A friend of mine from the east coast called after the earthquake we had around here a few days ago . ” You alright ? ” he asked .
Sure I’m alright . It was only a 4.4 and it was five miles underground and it was a long ways away . I did see a picture on our hallway wall fluttering , just a soft feathery flutter , and I wondered if I had brushed up against the thing on my way past . But , because I’m Californian , I thought maybe it was an earthquake . Earthquakes in CA are , as they say , part of the wallpaper .
Headlines said this 4.4 could be a ‘foreshock’ of a bigger one . Maybe . Is the going theory : One good quake deserves another ? Or maybe it was an aftershock . Or maybe it’s just a lone earthquake out for an early morning stroll all on its own . I haven’t felt any aftershocks yet . I think this goofy quake was traveling solo . An ornery and anti-social creature probably , or maybe it was way too deep for other quakes to relate to , a temblor nerd , of sorts , a quake geek , perhaps . A loner , at least . A loner for sure .
Don’t take my advice on earthquakes though , or suggestions, or predictions , and don’t consider my perspective on earthquakes . I don’t take a scientific approach , and usually not even a sensible approach . I figure : If earthquakes aren’t ready to exhibit sensible behavior toward us , to be just a touch more considerate of us , then why should we be considerate of them . I once had an antique pharmacist’s scale knocked over by a quake . It had a glass cover . The whole thing shattered and busted up on the hardwood floor . It was scatttered among all the other broken items on my floor after that one . Was that the Northridge Quake ? I don’t keep track . Now , at any rate , that wasn’t considerate earthquake behavior , was it !
A friend of mine lived a few blocks away during that one and not a thing was even knocked over in his house . Earthquakes are like that , I’ve noticed . One carport collapses and the next one doesn’t . One huge oak crushes a parked car but the giant pine tree next door will be there for the next wind to blow needles all over the neighborhood for years to come . Depends sometimes on the kind of ground what sits under your house. My friend mentioned earlier in this paragraph claimed his house is built on solid bedrock and so nothing shook . Maybe .
I could offer you anecdotal evidence to try to prove this or to show that and to make some really erudite-sounding statements about earthquakes . We could talk about ‘ earthquake weather’ for awhile . But , it all comes down to my realization that earthquakes don’t care . They do what they do wherever they want to and whenever they want to do it . Often they seem to simply go through the motions ; but , sometimes they act with real passion . I would say that they’re annoyingly unpredictable , but I think those seismologists over at Cal Tech sometimes think that they can predict something or other when it comes to earthquakes —– and it only seems to ‘come to earthquakes’ when an earthquake comes to us . Otherwise I hardly ever hear from those people . But , I wouldn’t want to contradict them . They spend their lives , I assume , studying earthquake behavior . Good luck , I say , and see you at the next earthquake .
I’m waiting for THE BIG ONE . The Big One could be the 4.4 that is centered under my chair and not five miles down and twenty miles away . Or it could be the 7-pointer building up steam along the San Andreas or one of those other faults . The BIG ONE is coming . More people believe in THE BIG ONE than believe in GOD .
Well , maybe it won’t happen in my lifetime , but , on the other hand , it may happen tomorrow before lunch . No offense to the quake scientists , but those learned seismologists don’t seem to be particularly precise with their predictions . They’re expected delivery times are worse than the Gas Company’s —– well , some time between right now and the end of the century —- but , it’ll be there ! ( or a few minutes later ) . Make sure that someone will be home . Otherwise we’ll have to re-schedule , and only God knows when that might be .
[ NOTE : ……”ground what sits under your house ” —– no , that’s not correct usage . I just put it in there to see if ewe were paying attention. ]