Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Post-quake pics

The earthquake this afternoon seems very anti-climactic now that I've heard from so many people across the country who learned about it on the news. By the time my coworkers and I figured out what was happening, it was over. The only exception was one coworker who has lived on the west coast who instinctively said, "It's an earthquake! I'm getting under my desk." and she immediately vanished into thin air. That took all of a few moments and the next few hours were spent like this:

The folks who drive to work were unable to leave because no one was able to enter the parking ramp until it was deemed safe. I considered taking the rest of the afternoon off, then I looked around and imagined the same crowd in the Metro station, which is exactly what I would have been met with. So we continued to wait.

Traffic became gridlocked as far as the eye could see and emergency vehicles showed up along the block. Every employee stood outside of their buildings in varying levels of panic. The defining moment of the afternoon happened when one employee took a close look at the emergency vehicles and said, "It's going to be okay, everyone. It's going to be okay. The Printing Police are here!!"

Upon closer examination:

No disrespect, but we do not work for the GPO, nor do we have any association with them. I can't even name all of the different police forces we have in this city, but I'm guessing on the hierarchy of important people, the GPO force doesn't get deployed to the VIP section of town. That's all I'm sayin'.

In the end, most people I know had a similar experience and we are all lucky to be safe and sound with a new story to tell. As I took these photos, a coworker complimented me on "keeping my cool throughout" and wandering around taking photos while the smokers were on their fifth cigarette and the non-smokers were bumming cigarettes from the smokers. I reject this compliment because sometimes I think that it is stupidity that keeps someone cool in a potentially dangerous situation. I blame it on my childhood. I grew up in a house next to the railroad tracks, so shaking buildings do not trigger any panic reflex. But I still always wonder if I would have taped the penny to the tracks, would it really have derailed a train and killed everyone on board like my brother told me? I'm pretty sure he was lying, but that was one I opted to err on the side of caution rather than call his bluff. Plus, you could still buy one Swedish Fish for a penny back in those days so that seemed like a better investment.

I think I'll eat some Swedish Fish right now and start surfing the internet for some earthquake stories more interesting than mine.


policomic said...

I'd like to see a network series about the Printing Police. Maybe "CSI: Stet."

Hope your experience of the hurricane (and the no doubt imminent plague of frogs to follow) is equally benign.

Paul said...

If the Printing Police ever catch you using Comic Sans, well . . . let's just say they've got a guy who's never heard the name Miranda.