Recently we have been having a lot of earthquakes in Japan. Or, more exactly, I should say: Recently we have been having a lot of earthquakes in Japan that you folks in the West have been hearing about.
There are several plausible reasons for this: The first being that the earth is always moving and huge tectonic fault lines that lie deep under the earth’s surface shift and cause these earthquakes. Considering the fact that Japan has earthquakes every day, this possibility can be discarded.
The real reason for Japan having earthquakes that you folks in the West hear about is due to what is generally referred to as a "slow" news day. Up until the late 20th century, this would have probably been the main reason for an earthquake in Japan to be reported on western news. But, since George W. Bush became president, a new factor in reporting "Japanese earthquakes" has come into play: And that factor is the "Bush administration screwed up something big-time AGAIN, so we’ve got to try to hide it somehow!"
Japan is always good for news that is used to cover the numerous errors the Bush administration — and, quite frankly speaking, George W. Bush himself — is constantly making. Why? Because no one over there can speak Japanese, so it is impossible to verify any of these outrageous stories.
Let me give you some good recent examples: In the news the other day, it was reported that George Bush lost 370 tons of high explosives in Iraq. We all know that’s not true. George may lose his car keys or forget where he is or what he is doing at any given moment, but he didn’t lose 370 tons of bombs and stuff. I mean, really, where could he have possibly put that stuff? Not in the trunk of his car. Have you ever tried to put a few tons of explosives in your car trunk? Well, it ain’t easy, and let me tell you that it is nearly impossible without at least a little help.
So how does a reputable news service, like say, Fox News, cover George’s absent-minded butt? Well, the answer is Japan, of course.
Here were the possible news stories from Japan on that day that the explosives went missing:
"Japanese businessmen drink too much." Or,
"Japanese in Tokyo enjoy sushi." Or,
"Earthquake in Japan shakes some buildings and scares some people and stuff."
Of course the "head-honchos" at both Fox and CNN went with the earthquake stories. Why? (It’s easy to show buildings shaking and stuff — just shake the camera!)
Anyhow, I got lots of e-mail from my readers asking me if my family and I were okay. Well, don’t worry, we are all okay. In fact, I didn’t even know we had an earthquake until I read the e-mail and then confirmed it with my wife. Now, some of you folks may think I’m being facetious here (gratuitous use of a big word), but I’m not.
I’m serious here. I didn’t even know we had an earthquake. Or maybe I did. I don’t know. We have them all the time. I think they come with the contract. What’s the big deal?
Heavily earthquake prone areas of Japan are shown here in various colors: Blue is blue (some areas darker blue than others); green areas represented by the color green; there some other areas that look kinda purple; and pink…. Is that pink? Looks pink to me.
But since it seems that so many people are concerned with earthquakes, I thought I’d better write an article telling you what to do, how to survive, and what to say, during an earthquake.
First off, from reading the above, I think you can pretty well guess that earthquakes, like winning the Lottery, are things that happen to someone else. If you keep this in mind, then you will realize that your continuing to read this article will just be one huge waste of time.
Case in point: Have you ever met anyone who won the Lottery? No? Have you ever met anyone who died in an earthquake? No? Proof’s in the pudding, as they say.
Anyhow, when dealing with earthquakes, it’s important to remember to be prepared: Always have food and drink available at your home. A well stocked home is important. Well, duh! Who wants to run out to the Liquor Barn every time you need a cold one?
Also, I just love those little cans of sardines when you put them on Saltine crackers. You know, the "King of Norway Sardines" that have the little key-thingy that rolls open the cans. Those rock!
Also, a bottle of very strong alcohol could come in handy as a disinfectant and cleaner for injuries and for taking huge swigs out of during games of Poker or Cribbage when there’s nothing better to do. So do not buy this "alcohol" from a "pharmacist"; buy it from a reputable adult beverage dealer. Hey! Aren’t you and your family worth a few cents more?
In the event of an earthquake: Do not! I repeat: Do not tune into your local government sponsored radio or TV broadcast. It’s all a waste of time. You know what they’ll tell you? "Yeah, we had a big earthquake, located somewhere."
Don’t you just hate that? I do. I get a sore throat so I go to the doctor’s office. I sit there for an hour. Then I finally get to see the doc, he looks in my throat and says:
"Looks red." Then they charge you up the hind-end for some aspirin and tell you to come back in a week!? Yeah right! And I was born yesterday.
Anyhow, where was I? Oh yeah. In the event of an earthquake avoid all government sponsored broadcasting and/or evacuation areas like the plague. If you turn on the TV news, they’ll show a bunch of stupid people who will say things like:
"Yes. The ground started shaking. I was frightened."
"I was standing, over there, and the ground started shaking. I was frightened."
And, "I was doing something and the ground started shaking. I was not only frightened, but I was surprised also."
So, I cannot stress this point enough: If there is a huge earthquake in your area, go immediately to the fridge and open the door (it may get jammed shut during an earthquake). Grab a beer and tune the TV to "Cartoon Network." Cartoon Network is the best in any sort of emergency. Hell, it could be the coming of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse and Cartoon Network will still be showing old Roadrunner cartoons (that Yosemite Sam still cracks me up)! So have a brew. Hopefully the earthquake will be big enough so that your boss will not even question your calling in sick to work that day or even for the rest of the week.
Avoid all government-run evacuation areas.
"Oh yeah, right. We just had a 7.2 earthquake and thousands of people have died and you clowns want me and my family to go to the local high school with 10,000 other people and sleep on the floor?… And the high school only has one men’s and one ladies’ room… And no shower!? Get real!"
Oh yeah, that’s what they want you to do. And once you get inside of the school gymnasium, they’ll never let you leave! Don’t do it! For God’s sake! Don’t do it! Turn back! It’s a trap!
Also, during an earthquake, try not to dive under furniture or moving vehicles. I don’t care what the government tells you in this case, they are wrong.
Other things to avoid during earthquakes are:
- Never eat soup while wearing a necktie.
- If drinking Martinis, make sure you gulp your drink before putting it down.
Now that I have told you the "don’ts" of earthquakes, let me tell you the "dos":
- Do hold your head with both hands, running in circles and yelling, "The world is coming to an end! The world is coming to an end!" This is especially effective if you are in your pajamas or in a bathrobe. Ladies, don’t forget to wrap a towel around your head!
- Jump into your car and speed down to the convenience store to load up on drinking water. Make sure that you do not take the time to stop at any red lights. Hell, we just had an earthquake; for all you know, that red light may not be working properly!
- If you see any TV news cameras reporting on the disaster, always walk behind the reporter and start yelling, "Repent! Repent! For the end is near!" And start charging towards the camera — tackling a reporter, if possible! (This is useful for any type of disaster, not just earthquakes). I, like anyone else, enjoy good TV, so anytime I see a reporter "reporting" on some "disaster," I’d love it if some people would run up behind the reporter and screw up their report. Now wouldn’t that make for some great "disaster reporting" on TV?
I’d love to see that, even just once… I am so sick of these Roadrunner re-runs.
Edited by Anthony Gregory who has survived not one, but two, S.F. Bay Area earthquakes in the past several something-or-others.
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has worked as an independent writer, producer, and personality in the mass media for nearly 30 years.