15 March 2011 ~ 14 Comments

Top 5 Reasons why aftershocks ROCK!

Yes, earthquakes are bad. They kill people, or they cause tsunamis and fires that kill people, or give people heart attacks (how one will kill me probably) and ruin families. I’m against earthquakes! I’m anti-quake. If there’s a petition to the Pontiff to use his connections and pass along a request to the Guy Upstairs to eradicate earthquakes from His list of disasters for which there is no preparation and no escape, I’d sign it.

I’ve been a fierce opponent of quakes ever since one delayed the World Series back in 1989. I was watching the TV waiting for the game to begin when BAM! it hit live on TV right there at Candlestick Park. And my sister lived just outside San Francisco at the time, which scared my family half to death. She was fine, but my disapproval of earthquakes as God’s go-to act when he really wants to put the fear of God in people has been stalwart since then.

Don’t ask me why I moved to Asia’s earthquake central. Please don’t ask me. It’s no reflection of how I feel about quakes.

I think we can all agree:

Earthquake = Bad

Quakes suck ass!

Ok, but what about aftershocks (and tremors)? You know, those titillating terrestrial throbs that occur for days and even weeks in the wake of a quake. Those invigorating vibrations that issue from the earth in an almost rhythmic effervescent  quiver.

Yes, I know, I know, I know. They terrify. They augur of bad tidings, They break dishes and knock over vases sometimes, …But so do babies, don’t they? You wouldn’t throw your bundle of joy out with the bath water now would you? So why put aftershocks and tremors on your Acts of God shit list?

Personally I feel they have been unjustly stigmatized  because of their relationship with earthquakes. I mean, Woody Harrelson’s father was a cold-blooded killer, assassinated a Federal Judge, in fact. Now, you wouldn’t paint Woody with that same brush would you? I mean, can you imagine Natural Born Killers without Woody? How about “Cheers“?

So, fuck what you heard. Loco is here to tell you: Aftershocks Rock!

Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! Here are my top 5 reasons:

5- Aftershocks rarely kill or maim

I may have overstated the obvious, but it’s true; they rarely do! I like to think of them as God giving Mother Nature a “massage” using a vibrator on drive her crazy with lust speed, so of course she’s gonna buck and spasm a bit. And tremors? Well, officially they are earthquakes but  minor ones. Of course they can traumatize over a long period of time, like I’m sure they have with me. But, at the same time, they prepare one for the big one as much as anybody or anything can be prepared. (Earthquake=bad, remember?) and they don’t kill in the process.

And, as an added bonus, no one in the outside world worries about aftershocks and tremors, so the frequency of people flooding your twitter timeline and FB homepage asking about your welfare (as will the number of times you will have to report to all- individually to be respectful and show gratitude for their concern-“I’m alive and kicking, thank you!” )  is significantly lower. Maybe even zero.

4-Aftershocks help you lose weight.


It’s true. I must have lost about 5 pounds since Friday. All this shaking makes for poor digestion and a reduced appetite (exacerbated by all the hoarding going on). You look at your food, menu or display, and ask yourself: how is that going to look when it comes back up an hour from now? And you decide against that greasy Yakisoba or cold Curry and Rice and reach for a fruit or a salad instead.

3-Aftershocks make the best martinis!

If you’re like me and James Bond-another seriously cool guy (especially that new Daniel Craig fella) – you like your vodka martinis shaken,  not stirred, am I right? Well, by chance I was making a martini the other night  at the crib (you know, to take the edge off) and was about to put it in the shaker (I can never get it quite right, though) when, out of nowhere, or rather out of the crotch of the planet, came the Earth’s bartender: the Aftershock. And, with a flourish that, frankly, staggered me momentarily, mixed a martini right before my eyes. Sip. Ah, perfect! Now every time I make a martini I pray for another visit from the Bartender from the Earth’s private parts.

2-Aftershocks interrupt your sleep!


