Friday, July 20, 2007

I Am Not Ready for the "BIG ONE" or Maybe I Shouldn't Sleep Naked

San Francisco is best known for having several characteristics.

  • It is incredibly liberal
  • We have a lot of homeless people
  • We live in an active seismic area that geologists technically refer to as "Holy Fucking Shit."
Well last night a 4.2 of the latter gave me quite a jolt come 4:40 a.m. My new roommate, who recently located from Maryland and was understandably freaked out by the movement of the earth, knocked on my door and came in to my room to find me in my closet frantically trying to pull on pants in the dark.

Now I was born in California. I grew up in a different, but equally active, seismic area of California. In school, we would have "earthquake drills," which involved us diving under desks at the sound of an alarm, and then lining up to go outside. I was taught to hide under door ways, and to stock supplies for when the big one hits. We were supposed to keep several gallons of water, a radio, some batteries...maybe some magazines...a Walkman...I don't remember the rest, but you know, supplies. Oh canned food. Right canned food. Scratch the magazines.

So I should know better. While I've since heard that it's better to get next to desks, tables, beds, etc. rather than get under them, I still should know better. But my first thought was, "RUN MOTHERFUCKER." But I don't want to run outside naked! So I'd better put some pants on. In the dark. I don't think I would have made it if that was a big one. If that was the big one, I think they would have found me, crushed under 3 floors of rubble with my pants around my ankles. Perhaps an appropriate way for me to go, but no less disturbing.

I think I might grab a couple of jugs of Arrowhead on the way home today. And some pants with an elastic waist to keep in my nightstand.


whichever.whatever said...

Just toss a pair of pants or at least a robe within arm's reach. That's what I do.

Melissa said...

I am always fascinated that people out East where I live now don't know about earthquake drills. It seems totally normal to crawl under a table and put your arms over your neck to me.

But even here they don't stock pile for hurricanes. When Isabel come through here a few years ago the water treatment plant was off line for about a week and no one had any stored water. My Aunt's neighbors had to use her pool water to flush their toilets. And we get a lot of notice about hurricanes. So don't feel too bad about not being stocked up for an earthquake that may never happen.

PostColonialHubris said...

this is a really funny anecdote

Anonymous Law Student said...

I was in AK when the 7.9 hit. I was tossed out of my bed. I ended up standing in the doorway of my apartment building, in my underwear, meeting my neighbors for the first time, as we all pondered whether or not the old building would finally fall over.


the default attorney said...

7.9?! Holy crap! That's huge! There was a series of earthquakes in 6.0 range in the town my family and I moved to in the 80s. It destroyed the elementary school, so I got to go to the first few years of elementary school in a trailer.