Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shake it up, baby, now...

Mrs. Faustroll and I drove down to the Oregon Coast last week and jumped up and down on the sand for several minutes, despite my bum leg, trying to unleash a tremor of 9.0 or greater in the Cascadia subduction zone so that we could surf the big wave up over the Coast Range and into the Willamette Valley. I had read some years ago about a school district in Pennsylvania that had conducted an experiment in its elementary schools that encouraged the little yard hogs to jump up and down rhythmically for several minutes in a combined exercise and science drill that was actually recorded on seismographs several hundred miles away. I'm not sure what their point was, but imagination is always the booger of intervention.

Alas, but our experiment was a flop and life goes on. We did attract a curious crowd of glaucous gulls before an angry sea lion lumbered out of the surf, bellowing in some unearthly language that sounded oddly Eastern European. As we had no translator with us, we scurried back to our Hummer and drove back to Portland to take part in an emergency unpreparedness drill by standing in the streets outside tall buildings made almost entirely out of glass.

Don't believe what you read from scientists who claim that the recent catastrophic cataclysms in Haiti, Chile, Turkey, and Tralfamodore are not evidence of increased geologic unrest deep within in the bowels of Gaia that will soon burst forth with a giant floodablast of crepitation so deadly and foul that everyone on the planet will wonder what the hell we've been eating to smell so bad and be so stupid.

This activity cannot be termed sheer coincidence (in modern poopadoodlistic theory there are no coincidences) or blamed on irresponsible population growth that has idiots stuck all over the surface of the planet, including some of the least stable areas, which, as God would have it, are generally the most lively places for people to congregate and have a good time. And really, tell me, who are you really going to trust? Me, a disreputable pro-drug and alcohol abuse reprobate and doctor of the imaginary sweet sciences or Bob Holdsworth, who has the blind faith to say something as dumb and lame as: "I can definitely tell you that the world is not coming to an end." What are you willing to wager, Bob?

Here's my recommendation for anyone who is nervous about the recent seismic activity and the promise of more violent and random shaking that is to occur in the near future as Gaia tries to rid herself of us — her proudly meddlesome fleas, ticks, and vermin: consider moving to North Dakota.

I know, I know. Many of you don't even believe North Dakota exists, except in the warped and twisted imagination of the Coen Brothers, but I have just read a story on the Internet (Today's Internet: vaporware you can monetize™) that purports to be from the Minot Daily News, and Minot is a place I found on Google maps (so it's got to be true) that says the safest place on the planet is North Dakota.

Here's an exact quote that I swear I am not completely imagining: "As North Dakotans, we should take some comfort in the fact that we are located in the seismically least active part of the U.S. where the probabilities of experiencing the effects of earthquakes are very remote."

I'm not sure if there is enough room in North Dakota for all six billion people current making the back of Gaia itch uncomfortably, but if everyone shows up this weekend and jumps up and down in unison, maybe we can prove that anywhere can be made seismically active, if we all work hard enough to smile and love one another.

On a brighter note, for those of you who still entertain delusions of immortality, it appears that the whole lot of shaking in Chile actually altered the Earth's axis so that the length of the day has shortened. You know what that means? It means that you all get to live longer, assuming you stay healthy and don't become collateral damage for not being for us, whoever we are.

Peace, gloves, and gastrobanding.

Day Opening - March 9

Vienna