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An Earthquake? In Los Angeles? My Stars!

Yes, I survived the earthquake. I was driving at the time, and I didn’t even realize it had happened until my sister called me to ask if I was okay.

Jesus, it was a 5.4. The only reason I wouldn’t be okay is that I got distracted picking up the phone because you called to see if I was okay.

I immediately called my mother, because I knew her call would be next; she calls when there’s an earthquake in San Fransisco. Which is more on target than my wife’s family, who called to see if we were okay during hurricane Katrina. They’re sweet, but they don’t have a firm grasp on American geography.

In other cities, people talk about the weather. Since we don’t have weather, Angelinos talked about the quake all afternoon.

I hate small talk like this. “Hey, did you experience the geological disturbance this afternoon?”
“The one felt by over 18 million people? I sure did! You?”
“Yup!”

It’s not even small talk.  It’s tiny talk.  You’re just reaching for the absolute lowest common denominator. You’re admitting, I don’t know you at all, so what can I guarantee we have in common? I know! The ground!

You might as well be like,
“Hey, how’s gravity working out for you?”
“Pretty good. You?”

Or,

“You’re here? Now? Me, too!”
“That’s amazing! I’m here, too!”

Ugh.

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6 Responses

  1. Well then Anonymousassistant, we are practically neighbours, since I am directly across the river from Michigan…as a matter of fact, Jos Louis Arena is at the end of my street (ok,,and across the River, but you get the idea)

  2. MWT, you made me laugh out loud, and now everyone is staring at me.

    Kim: Growing up in Michigan, I had about as many Canadian coins in my pocket as American ones. I know exactly what you mean.

  3. I am Canadian. It is a generally accepted rule that the Weather is the first thing we talk about with friends, neighbours, strangers or anyone who will listen.

  4. I am an East Coast Wus. I experienced exactly one quake during my three years living in L.A. It his as I was going to bed around 2 a.m. It scared the crap out of me.

    Next morning, I found news about it in the paper…on the back page of the entertainment section if I recall. Turns out it was something like a 4.2 centered in Culver City. Oh well. What do I know?

  5. Heh, I was in the LA area in May, and there was wind going on. It made the evening news. They were interviewing people who were freaked out by it. My aunt, with whom I was staying, was freaked out by it. Wind!

    I’d think earthquakes would be a more interesting conversation topic any day. 😉

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