I missed that whole 11/11/11/11:11 thing, and the test of the Emergency Alert System, and the last four raptures, and it was all due to inattention. Many people feel that things like the eleventh second of the eleventh hour of the eleventh month in the eleventh year of the century are very special and should be observed. It won’t ever come back again, they say, which does little to distinguish it from all the other seconds piling up out there. I admit I often lack reverence. For instance, I have trouble manufacturing a big personal whoop about New Year’s, now that I’m no longer on the make and don’t drink myself blind. But I had planned to pay attention on 11/11. I had it on good authority (Facebook) that it is a date of transformation from third density into Higher Consciousness. The sacred date of 11/11/11 is a portal into Higher Dimensions, giving us unprecedented Love/Light supportive energy for our transformation.
And if that were so, there should be some sort of chime of singularity that could actually be felt during that second, like maybe the Higgs Boson coming up and giving you a tiny tap ding! on your forehead. Something you could feel if you were paying attention, which I wasn’t. I was eating oatmeal.
Same thing with all the raptures. I had them all on my calendar, but when they arrived I had gotten busy with something else and missed the whole thing. I don’t know if they happened or not. All the people who should be missing are people I wouldn’t miss if they were gone anyway, so I have no way of knowing.
The one that really bums me out is the Emergency Alert System, which was scheduled for a grand nationwide test last Thursday. I wanted to tune in just to see if they’d come up with a new alert sound, because I’m tired of the old one. It sounds sort of accidental, as though they didn’t pay someone a lot of money to come up with it, like they did with the sound of your letter getting sent on an iMac, or the howdy-do bells of your Windows machine coming on. It sounds like someone repeatedly stepping on a duck that has swallowed a toad, only digital, so that the sound comes out in little cubical bleats. As good as your TV screen looks when it’s trying to resolve itself digitally and is busted up into squares, that’s how good the EAS sounds. I couldn’t believe it when they rolled it out for the first time in the nineties. Pathetic.
It did replace an even worse sound, a prolonged two-note warble wherein the two notes involved shouldn’t even have been in the same room. That one went on for like a whole minute, too. They started testing it when I was in sixth grade, right about the time the country was working on ways to scare the pants off its children so as to keep them in line, only a lot of them were twelve-year-old boys and nothing works on them. We drilled in diving under our school desks. The idea was that the cleanup from a mass instantaneous incineration would be easier if we were all crumpled up in rows and columns. We all learned to loathe Khrushchev and the Commies, which is what we used to call Muslims. And the Emergency Broadcast System would test itself on our radios with some frequency. The Brewster radio was a small bakelite number we kept in the kitchen, and Arthur Godfrey lived in it. I guess the first few times we heard the test we filled our shorts, as intended, but after a while, it was just an annoying interruption we learned to ignore.
Which is why, when someone did accidentally set off the national emergency tone for imminent nuclear annihilation, in 1971, the nation’s shorts remained pristine.
That was one of the things that the new Emergency Alert System was meant to address. They kept the alerts much shorter. You only have to wait ten seconds to find out if you have time to finish wiping before jumping into a hole in the ground.
Anyway, it turns out that if I had tuned in to the latest nationwide test, I would have heard nothing at all, because it didn’t work. At least here. And that would have been appropriately alarming. “Nothing at all” is the very same sound that cougars are said to make when they’re stalking you just above the trail. “Nothing at all” is such an unusual sound these days that it would really stand out. Still, I think they can come up with a better, more alarming sound, one that will really get people’s attention in a hurry.
I nominate the HORKinnaHORKinnaHORKinna sound that immediately precedes an incoming hairball deposit on the blanket you’re sleeping under. Call me patriotic, but I can be awake and ready to launch fur in one second.
Oh yeah…familiar alert, that HORKinnaHO
oops! gotta go…Geiger! nooooooooooooo
That was NOT a test alert. I didn't have time to say I like Pootie's foil hat.:-)
You should be proud of ignoring this stuff. It's just static and clutter, like horoscopes or celebrity diets. Eleven-whatever is a count of arbitrarily-defined units from an arbitrarily-established zero point. Only the kind of people who believe in "higher consciousness" would think this is important.
Rapture? Lots of people were paying very close attention to Harold camping, and trying to get everyone else to do so, and just imagine how they feel now, having made idiots of themselves in front of the entire planet. (Hey, I've done my part — which is the pointing-and-laughing part.)
As for the Emergency Alert test, trust me, the people in charge are very glad of everyone who ignores it, because the people they hear from who didn't ignore it are mostly the kind of people who tune in to an SF show on the radio and think the Martians have actually invaded.
It sounds like someone repeatedly stepping on a duck that has swallowed a toad, only digital,
They had to digitize it because they could no longer afford a new duck and toad every year. Budget cuts, you know.
Total silence is getting to be a rare treat, isn't it?
Yep….I know that sound in the deep dark night. Normally slow to awake, that one used to have me on my feet and running in a split second. It's a good thing they test once in a while. Otherwise, who would have known it was broken?
