I live in the Seattle area, and a big news story recently has been the fact that the entire area would suffer catastrophic losses of life, limb, and property should the region's dominant Mt. Rainier, an active volcano, erupt. (One might wonder how something that has had time to grow trees and form rivers can still be all that "active," but of course this is geologic time; even so, I know the last time I was waiting to erupt there was time for trees to grow on me.) Vulcanologists did great service to their trade by stating that despite their years of research and millions of dollars in costly equipment, they have no clue when it will blow its top, saying it could do so with zero warning, and only quick thinking, a superhuman will to live, a Darwinian approach to your neighbors' lives and a very good air conditioner would keep the citizens of the region alive.
Needless to say, I started to make a beeline for the Midwest when I realized that that would add even more time onto my already irksome commute. So instead I bought a few bags of ice and hoped for the best. In the meantime, though, I decided to do some research on other news stories around the country to find out what other natural disasters this nation would be sorely pressed to manage.
I offer you the following headlines from papers around the country to make you realize that life on this planet is a fragile thing that mother nature could quickly snuff out if she so desired. If you find any of these applies to areas where you live, don't panic. Well, all right, panic, what the hell do I care?
BEMIDJI SURE TO PERISH SHOULD EARTHQUAKE STRIKE:
City Officials Say No More Than 10% Would Survive Massive Rupture in Earth's Surface; "Our Buildings Are Built to Stay on the Ground; without Ground, We're Screwed," Says Mayor
GIANT BEAVERS COULD TOPPLE DURHAM IN FORTNIGHT:
Legislators Propose $1.4 Million to Study Rampaging Rodent Potential
TUSCALOOSA ILL-PREPARED FOR POTENTIAL ASTEROID IMPACT:
"Raping, Looting In The Streets," Emergency Workers Contend
SAN FRANCISCO, AUSTIN BOUND TO SUFFER CASUALTIES UPON RETURN OF
VENGEFUL, HOMOPHOBIC GOD:
Area Gays Have Made No Preparations for Scenario in which Fundamentalist Baptists Are Right
STUDY SHOWS GODZILLA ATTACK COULD DECIMATE PORTIONS OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Mothra, King Kong Could Do Similar Damage; Giant Bunkers Proposed South of Spearfish
EARTH LACKS BACKUP PLAN FOR INSTANTANEOUS LOSS OF ATMOSPHERE:
Confusion, Asphyxiation Would Result, Leading Officials Said Today; Coordinated Action by the World's Leading Industrial Powers Required