Saturday, January 01, 2005

Breaking News!!

Over the last couple of days, Southern California has been fiercely hit by the most dreaded duo of natural disasters: Long Waiting Lines to Return Unwanted Christmas Presents, and The Realization That California is Going to Slowly Sink into the Pacific Ocean If We Don't Get in Shape After All The Food We Ate During the Holidays. Wait a minute, those are man-made problems, and trivial ones at that. Actually, SoCal has been recently battered by this catastrophic couple: Rain and Wind.

That's right, once again it has rained in California, causing great discomfort and inconvenience to the locals who just took their Urban Onroad Hummers to the car wash. And not only was there rain, but it was accompanied by its good friend, wind, which caused several innocent branches and leaves to dismember themselves from their tree sweet tree and to all be hurled seemingly on top of my car. I guess the next time the only available parking space lies below a dirty tree, I'll just park in the middle of the street. That'll teach those trees to thoughtlessly trigger their tree trash to tumble. (WooHOO!! 12-word alliteration extravaganza!)

Actually, by California's standards, we're experiencing some pretty heavy rain and strong winds. However, by the rest of the world's standards, we're just experiencing some light sprinkling and a slight breeze, also commonly known as "God's Sneeze". I saw on the news that a tornado actually touched down in Inglewood a few days ago. They were classifying it as the weakest type of tornado possible in terms of size and intensity, yet it was still the top story on the news today. In the rest of the country, it would most likely be dismissed by most people and classified as a "Drip N' Draft" or a "Bad Hair Day".

I think this is California's way of trying to feel sorry for itself, because we don't have any real problems to complain about. Even our earthquakes are usually nothing compared to some of the big ones throughout history in Japan and especially the recent disaster in Asia. In fact, California has absolutely nothing to worry about. The only natural disaster we have hanging over our heads is the fabled big earthquake that is supposed to happen anytime now. It's supposed to be the earthquake to end all earthquakes, the biggest one in California's history, so naturally, it was given an extremely clever and momentous name: "The Big One".

If you ask me, I think that "The Big One" is just an elaborate scare-tactic used by seismologists in order to keep their jobs in demand. They know there's no huge earthquake coming anytime soon, so they just make up a bunch of information like "seismic readings" and "scientific facts" and pass them off as the truth. And each time they predict that "The Big One" will occur, they are always wrong and they get one step closer to becoming as unreliable as the weatherman.

So until we get hit by "The Big One" and finally receive our time in the disaster spotlight, we have to make a big deal out of a little rain and wind - meanwhile, the rest of the world is laughing at us for being wimps, while they are being swept away by a 50 foot tidal wave which was started by an earthquake that measured 16.7 out of a possible 1-10 on the Richter Scale and which is propelled by a hurricane consisting mostly of air, water, smallpox, and several rusty chainsaws...while walking uphill through 40 miles of snow...AND THEY LIKED IT DAG-NABBIT!!!!

After such an occurance, for example, the Indonesian news would probably casually mention towards the end of the newscast that there was a small oceanic disturbance earlier today which was caused by a slight shifting of the crustal region accompanied by some minor drizzling, modest winds, premature pimpling, and minimal loss of limbs.

On a typical Californian news channel, that exact same event would be the tragic top story. It would look something like this:

Anchorman: Our top story tonight: A tidal wave of death and destruction wreaked havoc today. It was caused by the biggest earthquake in the history of mankind, which opened up great gaping chasms and swallowed innocent civilians alive. Those who managed to not be swept away by the tidal wave or kept from being eaten alive by the earth were carried up into a massively powerful hurricane which was believed to have the ability to cause your body to break out in festering sores and had the superintelligence to manufacture heavy yet shoddy machinery. The end is near people! You must listen to me!! We haven't much time!

Speaking of listening, I am reminded of something that happened at work a few days ago in the drive-thru. I was ready to take the order, but the lady wanted to ask me a question first...

Lady: Do you have bottled water?
Me: No, we don't.
Lady: Ok, I'll take 3 of those.

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