Are you all right? Did you survive it? I’m kind of afraid that many of our friends and loved ones may have been lost in the rubble of the MASSIVE QUAKE that rocked, rolled and rumbled across our delicate region last weekend. Of course, the “rubble” consisted mainly of one or two knickknacks fallen from shelves and maybe a fork, spoon or napkin that trembled off the table. But still! You should definitely break down the door to your neighbor’s house even now and check on them. They’ll thank you later, probably.

This quake was for real, yo. I’ll remember that horrifying eighth of a second until the day I die. When the crash, boom, bang ripped across the world, I leaped up from my desk and shouted – and I quote – “What the !#@$%!?” Of course, that’s how I respond to all potentially life-ending situations. That’s how I respond to lots of things, frankly.

Paging Dr. Richter
The rare thing about this MONSTER QUAKE was that I actually got to experience it. I’ve covered probably two dozen local quakes since I started at the paper, but I don’t believe I ever felt a one of them. I’m always either asleep, distracted or busy doing . . . other stuff, which is absolutely none of your business so stop asking me about it.

To be honest, when I first heard and felt the rumble, my first thought was that, at last, the giant, earth-burrowing, flesh-craving, massive-fanged killer worms had arrived to terrorize the Twin Cities and possibly surrounding towns. Now that I think of it, has anyone checked on Kevin Bacon?

The early part of the week was so nice, I was able to get the motorcycle out and ride a bit. I tell you, this is the only way to really enjoy the frost heaves and pot holes. It’s like a taxpayer-funded network of off-road trails slicing right through the downtown.

The political reach around
Man, it’s a busy political season. Every day my email box is overcome by wave after wave of politicos seeking votes, contributions or grateful pats on the back from me personally. And their PR people are clever these days. They make every email sound like it’s written to me specifically. “Hey, Mark. How’s it going? How did you make out with that thing you were dealing with? Did you get that cleared up? Good, good. We should get together soon. And speaking of getting it together, you’ll be glad to know that I, Senator Clark W. Porkrib, have been rolling up my sleeves, giving 110 percent, putting my nose to the grindstone and looking out for you personally by voting to preserve the living environment of the Left-Handed Albanian Dwarf Shrew in states whose names end in vowels . . .” And then begins the slow reach around into my wallet as Sen. Porkrib makes his blubbering appeal for donations. Weasels. For a few weird seconds there, I thought the fellow earnestly wanted to hang out and maybe shoot a game of pool or two.

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