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Lisa Adams

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I'm Gonna Sue the Discovery Channel
By Lisa Adams   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2005

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Geological alarmists should never gain access to the Discovery Channel.

Ok, I admit it. I have been in hiding in a fallout shelter awaiting the next tsunami event to hit Crescent City, California. In case any of you know where Klamath is, try a mere 17 miles south of la ciudad de crescente - aka Crescent City. 

It went something like this:  June 14, Flag Day, was my 13th wedding anniversary. I bought the man a $13k pickup because I figure the least I could give was a grand for each year of living hell I put the guy through, right?

Well, the truck purchase went swimmingly - nice Dodge Ram 1500 with Lear canopy - NICE. We were calmly chilling out, when ALL OF A SUDDEN my paralegal calls.

"Tell Robert and the kids a tsunami warning just came out. Tell them I can't get through on the phone. SAVE THE CHILDREN"...I scream back - "AAAAAAAGGGGGH WE GOTTA RESCUE THEM!" We were out the door in under a minute - I kid you not. 

Forget the "We did not even feel the earthquake" part of the scenario. Although our oldest dog, Gina was freaking out and the cows were racing about the fields in a herd while making even stranger noises, all I thought was that an earthquake was probably COMING. Not that it had already "been there done that"; and further, that doom - in the form of a massive tsunami - was now barreling toward our humble abode at the speed of a Boeing 747 in mid-flight.

So we pile all animals into the car and new truck respectively; and fly out of the driveway realizing, half way up, we forgot our elderly neighbors. So Mel races to Mark and Sharon's door; I race to Patrick's trailer - and we tell them to get to higher ground. At that point, they tell us the tsunami warning has been "called off."

"Called off?" I say. They nod. "Get out of here?" I am now a doubting Thomasina. You see, I WATCHED THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL. THEY never said tsunamis could be "called off." It must be a mistake.

And THEY said when the Cascadia fault slips (yep, the one off the Coast where we live) "BOOM" instant tsunami - like up to 500-feet  high - will sweep the nation up to seven miles inland.

It was as bad as the whole thing about the Yellowstone volcano finally blowing, leading to global winter and massive life meltdown. Fault lines, volcanoes, and the end of the world as we know it. R.E.M.'s song had it so right. I knew then that I was, officially, a geological alarmist. And it is all the fault of the Discovery Channel.

Darn that Dicovery Channel anyway. I could have remained blissfully ignorant and laughed over the fact the emergency dispatch fell apart and blew up; and one of the only escape routes out of the tsunami zone had been blocked by an accident caused by other dorks fleeing the city and not paying attention; or the poor woman who sat in an intersection for ten minutes because she didn't know what to do. 

Oh yes, I could have laughed at the foibles and follies of a panic stricken population - but NO.

My mind was in overdrive calculating how high that mountain a mere three miles away was; and how to get about if the waters failed to recede quickly.

Then, how many aftershocks would happen; and, finally, wondering whether anyone would survive such an event because the DISCOVERY CHANNEL said we would only have, like, eight minutes MAX to get to high ground...and we were already over five minutes into a certain demise. I knew that as for survival, they wouldn't. I wouldn't. We wouldn't....survive. Nobody could flee that type of water quickly enough. My solution - "Mel, we're putting two kayaks on the roof of the house with an inflatable boat - kayaks for us - boat for animals. A sort of swift water ark system." He growled at me. I smiled.  

I'm gonna sue that Discovery Channel for giving me a heart-attack-inducing-adrenaline rush on my thirteeth anniversary - tsunamis be damned.

Reader Reviews for "I'm Gonna Sue the Discovery Channel"

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Reviewed by Dana Reed 8/6/2005
It's like living in Florida and every storm is a potential hurricane according to the weather man. Gather your things together, medicine, clothing, blankets, water, animals and get out. Only out means sitting on a highway for 12 hours in non-stop traffic for a potential hurricane that never happens. When it does happen, the weather man's generally surprised by his own accuracy. ARGGGHHHH
Reviewed by Bob Holt (Reader) 6/24/2005
So much for "Happy Anniversary", I guess. You did the right thing, at least you knew you wanted to be around for number 14. But if we can't even believe in the Discovery Channel, what's left? Style?

Bob H
Reviewed by Cynthia Borris 6/21/2005

Those inflatable kayaks are great. Better invest in a quick pump though.

Sadly, many people downcoast merely shrugged at the warning. At least you reacted and chose to exit. Good part, you penned another excellent article. Hurry and send this one to the Chronicle. It's a winner.


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This journal chronicles the year my wife and I lived in a wooden Khmer style bungalow in southern Cambodia beside the Kampot River. There are tributes to greatness...Fred Astaire &..  
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An Eclectic Journal...Cambodia by Morgan McFinn

This journal chronicles the year my wife and I lived in a wooden Khmer style bungalow in southern Cambodia beside the Kampot River. There are tributes to greatness...Fred Astaire &..  
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