close to the house that I didn’t know about?
Me: No, that can’t be it. There are definitely no trains close enough to cause this ridiculous rumble. Shhhh. It’ll pass.
Left Brain: A big truck out on the road perhaps?
Me: Yeah right, they could barely fit the semi back here to deliver my belongings. Highly unlikely it’s a truck. Now shut up. I’m talking.
Left Brain: It must be a helicopter from Camp Pendleton buzzing the house. It’s happened before. They’re VERY loud and they do make things rattle. ::Brain is totally indignant now:: I dunno why they let them fly that close. They should have rules about not disturbing civilians like that.
Me: What the hell is making my chair shake like that? Is the damn helicopter hovering over my house or what? Hey WAIT A MINUTE… this is California!
::energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulb goes on::
Is this an earthquake?! Get outta town! We are NOT having an earthquake! HA! No one told me we were doing this today! Check this shit out!
So I say calmly to Jeff, “Hey, I think I’m experiencing my first earthquake.” And no sooner were the words out of my mouth than it stopped.
Wait! We’re done already? Really? But I wasn't paying attention! Nothing fell off the walls, the animals barely woke up to yawn, no one is running into the streets screaming or dying… Huh.
Well I’m not convinced that’s what it was, but at least I can finish our conversation now without the planet coming apart underneath me. Maybe it was a UFO and it ate the helicopter.
In my naiveté, I never felt scared, and I only realized in hindsight that perhaps I should've walked outside so as not to be sitting under several tons of wood, drywall, and sharp objects as Mother Earth lifted a cheek to sneak one out. To steal and modify a bit from my favorite Texan, Ron White (no, no, I would've never said George Bush! What's wrong with you?):
It's not that the Earth is a-shakin', it's what’s a-shakin’ around you. ::nodnod::
After I got off the phone with work, I called Mom to tell her I think we had an earthquake. She was at my grandparents’ house, and they always have the TV on. If I ever need to know anything about any celebrity (live or dead), I call my grandmother because her mission in life is to follow the lives of others, and that requires a whole lotta tv and tabloids. If she would only start a blog, she could be the Perez Hilton of the Senior Set.
About three sentences pass between my mother and I then she says, “Yep, they’re reporting it on CNN. 6.8 in LA.”
Ego swaggers over and goes, “6.8?! That was 6.8?! Pfffshhh. If that’s all Earth’s got, then bring it on baby. I’ll take an earthquake over a tornado ANYDAY.”
Turns out it was only 5.3 on the Richter scale, and the epicenter (all these new words in my vocab!) was 71 miles to the northwest of me in Chino Hills. And oh yeah, the jump between 5.3 and say, 7, is pretty fuckin’ serious. So I should keep my mouth shut and not challenge the Planet to a duel because it will not be my day to win.
The only thing that really bothers me about this earthquake business is I can't come up with a plan to get all the animals out if a really good one comes our way. There is no warning of such things, and at the most, you’ve probably got a couple minutes before it stops. By the time I shove six animals into cages, even in a great hurry, it’d be over. If it was on the scale at 7, I’d be buried, or dead, or both along with all of my pets.
I did, however, consider what else an earthquake could rip apart and what kind of havoc that may cause after the fact. Things like lack of electricity, unsafe water, exposure to coyotes.
Hmmm. ::considers Indiana/Illinois experience:: Naahhhh... I still think I’d take an earthquake over a tornado. But I filled up the 2 gallon water bottles I have sitting idly by, and I'll revisit the idea of investing in a generator. Or at least make sure the Jeep is out of the garage so I can actually drive away if I have enough gas.
Speaking of Four Legged People That Are Supposed To Be Indicators of Such Events, no one here blinked an eye before or after. When it was over, I listened for an unnatural quiet outside, but no. Birds were singing and everything was normal. Huh. Some alarm system. Next time I'm calling ADT.
It's kind of weird that no one here talks about it. I've been in stores and spoken to my neighbors but no one has brought up the fact that there was an earthquake the other day. It's not like they're afraid to talk about it, just seems like it was so insignificant to them they forgot it happened already.
Guess I'm still a newb.