I’m weirdly pumped about our big earthquake. We haven’t had it yet but everyone promises, absolutely promises, we will. We’ve got an ancestral rip going on under our feet that is just itching to cut loose and there won’t be anything subtle about it, either. So most people are afraid of it, with good reason.
Not me. And not because I am a brave person, but because I have only the shallowest acquaintance with reality. Let me give you a quick tour of my brain. You can pretty much take in the whole thing from the front door.
You know those people who spend a lot of time worrying about stuff? People who anticipate the future so as to make plans and forestall disaster? You know, prepared people? I’m not one of those. I have a vivid imagination and tend to use it in a way that makes me feel better instead of worse.
For instance, I always envision our big earthquake happening when I’m asleep. I do assume it will be terrifying. Apparently there is complete unanimity on that, but the actual nature of the terror is difficult for me to imagine, so I don’t. Much of the house will come tumbling down and I will somehow end up on the ground floor surrounded by dimensional lumber and sheetrock dust, but not in a pinning sort of way. It will be shocking, but I will be on a nice pillowtop mattress at the time. I might have a broken bone or two, but–as I picture it–it won’t hurt much. I will crawl out from under the rubble dragging my useless but somehow pain-free leg, and I will be able to locate the peanut butter in the ruined kitchen, even without my glasses. It will be at a time of year it is not too cold or rainy. Friends and neighbors will emerge here and there, dusty but with a renewed faith in the goodness of humanity and newly appreciative of the important things in life: friendship, love, and the sharing of potable water.
I have read enough about our particular situation to know that we’ll get shooken but good. Most of the ground beneath our house was deposited as a big gravel bar during the Missoula floods and in a major earthquake (the kind they absolutely promise we will have) it will turn into pudding. We’re on a plateau, so we don’t have to worry about our house sliding down a hill with the mud, but we shouldn’t count on it staying upright, either. The house will be a wreck but after all we’re way too wedded to our material goods already, and it will no doubt do us good to remember that.
So. That’s what I imagine.
But that’s before I heard of the new Earthquake Bed, which I actually can imagine. The new earthquake bed looks like a regular bed, but when it senses an earthquake the mattress suddenly plummets four feet and a metal box flings up and slams shut over you like a Venus fly trap, leaving you entombed in the dark whilst the planet thumps violently. It’s like being dropped into a tyrannosaurus face. Fun!
It comes equipped with emergency rations and water and such, but I don’t anticipate using any. There’s probably something in there that will record for posterity the precise moment my heart blows up. The good news is I’ll be pre-casketized.
Man, I wish I had your kind of imagination instead. Yeah — I'm one of those people who anticipate the worst and try to prepare for it. I always have a base level of anxiety running in the background like malware. So what constitutes small annoyances to other people, causes me a lot of stress, and well, actual disasters send me into a blind panic. This explains two things about me: why I avoid listening to the news, and our liquor budget.
"I always have a base level of anxiety running in the background like malware." Boyoboy—that describes me too.
Now, what would explain MY beer budget?
What're the odds that when The Big One comes, you'll be up because you had to pee, and the magic bed seals itself up with you on the outside?
Wow. After reading the replies that follow, I'm thinking that might be the BEST-case scenario!
I never have to get up to pee, and during an earthquake I'm betting I can accomplish it right where I am.
Never? Damn. I should have asked more questions when I was opting for the route-around-the-prostate plumbing. At the time the dollar per hour vs 79 cents seemed like a slam-dunk.
I'm not in an earthquake area (well, at least until they start frakking here). I do know that when I'm on a plane, I'm not terrified about potential bad stuff because I figure it's not within my control anyway. I don't fantasize about what's going to happen when something bad happens, though. Maybe I should.
Not sure about the earthquake bed. Sounds like a line in a movie: "Things got so wild that my earthquake bed thought the Earth was shaking… if you know what I mean."
"Was it good for you?"
"Shut up and find the latch to this thing."
My imagination is prepared for all the wrong things. I will be useless in an emergency, but if somehow my husband on 33 years and I end up on the Newlywed Game, I will have figured out a way to pass answers between us. Also, if I need to rapidly solve Sudoku puzzles to win life-or-death contests, I am set.
But claustrophobic me would likely die immediately in that earthquake-proof bed. I already come close to panic attacks watching people being handcuffed with their hands behind their back.
It's almost as bad as those floating pod spheres you can climb in to ride out a tsunami. They're very effective, but I can guarantee when that sucker washes up on shore, they'll still pull out a corpse.
Holy crap! How do you get out again? What if the damaged crate won't open? Being shut in a box face-to-face with the person I just argued with at the breakfast table won't be pleasant!