Huh? You say, why is that good? Allow me to explain. You’ve just 4 days earlier survived one of those Earthquakes (see, bad) with a rather bloated Richter scale number damn near in the double digits, right? And, after walking a few hours through blacked out streets with a million other people, you finally get home, turn on CNN and learn that 1000 people weren’t as lucky as you and thousands More are missing, that tsunamis have swept them out to sea  like toy soldiers or driftwood. Then after you’ve exhausted yourself on enough sensational news to wake  a coma patient (and had a couple of Aftershock shaken vodka martinis) you take yourself to sleep. Naturally, you dream of yourself swimming against the currents of some god-forsaken whirlpool surrounded by a million drifting lifeless Japanese bodies. That’s when a godsend occurs; a 4.0 blessing of an aftershock rocks your ass awake, rattling windows and knocking over beer cans, martini glasses and wine bottles! You wake up scared shit-less but on dry land!

And, the final reason I think Aftershocks Rock is:

1- Aftershocks are Forget-me nots!

During your near death encounter with that 8.9 Act of God, you had an epiphany. You learned something beautiful and essential about this amazing gift we call life. It stays with you that entire  10-mile walk home. This sense of the eternal, of camaraderie with your fellow man, and harmony with every living thing. It wakes you up the following morning and has that air of something you might never forget, something that has altered your reality for the better forever.

Then, that trauma and panic starts to mess with you. You check you in-box and you have over 100 messages from loved ones telling you to “be safe” “Stay safe” “be careful” “come home!” and even one from your best friend in the world telling you, cryptically, “don’t drink the milk” like something from some old Little Rascals episode.


Yes, you are indeed loved, worried over, and ain’t it grand? The whole world has opened its heart to Japan, Japanese and those unfortunate foreigners who happened to be living here with them, and is pouring its contents all over your homepage, blog and everywhere else it can reach. It’s just what the doctor ordered. And you’re ever so grateful…for about 24 hours or so. Then, like too much of anything, especially good things, it starts to wear on you.

“I’m ok,” but you don’t add the dammit you’re feeling nor the almost desperation you feel saying it.

“I’m fine!” already!

They don’t believe it. They wouldn’t be fine 15o miles from a leaky nuclear power plant threatening to meltdown, in a wooden house you were surprised to find still standing when you’d arrived home after the quake, so how could you be? You start to wonder if you’re really alright or if you’re just frontin‘ trying to make everyone else feel better. Or, trying to convince yourself you’re ok.

And, that epiphany you had? It’s starts to fade from mind. You feel harmonious with nothing, certainly not the radiation riding the prevailing winds. Nor with the empty shelves at the convenience store and the altogether closed supermarket. Not with the rolling black outs and your deserting friends, headed south for the duration of te crisis. Not with your fellow commuters who have forgotten what they’d learned during their brush with the almighty and returned to their sickening behavior, much to your chagrin.

Only one thing reminds you of your epiphany, keeps it fresh and unforgettable.

What might that be, you ask?

Aftershocks, baby!

When you hear those chimes and jingles go off in the office- you know, those cellphone earthquake alerts your co-workers have that go off every hour or so, prompting the room to go silent and everyone to stiffen up and stare off into the hereafter or at the TV set mounted in the corner, waiting, searching, wondering, and praying in their own way- you know the aftershock will soon follow.

Then it comes!

Some are sleek and smooth as a Mercedes Benz traveling at high speeds on some deserted road. Some are rugged as the rides you used to take around Prospect Park,  jouncing off-road in the woods or racing along the cobblestone paths on your Trek mountain bike.

And, like rapture, like an orgasm, the details of the epiphany return to you, in vivid living color, and the beauty of your small, insignificant life is once again larger than life.

Only aftershocks can achieve this!

Cuz Aftershocks Rock!

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14 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons why aftershocks ROCK!”

  1. Anonymous 15 March 2011 at 5:39 pm Permalink

    Well, making lemonade, I guess. Heh heh.

    • Locohama 15 March 2011 at 7:51 pm Permalink

      Thanks Blueshoe! Yep, olde fashioned country-time lemonade lol

  2. Andy Arnott 15 March 2011 at 7:26 pm Permalink

    Funny piece, pretty dark, but still funny. How many disasters have you sat through now? Feeling nervous just talking to you, I'm gonna go and find some counselling. Keep raging Loco!

