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June 17, 2005

Preparation is the key to success.

Study this photo carefully, there will be a test later.


My friends tease me because I maybe, possibly, kind-of-sort-of have a tee tiny problem with hoarding. This comes from growing up poor, or being a Cancer, or maybe just having a keen sense of never EVER wanting to run out out toilet paper. I do not know.

In my life, toilet paper always comes in packages of 12 or 24 or, better yet, three hundred. Ya'll know ... the big Costco stuff. Paper towels? It is a TRAVESTY to purchase merely one or two rolls of Brawny at a time. Good grief. Buy it on sale, at Target, 12 rolls at a time. It's value! It's abundance! It's preparation in the face of a possible paper-goods shortage, which may be looming on the horizon and we would never know! Until it's too late!

This same philosophy applies to Kleenex, Tide, garbage bags, ziplocs, tin foil, and anything else that can be bought on sale and hoarded away so that you never, ever run out of necessities.

While this is a source of much amusement for my friends, they will be climbing over charred metal and wading through pools of toxic sludge to get to my house when The Big One hits. Because ya'll, I am not afraid to tell you I have the Earthquake Kit to end all earthquake kits. And the earthquake kit does not get tampered with, because the moment you use up the stuff in the kit, you must replace it, IMMEDIATELY, or superstitiously enough that is when the Big One will hit. And we have to be vigilant, and superstitious, because since Sunday we have had FOUR major earthquakes in California. FOUR big'uns.

Earthquake Situation:

Earthquake 1: Sunday morning, 8:30 a.m., Uncle Truman calls me. "I heard there was an earthquake. Is my favorite niece OK?" "Yes, Uncle Truman I am fine, honestly I just thought it was a cat jumping on the bed." "Well, you may need to move from California, the liberals are probably causing the earthquakes." "Bye Uncle Truman, thanks for calling! Love you!"

Recap: A magnitude-5.2 quake hits Riverside County on Sunday, I mistake it for a cat jumping on the bed, Uncle Truman is a Republican.

Earthquake 2: Tuesday night. One slightly inebriated Aunt Purl is on the phone with one slightly intoxicated Miss Jennifer.

Jen: Holy SHIT there is a Tsunami warning for Los Angeles.
Me: Shutup. There is not.
Jen: YES there IS, I saw it on TV.
Me: I'm looking it up on the internets. You're drunk.
Jen: So are you!
Me: HOLY SHIT there is a tsunami warning!

Recap: A magnitude-7.2 quake hit Tuesday under the ocean off Northern California. Purl and Jen simul-drinking. Tsunami never arrives.

Earthquake 3: Yesterday. Drew calls me. "Hi Drew! We just had an earthquake! I'm fine of course. Also, Ethel, Jennifer's cat? Is constipated. Apparently. Hi! How are you?"

Recap: A 4.9 (originally a 5.2, ahem) hits around Yucaipa, rocks all of SoCal. Ethel the cat gets a kitty colonic.

Earthquake 4: Last night, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit about 125 miles off the coast of Eureka.
Recap: I did not feel a thing but this is FREAKING ME OUT. And will I be stuck in downtown Los Angeles on the 19th floor of a high rise when it hits?


When the next quake hits, and let me tell you I am a little nervous from all the ground shaking of late, I hope to God I am at home because that is where all the PREPARATION is. And let me tell you, I am PREAPARED. I am READY. Smite me, oh smiter, but only at home because I have my earthquake kit ready!!

Crazy Aunt Purl's Earthquake Kit:


  • water

  • first-aid kit

  • batteries

  • battery-operated radio

  • candles, flashlights, matches

  • cat food

  • rubber gloves, garbage bags

  • charcoal, newspaper, matches for grill

  • food/drink (see below)

(Things my friends tease me about but will happily partake in once they arrive for the disaster party)

  • Tin camfire-type cooking set

  • pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked oysters

  • crackers, Trader Joe's tuna fillet, cracked pepper

  • jiffy-pop (in the silver foil package)

  • marshmallows

  • assorted chocolate, candy, etc.

  • assorted canned foods, can openers, etc.

  • Tang and vodka

  • Red wine, white wine and bottle opener

  • All alcoholic beverages? Packaged in BUBBLE WRAP. I am not kidding around with the preparation here.

  • Cokes, diet cokes, vanilla cokes.

  • Toilet paper.

  • Cards, assorted small games.

  • cigarettes

Yes, so those items you saw in the picture at the beginning of this novel? Those things -- cat food, fresh batteries, TP -- all picked up yesterday to replenish the earthquake kit.

But what about the key limes, you ask?

Ah yes. Those.

That is my ONE NOD to party preparation thus far.

Party? Happening on Saturday which is TOMORROW for chrissakes and I have nothing made, bought or prepared. The earthquake? The one I am all prepared for? Happening MAYBE NEVER and yet I have all the gourmet fixins' for the party of a lifetime because me? I AM PREPARED. For disaster. And no, we cannot break into the Earthquake Kit, because that is Wrong, and also, Tempts Fate.

I am ready for disaster. I have bubble-wrapped the wine. However, parties? That's so not something I am prepared to prepare for. But key limes seem like a great start, don't you think?


Posted by laurie at June 17, 2005 10:13 AM