Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A mint muddler and other essentials for surviving Southern earthquakes

Yesterday's earthquake, with its epicenter in Virginia, rattled window panes and nerves throughout the South as well as that place above the Mason-Dixon line. The quake and its aftershocks surprised a lot of people, but honestly, such seismic events aren't completely unknown in the South.

In the 1970s, somewhere between my pre-pubescent and post-pimple years, I experienced my very first earthquake, and it was in my hometown of Greensboro, N.C. I was taking a shower when, suddenly, the shower glass doors began to tap against each other. I assumed it was one of my sisters trying to scare me yet again (which happened so often, I believed "Boo!" was simply another form of saying hello). I grabbed a towel and ran downstairs as the shaking continued. "Oh law!," my mother exclaimed, as the dishes she had just placed in the dishwasher danced. "Earth tremor, Earth tremor!" I believe her next move was to light a cigarette.

Having lived through that earthquake and several others of greater magnitude in San Francisco, I feel obliged to offer y'all some earthquake survival tips, should there be another "Earth tremor."

1. When the ground shakes, stay inside. You don't want to go outside anyway, what with all the humidity and mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

2. Stay away from glass. Unless there's a cocktail in it. Which raises a question: Is there a mint muddler in your disaster survival kit?

3. Get under a table. Which raises another question: When was the last time anyone actually cleaned down there?

4. Don't try to call anyone afterwards. Cell phone networks will likely be overloaded. A better option is to text your loved ones to tell them you're alright and, if they are out and about anyway, ask them to pick up dinner at Chick-fil-A on their way home.

That's it for now. If I think of any other helpful tips (or any tips that are actually helpful), I'll pass them along. In the meantime, where the heck did I put my mint muddler?

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1 comment:

  1. Great advice! Love this. I actually didn't even know we had an earthquake until my cell phone would't work.