A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
Oh em gee, an earthquake!
It was so exciting. Well actually, I had no idea what was going on, but I knew something was going on. Well actually, I felt my chair bouncing up and down and immediately began to wonder if I was having some sort of slow-building panic attack or blood pressure spike or nervous breakdown. Then when it was over, I figured that yes, I was physically and/or mentally collapsing. But then someone told me it was the aftershock from an earthquake in D.C. and I was like, “oh my gosh an earthquake! How exciting!” And also, “I hope everyone is okay.” Which it seems they are, so it was back to being excited. Then I got a headache, possibly from all the excitement and possibly from the suggestion of someone else’s vertigo, but possibly as a delayed reaction to the vaguely confusing bouncy feeling I had experienced.
Apparently it was quite a bit scarier in other parts of the region and, of course, closer to the epicenter, but Californians across the nation are still getting a nice big laugh out of all this. Fine. Whatever. Let them mock us over there in their ivory towers which are inexplicably still built on the sides of cliffs despite the fact that they are extremely susceptible to all sorts of frequent natural disasters. But before you laugh, Californians, look here and here and here at the destruction! The humanity! Also inhumane, now that you mention it, is how unfair it is that some offices evacuated for the day for safety’s sake, and they got to watch hot firemen stomp into their buildings and then they all got to go out for earthquake drinks, or go home to take an earthquake nap. And who can put a price on safety? But my office was all, “you’re fine. Get back to work, whiner. Haven’t you ever lived in California?”
In the meantime, local media is really enjoying this break from discussing the presidential campaign and our economy and have turned Quakepocalypsemaggedongate into a Big Story. And I suppose it is, in some ways, though I am far more interested in the reaction on Twitter. This is, indeed, the future. Heartfelt #Earthquake tweets have been pouring in, and I must say that despite our differences, the residents of the East Coast seem to have really pulled together as one in the face of near-disaster and come up with some very funny junk.
The Top 10:
10. @TomFornelli: WOLF BLITZER IS ON THE PHONE WITH THE EARTHQUAKE.
9. @StrictlyNumbers: BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump demands to see documentation of an actual #earthquake taking place
8. @dylanmatt: In retrospect, I resorted to cannibalism rather fast after the earthquake.
7. @RaymondGW: I want to go and smash out someone’s car windows right in front of them. And then just walk off and say “#earthquake, son.”
6. @TheTweetOfGod: There was just a 6.0 earthquake in Washington. Obama wanted it to be 3.4, but the Republicans wanted 6.0, so he compromised.
4. @curlycomedy: Luckily I was holding a bag of chicken cutlets filled with breadcrumbs.
Also, that Atlanta Real Housewife with the lips and the boobs echoed the sentiment. Thanks, girls. Much love.
She’s not kidding. If it had been any worse, I’d be weeping and rocking under my desk and may or may not have peed just a little bit, because I actually really did have to pee when it happened, but I was stuck on a call and was counting the moments until I could go. Also, it would actually have been really terrible instead of just kind of confusing and sort of bad but mostly something to distract us from our work for a day…
And finally, leave it to Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino to write the classiest, most poetic of all the earthquake tweets.
Bye, earthquake. It’s been weird. Let’s not do it again sometime.
p.s. Who else got promotional emails from restaurants they didn’t remember giving their emails to, advertising earthquake cocktail specials at $5.90? And who says American capitalism isn’t alive and well? There’s a fight in us yet.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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