Shortly after Rupert Murdoch bought the New York Post and turned it into a tabloid sensation, he hired some youngsters to hawk his papers on the streets of lower Manhattan. Like their counterparts in London, these street urchins waved a copy of the afternoon edition over their heads and shouted out the headlines.
We were walking down Wall Street soon thereafter and heard someone shout: “Earthquake hits Brooklyn!” Of course, we ran over to the vendor and bought the paper.
After we quickly flipped through the first ten pages of the Post and did not find the earthquake news, it began to dawn on us that perhaps this disaster did not merit a screaming headline on the front page. Then we arrived on page 23 and found this one-inch item at the bottom of the page:
Temblor Rattles Brooklyn
NEW YORK – A small earthquake with a magnitude of 1.2 on the Richter Scale was detected by local geologists on Monday, with an epicenter 50 miles off the Atlantic coast. Residents living on the Belt Parkway reported they thought they heard several of their windows rattle.
We thought about this episode yesterday as everyone in our Tinton Falls, NJ office — along with about 60 million others from Atlanta to Toronto — experienced a shake, rattle or roll from the 5.9-magnitude quake that hit Mineral, VA. Thankfully, despite the gargantuan reach of this seismic event, no injuries have been reported to date.
At about 1:51 p.m. on Tuesday, our office floor suddenly decided to do The Wave, twice. For those sitting at their desks, the feeling was very similar to riding an inner tube on the ocean. Several people said they also experienced a form of vertigo, a nauseating feeling that lingered for up to an hour.
Since most of us in this part of the country had never been in an earthquake, we began to reflect on how the shock affected us and what wisdom we could glean from this traumatic interlude. Thanks to Twitter, we also were able to digest the post-earthquake musings of thousands of others in the impact zone.
As a public service, we now present our Top 10 Life-Altering Revelations from The Great Earthquake of 8/23/11:
1. Never sit on a chair with wheels during an earthquake.
2. If your golf ball moves during an earthquake, you don’t get a Mulligan.
3. If public officials start warning you about a hurricane, they are trying to divert your attention from an impending earthquake.
4. If everyone makes a cell phone call at the same time, nobody gets through.
5. If an earthquake doesn’t make any noise and causes no damage, it is not an excuse to leave work early.
6. The exact-change toll machines on the Garden State Parkway will still accept your money after an earthquake.
7. Earthquakes are not more intense at the Cheesequake rest stop on the Parkway. There also is no cheese there.
8. Don’t use an earthquake as an excuse to call someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. They will never hang up.
9. If you are a news radio host, don’t call the National Meteorological Service for information about an earthquake.
10. If you run outside and wait for your building to collapse on a hot, sunny day in August after an earthquake that can’t be heard and does no damage, bring a hat.
And now, as an added bonus, we will explain the phenomenon that sent shock waves through more than a dozen states and parts of Canada yesterday:
An earthquake can be felt by everyone in the eastern half of the U.S. at the same time because half the country sits on one huge tectonic plate that 800 million years ago got jammed between the continental shelf and the Great Smokey Mountains, forming the Appalachian Trail, now known as the Blue Ridge Parkway……
Oh, never mind.