"And the Emergency Broadcast System would test itself on our radios with some frequency."…my favorite little Easter Egg in this post.
In NC, when I was growing up, every Saturday noon they tested the air raid siren all over the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The whole everything blared terrifyingly. I never failed to jump out of my skin. Of course, they had to carry on those tests, because they never knew when the Japs or the Germans might decide to bomb Textile Drive to cinders. Usually, I was coming back from Felicia Dance Studios (vortex of frothing American imperialism and another of the our enemies' strategic targets) at Saturday noon. It's cruel to give a child a vague dread of Saturdays and tap dancing.
That and the polio epidemic and the atomic bomb rations in the basement of the school. No wonder our generation grew up with a tendency toward drama and an exaggerated sense of its importance in the world.
"…what we used to call Muslims…"
Oh, that's great. I love that.
Having a little inside information on that National Emergency Test that wasn't, I can tell you that all the hype beforehand virtually guaranteed it would fail, because it HAD to be done when they said it would be done after they made such a big production of it. And SOMEBODY wasn't ready. It didn't work anywhere, because the original signal (from the White House)didn't go out to the various stations that were to relay it all over the country at the same time. Of course there was a whole contingent of doomsayers predicting (before the failure) that the point of it was that the Government Is Preparing To Take Over The Airwaves!!! Another cataclysm I guess we don't have to worry about.
I have to agree with Suburban Correspondent: that is SO perfect. Pooty is protected, though, with that hat. Not sure what to think of that last picture.
Oh man, the best post you've written in as long as I can remember – roughly 10 seconds. I'm reading you the Scaramento Valley now, and I think you are coming in more clearly.
I nominate you for producing the next alert sound.
I had forgotten about diving under desks! It ranked right up there with mimeograph paper. I loved the smell of that. I'm sure that chemical concoction did something to me. Probably turned me gay is what it did.
And you just HAPPEN to have a school classroom with little desks handy? Swear to God, woman, your posts are a-frickin'-mazing! I look for Murr right after I read "Girl Genius"
You don't want an emergency alert sound to be too attention getting. I had an alarm system that was so loud and appalling that it turned my brains to jelly every time it went off. And some system at the nearby hospital set it off frequently. I had the entire system ripped out and trusted to the cats to wake me if floor 13 escaped and spread through the neighborhood.
🙂 Chuckled all the way through this, particularly the part about how the ashes would've been easier to sweep up in rows and how we used to call Muslims Communists.
Love how your brain works.
You may not know this, but our pets will be safe in case we are among the Raptured. Self-promotion? No, something really crazy.
And "What we used to call Muslims." Brilliant!
What's a rapture? Some kind of hip hop overture played by "Down with it G and his Turntable Masters" warming up and teasin the crowd with what they are in for in their near future?
If it is, then no wonder I missed the previous raptures. I don't like hip hop.
Oh, Murr…..I read this right before leaving for my surgery and they will wheel me in with a smile on my face.
So many brilliant bits I can't even count them. You got that HORK thing down perfectly.
Oh Lord YES the Imminent Launch of a Hairball noise – THAT warning sound would wake anyone. Perfect. And you just happened to have a school desk as a prop hanging around, did you? Do you live in The LIttle Theater? I bet you were a winning contestant on Monty Hall's old show, the one where you had to have odd random things in your purse. Baked potato? Check. Lug wrench? Check.
I remember riding the school bus in the '60s, sitting up high, checking out the neighborhoods on the way to school, and we could see the progress of one guy who was building a bomb shelter in his back yard. Getting ready for those Commies. Didn't notice what style of tinfoil hat he wore.
I'm laughing out loud reading this, as usual! I haven't shared my home with a cat for at least 10 years, but I guarantee the HORK sound would still launch me out of bed in a nanosecond. Some reflexes just never die.
…And now, apparently, I'm "blog". Blogger hates me.
Thank you for noticing. Yes, it was Dave's idea to find a little school desk, and we went to the local elementary school after dark last night and found one, even though he had to leave half a beer warming on the counter to do it. You have to make a lot of sacrifices in this business if you don't know how to do PhotoShop.
And mimeograph fumes are well known to induce gayness among susceptible youth, Bill, but Lik-A-Maid can turn you back.
Check in when you get out of surgery, Lo! We need an update.
OMG! You are so right! Nothing sets me bolt upright out of a dead sleep than the sound of my cat hacking up a fur ball. It's the perfect emergency alert sound. And once again you are a damn and grossly underpaid genius!
The penalties after you ignore that Horrrrk sound are huge too. Standing in a cats digestion process is no way to start the day. A wonderful emergency sound – which I really, really hope isnt tested often.
Oh the joys. We've had kittens since May, and they've just started doing that. I'd been hoping they were immune or something. No dice.
Oh, I am so with you on this one. What great memories of ourselves as children…so soberly crawling under our desks content with the knowledge that doing so would save our lives.
OKay, I'm still recovering from your comment to Bill: "Lik-A-Maid can turn you back."
