There I was, sitting in my office, minding my own business while typing a column for this very newspaper, when all hell broke lose. My bride shouted, “Earthquake! Did you feel the house move?”
Pretty soon my phone rang. Jane Bellomy, my friend down the block, sounded excited: “Burt, did you feel the earthquake? Bella was barking and the house shook.”
Then the calls came in from friends, near and far away, inquiring as to my safety. “Are you okay?” the chorus cried out.
For a moment I thought about lying. Yes, lying. This was an ideal time to go for the sympathy vote. For many years now, my friends have thought I do nothing but loaf around and luxuriate in the ideal weather of Malibu. Now, once and for all, they might understand the great risk I took by settling here.
On second thought, I am a terrible liar, so I might as well tell the truth. I felt absolutely nothing–not a shake, a rattle or a roll. To be perfectly honest, my body suffers a greater trauma when I cough or sneeze.
What I don’t understand is why everybody else felt the quake, whereas I experienced zilch. I finally came up with a possible –if not plausible–explanation for this gross discrepancy. I know I have been watching far too many movies, but perhaps I died and didn’t notice. Could it be that I am dead as a doornail, having lost all sensory perception?
Or might I have reached a perfect state of Zen? I might be so into the spiritual world that I am oblivious of all earthly happenings, such as tremors and rumblings.
Whatever the reason, I seem to have survived this reputed shaking so I can return to writing my column. Have a nice day.