Please help us welcome, Robyn M. Speed, a Kiwi who has been a long-time friend and survived a lot with her humor in tact this past year.
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We are the 'earthquakians' (a terminology I have just stolen from a friend*) and we live in a place that for ten months has absolutely refused to keep still. This is, I point out, not the normal nature of this land, for I have lived here a long time and she sat still most of the time.
I find that these quakes** (it is so utterly bad that I am having to use plural) have had an effect on me, all of them (also really really bad to be able to use such a term as 'all of them'!!) and my sense of humour has developed a ravenous hunger of its own. Mind you, in these times of such stress (so thick in the city you could slice it, wrap it, and mail it to a convent) we need to find stuff to laugh at. A gorgeous friend sent me a funny email and I so appreciated it because if we don't find something to laugh at we are going to start laughing at really inappropriate things. Take, for example, the state of my house...
My chimney is falling off my house? Fucking hilllaaaarrious!!!!
I think the foundations may have moved because the lounge doors won't close? Pissing myself that I may have a hillock in my lounge!
The cracks in the house are moving? Rolling on the floor giggling that my house is like a transformer--house one minute, self-aware-leggo-blocks the next!! FUNNNNNYYYY!
The front of my house may soon be plywood???? Gads, what deliciously inappropriate art can I commission for it?? What art would both delight and shock my neighbours? WEEETTTING myself at the endless opportunities!!
The east is sinking in liquifaction? Glories BE, that must mean the west is rising, surely?? Fist salute!
You see what I mean? That last one is just completely inappropriate!
But that is what I am starting to do: Laugh at really inappropriate things! I find the slightest thing freaking hilarious.
And the sickest thing may be: I find a 3.0 aftershock quite soothing...and sometimes I want them to go on all night, just to gently rock me to sleep. You see what I mean? That's just plain wrong. Who in their right mind wants aftershocks all night long? No one in their right mind...but then again, I am not in my right mind, not any more. The earthquakes and aftershocks broke me.
It's not just me though, I have noticed that other people are 'broken' too. Our perspectives have changed. For example...
Plywood is the new housing accessory trend--if you don't have it, you're nobody!
Fluoro is the new black--there is nothing sexier than a workman in a fluoro vest walking up your driveway, because you know he's here to fix something! (If it was summer right now, with all the tradesmen and their fluoro vests, I think I would spontaneously combust!)
Hardhats...well, combine that with the fluoro and need I say more... (*tiger growl*)
It's okay to be driving on the wrong side of the road--so long as there is no traffic coming--when you are avoiding damaged parts of the road. (I know that before I turn into my street, I have to swing to the left of one lot of road damage, to the right of the next lot, go slowly over the next section of road-wide damage and then avoid the pot hole at the end.) There's not a single level road left in the city, and to be honest, driving here is quite exciting!!
We don't look at the latest Mercedes or BMW and think 'Wow, I would love one of those', we look at the utes and say 'I wish I had bought one of them!'
When our husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend (not all in the same bed of course ... although...) rolls over and makes the bed shake we scream 'Earthquake!'
The earth moves for me when I am in bed alone! (Actually, going back to that husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend all in the same bed ... can we just give that a try?)
Life is different now...we are not Cantabrians (dwellers of the Canterbury Plains), we are Earthquakians.
When earthquakes and aftershocks hit, we no longer scream 'Oh no, it's an earthquake!', instead we gasp 'Another one??!!!! Seriously??!!' (Often followed by 'Are you f****** kidding me??!!')
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* stole said terminology from Ms Deborah McKay Loughlin--she told me I had to give her the credit!
** 4th Sep 2010 7.1 magnitude; 22nd Feb 2011 6.3 magnitude; 13 June 2011 5.3 magnitude followed an hour and twenty minutes later by a 6.3 magnitude (these two are fondly referred to as the 'twins'), and over 7400 aftershocks since 4th Sep (we're aiming for a world record).