Sunday, January 2, 2011


We had an earthquake at 4am. The epicenter was in Kokomo, Indiana but could be felt in Illinois. It was 3.8 on the Richter scale, not big by most standards but you never can tell about these things. I woke up on the floor, buried under a pile of National Geographic magazines. Fortunately, this gave me something to read until help arrived. I was a little thirsty, but figured I'd better not move. The paramedics said the quake wasn't strong enough to throw me out of bed and tried to minimize the event and didn't bother to offer me any oxygen. But I think it's better to be safe than sorry, and it was a lot more than just the stack of magazines they pulled off of me. While I was waiting, I removed at least a dozen others and threw them under the bed (they were Playboys and I didn't want the paramedics distracted during their rescue operations).

I didn't appreciate the comment made by one of the paramedics who said maybe I was dreaming that I was chasing a squirrel. That was very unprofessional. Really, I'm suspicious that my wife may have shoved me out of bed during one of her well-known water-skiing with Brad Pitt dreams, but I played it cool and didn't say anything. I didn't want some social service agency to get involved like the time she waxed the floors without telling me, causing me to fall and injure my wrist. My well-intended statement at the emergency room was, "She never cleans anything, ask anybody." That came back to haunt me.

This time I was lucky to have escaped with only a sarcastic comment from the paramedic who rolled his eyes when his partner called him a hero and mentioned that the whole incident should be inscribed on a commemorative plaque, suitable for display at the firehouse. It makes a person wonder if perhaps the paramedic training should be scrutinized and revamped, as they didn't even bring sandwiches or a soothing beverage. And there was no mention of a "brave little soldier" award, traditionally given to rescue victims who don't complain. Also, it's my feeling that bursts of raucous laughter from the rescue team should be reserved for private moments, away from the scene of the disaster.

One thing for sure, heroes don't mock you in the middle of a rescue. Next time, I'm calling the Singing Gondolier Pizza delivery guy, someone who knows when to clam up while working for a tip and, quite possibly, offer an enchanting Venetian melody while departing.