August 9th, 2007: Rumble, Rumble
Woke up last night around 1 AM to the gentle feeling of being shaken like a dry martini. If you've never experienced an earthquake before, then I really can't describe it to you. I could try... but until you've experienced firsthand the sensation of the ground trying to buck you off the planet, you'll never really get it. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's FUN... but so long as the worst that happens is a few action figures jumping off the shelves, I don't mind the occasional tremor.
What I really don't like about earthquakes in Los Angeles is that they are generally sneaky beasts. They like to strike at night. Or worse, when you're on the toilet. I'm not kidding, either - at least half of the quakes I've experienced since moving out here have happened while I was sitting on the toilet.
There I was, doing my duty, when the shower doors began to rattle. Louis Grant was my roommate at the time and I remember saying out loud "very funny, Louis, cut it out" before realizing that A) Louis wasn't home and B) it wasn't very likely he'd have the strength to shake the entire San Fernando Valley.
They also like to hit when I have guests visiting from out of town. And guests always react the same way: they run to the middle of the living room, legs spread wide, arms out at their sides as if they're about to be attacked by Gremlins.
I was lucky enough to have avoided the most recent BIG earthquake that took place back in 1994, but have friends who were not so lucky.
"This was barely an earthquake," one such friend remarked after last night's rumble. "It's comparable to a heavy truck rolling by. Wait until the house is dancing back and forth and your refrigerator has slid into the bed with you."
Hmmm. North Dakota is looking pretty inviting these days.