Everyone’s on the “It’s the 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake! Where were you when it happened?” bandwagon here, and I thought I’d share the shorter (and maybe funny) story.
We’d just moved into a new house, and it was the first two-story place we’d ever had. People had warned us that you feel earthquakes more on the second story and this proved to be true. Small ones (less than 3.0 on the Richter scale) felt just a little bit stronger and we swayed a fraction of a second longer. Knowing that, my dad (the same one who gave me this sense of humor) decided to play a long-running joke on my mom.
My mom used to be a light sleeper, so any hint of movement would wake her up immediately. My dad would to see if she was sleeping and then he’d start shaking the bed – slowly at first, then gradually build it up to resemble a really bad earthquake. My mom would wake up, freak out, and yell for my dad to come get me and then head downstairs.
“Oh, you mean this?” he’d ask, and continue shaking the bed. She’d hit him, call him an asshole, and then they’d go back to sleep. He did this about twice a month for a year, and she hated it.
Fast forward to January 17, 1994. The quake hit fast and fierce, and woke up both of my parents at the same time.
“Cut it out! It’s not funny anymore,” she said.
“It’s not me. This is the big one. We need to grab Katie and go downstairs.”
My parents waited until after a few aftershocks to tell me this story. We had a good laugh, then tried to go back to sleep.
As far as I know, my dad never played that joke again on my mom.