Oh, my god…. Edgar Allan Poe would have a ball making a story around this if he were alive today!
The Plummet and the Pendulum!
My first thought as well. We might be pretty shallow people, Susan.
Thanks! Pain in the ass that one was, with all the one-inch triangles.
I think I'd rather be crushed – and hopefully killed – by the roof of my house than trapped in that bed. But I did enjoy the wee video. Sleep tight, indeed!
It's popular in Japan. Whole different perspective on personal space, there.
I have wondered about toilet facilities inside that bed. Bad enough that I will have soaked my nethers at the first shock, but when number two becomes mandatory, do you just – I don't know – maybe they provide those plastic doggydoo bags? And air freshener? Or what?
I always assume it will happen while i'm on the wrong side of the river. Anyone with a functioning rowboat can ask any price at that point.
I have a friend who always assumes it will happen when she's on one of the bridges. So there's that.
Heh. I never go over the Fremont Bridge or the Marquam without thinking of the Big One. The other bridges, I never think about it. I guess it's the height.
Right. The Hawthorne looks like it would make a nice, comfy raft.
Oh thank you thank you. I feel much reassured about the who earthquake situation. It helps though that at about 5oo ft. above the Mississippi Rive her in Minnesota the last earthquake here cause the river to run backwards. Still that was in 180something. Jefferson was a good President. Today of course.. wait a minute now I'm really scared…:(
Oh fine, you had to go THERE.
Yes, at my age, I would probably panic over not being able to hop up and pee every few hours. And if it is a metal container, how are cell phone signals supposed to get out to the rescuers searching through the rubble?
I think cell phones are a goner in our earthquake no matter where you are. Believe I've read that. So if it happens, Ed, I want you to assume I'm just fine, but a little dusty.
I think this bed has a dual function – entomb you in an earthquake plus separate those of us with claustrophobia from those of us without. I'm "with". Because what if that whole thing sank into the ground? Brrrrrrr!!
But remember! The ground is like pudding!
Earthquake bed? Que? I've had dozens of little shaky starts, a sort of curtain raiser for the championship match.A bit scary, but, considering we live on pretty scary rock…
But an earthquake bed??? No, definitely NO.
Is Australia as quaky as New Zealand?
That bed looks like a foretaste of hell to me. Add me to the definitely no list. Definitely, emphatically NO.
They do also make nice beds with industrial steel canopies on top which you can decorate with appropriate flounces. That sounds like a winner.
Yikes! I'll have nightmares tonight, just from seeing that video! I'd rather have the house fall on me; at least, if the worst came to the worst, I'd be able to hear the rescuers coming for me. (Instant death is not the worst; I wouldn't have to hang around afterwards.)
Just my luck the ceiling would cave in on me and I'll die from the willies when the rats fall out.
I was wrong; I didn't dream of being locked in an earthquake bed. I dreamt of rats. Rats on my walls. Rats climbing my curtains. Rats under the bed.
You have much to be blamed for.
Rats can't get into the earthquake bed. There's always that.
You may not have noticed, but the couple in the video get slammed together pretty violently on the way down. Enough to break a jaw on a skull (or on a collarbone, a scapula, a hipbone, or what-have-you, depending on some circumstances I leave to that imagination you advertised). Untreated, broken jaws pose a potential threat to airways, not to mention to decent peanut butter consumption. I’m not sure you’ve thought this one through thoroughly.
P.S., I hate an earthquake.
"I leave that to the imagination you advertised." Hee hee!
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It's probably profiling on my part, but anymore, when someone is obviously Russian, I just assume they are a bot. Hey, profiling isn't prejudice; it's a time-saver!
Now, now. vaiybora is a very frequent commenter hereabouts and has only nice things to say. On every post going back several years. How can I doubt that sincerity?
I really don't like the idea of being entombed in my own bed. What if I can't get out? what if nobody knows where to look for me?
I'll take my chances in a regular bed. Or wherever I happen to be if/when an earthquake hits my area.
I'm not taking chances. I'm going to bed NOW.
I was in an earthquake while sleeping. It was like the coin-operated massage thingy started by itself. I went back to sleep and didn't discover until the next morning that it'd been an earthquake.
PS, I'm going to try to use "pre-casketized" in every conversation today.
I call your bluff! Let's see you use it in a sentence in my response to the "bot" above. (Just trying to keep you honest!)
That earthquake bed reminds me of George Jetson's. His worked more like a toaster if I recall. You are right not to worry. What would be the point?
Right! He just popped out of bed and into his jetcar or something!
I am with you– never could understand why people expend their imaginings on dire and unpleasant things. My mind seeks the pleasant and uplifting. "casketized," indeed.
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