    • Locohama 15 March 2011 at 7:51 pm Permalink

      Thanks Andy! Just 2 disasters i think…(-;

  3. kateria niambi 15 March 2011 at 11:39 pm Permalink

    I'm glad that this was the first quake blog of yours that I've read. I avoid the news because I'm an empath and can't afford to absorb the pain. Quite honestly, I have been avoiding reading your post quake blogs because I'm an even bigger punk when I know someone directly affected by disastrous news. BUT THIS post buddy boy is a good one; well written (like when white folks say "he's a well spoken black man") and light and airy…just like I like 'em. I wondered what your friend (my arch nemesis btw LOL) meant when he mentioned the milk… and I still don't know, but that's the beauty of inside jokes and references…
    Stay safe, be safe, come home, and don't drink the milk…

    • Locohama 16 March 2011 at 7:00 am Permalink

      LMAO!!! Thanks Kat! Trust me, I'm two seconds from hopping on the next thing smoking…if it wasn't for these damn lovable aftershocks i would have been gone. But I can't leave them behind. Who will take care of them? Who will love them like me?? No one. Everybody hates them…Oh well…MAn, another one RIGHT NOW!!!!
      Yooohooo.. wheres my martini glass????

    • Cedric Domani 23 March 2011 at 9:27 am Permalink

      "Empath" Wow I just learned a new word!!!!!!

  4. Locohama 16 March 2011 at 12:29 am Permalink

    Wait! Is that you Ms. Love? Oh, I'm honored to have you darling. Yeah you might be right cuz we just had another friggin Aftershock a few minutes ago and I spilled my martini all over my PC. LOL Thanks for the shout!

  5. Alovelydai 16 March 2011 at 9:16 am Permalink

    You did it! You actually made me giggle about your ordeal. That my friend is no easy task! Be safe, stay dry!

    • Locohama 16 March 2011 at 9:58 am Permalink

      thanks @Lovelydai! Just my way of coping with the stress of a nuclear cloud laced with radiation drifting southwest. Saw a story on SNBC. Headline: Could radiation leak in Japan pose a threat to the US? Stuff like that makes me wanna holla! So, humor is necessary. A wiseman said never ever EVER lose your sense of humor! Wise words indeed.
      Thanks again! I will indeed stay safe and dry lol Thanks to the ceaseless onslaught of aftershocks (-:

  6. Cedric Domani 23 March 2011 at 9:32 am Permalink

    You're hardcore man. Being able to find humor from all this mess. I don't even live on Honshu and I'm distressed 🙁 good post.

  7. Locohama 23 March 2011 at 9:55 am Permalink

    Mrs. Betty is fine Fabrune! Thanks…as are my co-workers (Mrs. Betty is retired) Kind of you to ask!

  8. Locohama 23 March 2011 at 9:57 am Permalink

    Sorry to hear that Dude. SMH Ok fuck it, aftershocks go back on my act of god shitlist!

  9. Dcampeau29 31 March 2011 at 9:46 pm Permalink

    Thank you for this post and your amusing blog! If I may empathize, I've been picking through the rubble of thoughts since 3/11 pondering how miniscule and inconsequential our little lives are in this universe. After being bounced around in northern Gunma for 3 very fricking long minutes and the hundreds of aftershocks since, you've said it best, it was 'an epiphany' of elation to be alive, although (probably) 60 million others who felt the same. I've never felt so unique and so unknowingly 'one' with so many in the same instance. As I cowered under my desk with my puppy on my lap, we rode it out while contemplating how it was going to take us out, but when the tremors paused, we emerged unscathed except for a smear of doggie diarrhea on the front of my pants. As I rejoined my family members (all running for the door), I noticed their askance looks at my lower half, probably thinking 'how did the gaijin do that to himself?' While I cleaned up my wounded trousers with a kleenex, we sat through the aftershocks in the car bumped about and trying to make sense of the radio descriptions of the ensuing tsunami. "Did he really just say 'a tanker ship is crossing the highway'?" He did?! Really!? F#$*!
    PS. I lived in San Francisco in 1989, and thought I was a goner then too. But, nope, just wrong about my fate, twice.

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