Anyway, this is so good. Funny, funny stuff. Too many good lines to mention, but this is you at the top of your game.
I heard that in some areas, instead of the alert sound, they were treated to some Lady Gaga. America: it's like something out of The Three Stooges.
For the best take on the raptures, listen to Iris DeMint's song, "Let the Mystery Be" at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlaoR5m4L80 Really.
"All the people who should be missing are people I wouldn't miss if they were gone anyway, so I have no way of knowing." Hah, hah, hah – great line (among many).
Be careful with that ll/11/11 thingy. It also happened to be my birthday. "HORKinnaHORKinnaHORKinna"
At 11/11/11 at the 11th hour I too was eating porridge with blueberries in it and also remain unraptured and unenlightened. Gosh Murr, the stupefying powers of oatmeal? In the 50s school desks were scientifically proven to protect against nuclear fallout, especially if you clasped your hands at the back of your neck. We had moaning wailing sirens which struck ice to the core of one's being, causing us to freeze when we should have been diving under desks. I think the hairball noise is a much better idea because it makes you MOVE!
Top form for this one, Murr. And I am so with you about New Year's.
That hairball hawking sound wakes me every time!
Then I worry about where my feet will land–in it or avoid it–before I get the light on.
We did not ever have such alarms here, only fire ons. Some folks way back built shelters in their backyards fearing atomic war! Dumb !
I guess I have supported the legacy of 11.11 since I was obligated to teach it each year and then my daughter was a cadet.
Love the way you passed it. I'm sure there were billions who did something else. Good thing too.
Rose and I were going in the same direction….not only would the HORK warning signal awaken any living human being, but they would also take great care in where their feet were planted as they reacted to the sound.
Why doesn't anyone realize that the rapture really did happen? It's just that the whole human race has become so worthless, that we were ALL left behind.
You've got yourself a good point there, Always. And here's what I remember about backyard bomb shelters: MAKING OUT IN THE DARK! Probably not what the parents had in mind when they excavated, but…
In the interest of full disclosure, the current resident cat Tater has not hacked up a single hairball, ever. Previous resident cat Larry (Saint Larry) was much more productive.
And happy birthday, sweet Leslie! Let's all sing to Leslie.
Excuse the random nature of these observations, it is 3:37am and I'm at work.
1. Our Seamus can make that liquid regurgitation noise at an alarming volume but not actually hork up anything at all. This usually happens at around this hour of the morning, which makes me glad I'm sealed in the security bunker here at 911. This is apparently a form of cat PsyOps, because the only thing more psychologically stressful than cleaning up ACTUAL cathork is padding around the hardwood in the dark LOOKING for it. And never finding it.
2. I celebrated 11/11/11 by listening to the entire soundtrack to 'This is Spinal Tap'.
3. The special announcement clipboard here at 911 was rife with bulletins about the emergency test for days before the actual 'thing'. I came in to work at 4pm that day and asked the day shift 'So, how did it go?' and was told 'I have absolutely no idea.'
"when someone did accidentally set off the national emergency tone for imminent nuclear annihilation, in 1971"?? WTF? Where the hell was I?
Ah, such fond memories, my dear: crouching under our desks to withstand the nuclear flash – the logic of why the Reds would have spent billions of dollars on an A-bomb to blow up Wapakoneta, Ohio always escaped me – or huddling beneath the classroom windows in case of a tornado (the idea being that the building might fall down around you ass but at least you wouldn't be pinned like a voodoo doll to the opposite wall by flying shards of glass). You just can't buy memories like those!
Eleven-eleven-eleven, I was watching "Seven" (another fateful number)for the umpteenth time and forgot to look at my watch. When I realized I'd missed it, I was furious with myself.
To be honest I have lately been testing fate. I mean, the other day a slew of Jehovah's Witnesses showed up at the gate to ask if I was prepared for the Judgment Day that was nigh, and I told them to sod off before I let the dogs out on them.
Anyway, not to worry: There's still December 21, 2012 to look forward to!
And then there's the arithmetical fact that the fabled 11… etc. does recur, if only at 100-year intervals.
The only one that won't passed back in 1111 CE, so we missed that one, too. Of course that century was pretty much a disaster (at least in Europe) so maybe there IS something to the legend.
First, you'll need to find an enormous cat that can produce a sufficiently loud sample of the "HORKinnaHORKinnaHORKinna" sound.
Actually, "HORKinnaHORKinnaHORKinna" sounds like something I'd want to chant while dancing wildly around a bonfire!
funny… made me wanna go out and buy a school desk…. just n case.
I am oddly comforted by the image of Ahab HORKing around a bonfire. I wonder if we can suggest this as a new Occupy activity?
Ha, I love the picture of you under the desk.
what a pity we don't go in for national emergency dingdongs or raptures. I can't do fur balls either, not having a cat. A dog sounds similar when he's being as sick as only a dog can be.
But I can do ruptures. is that any good?
Murr, I am laughing out loud in the Kyiv railway station and people are staring at me.