Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When the Earth Moves

There was an earthquake in Virginia and we felt it all the way up here in New England. Well, some of us did. Now, unless you're at the epicenter, east coast earthquakes are unlikely to do more than knock over the lawn chairs. Living through one is no more traumatic than sitting on a porch swing with someone who fidgets, and it feels precisely like that.

The Diva and a friend were making an ineffectual effort to tidy the playroom for McDonalds money when it started. My butt hit the sofa at precisely that moment and my first thought was that there was something very odd going on with the couch. My second thought was "what in the hell is Wild Child doing up there?" Having already survived a quake a few years earlier that made the change on my nightstand rattle, I finally realized what was going on.

"Hey girls!" I yelled, "we're having an earthquake!" The girls boiled out of the room, flushed and excited, "For real?!" and noted the mildly swaying floor lamp. Probably thanks to all the emergency training they've received, both girls remained calm and knew exactly what to do in the midst of a natural disaster: they both whipped out their phones and text blasted everyone in their contacts. "we r aving n earthquake! :-P :-D" "Hey," they gasped when it was over (a few seconds before they finished texting) "OMG - we just survived an earthquake!" With that, they skipped off to McDonalds to celebrate, leaving the playroom looking like the only place that had actually experienced one.

While cell phones were singing and the neighbors were out in the street checking in - "Did you feel that too?" "Did we just have an earthquake? " - my son was pinned down by zombies, hellhounds and nazis. It's all a guy can do just to stay alive without having to contend with distractions. Then too, being something of a human earthquake himself, he's not overly impressed by the local competition. He missed it entirely.

"I said, did you notice the earthquake we just had?"
"earthquake. Just now. We had one."
"so you didn't feel it."
"an earthquake?"
Oh well.

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