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Earthquakes in D.C.? We need an apocalypse plan.

By Alexandra Petri

People are always saying that we live in the end times. When the earthquake awakened me this morning -- well, not the earthquake so much as the vibration of my cell phone alarm clock, which was pretty fierce -- I realized that this must be true.

Earthquakes, I used to assume, were isolated events, devised to give Californians things to do on weekends besides walking their pet Shake Weights and taking scenic tours of the budget deficit. But then one struck here, in Washington! Nothing happens here! Occasionally someone passes away from sheer boredom or gets mauled by a roving budget resolution. But otherwise, we're a quiet town.

And we're certainly not crazed heathens, like those free-loving pelicans the oil spill has so justly punished. So if earthquakes are targeting us, the apocalypse is clearly beginning.

But no one in the administration seems upset enough. President Obama didn’t even notice. And the FEMA administrator reminded us to stock up on water bottles and family emergency plans. Next year, they’ll do an exercise in which they imagine an earthquake hitting several states.

That’s not good enough. What we need is a viable plan for the apocalypse. Because it is literally upon us. If you don’t believe my assertions, this website lists signs of the end -- pestilence, famine, earthquakes, wars -- and even links to the websites of actual false messiahs.

There are all sorts of horrifying contingencies I hadn’t taken into account. What if the entire administration and Congress are taken up by the Rapture? Who will govern? I would volunteer, but I’ve already started repenting. And can our infrastructure withstand divine wrath?

Don't laugh. A recent Pew survey found that 4 in 10 Americans believe Jesus will return by 2050. That’s more than think our standard of living will improve. All I’m saying is that someone needs to think about these things.

Maybe we can sacrifice something.

By Alexandra Petri  | July 16, 2010; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  Petri  | Tags:  Alexandra Petri  
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Next: Sen. Carte Goodwin (D-Caretaker-W.Va.)


Do you smoke crack like your former mayor?

The last thing we need is an Emergency Plan for an earthquake in DC.

The greatest thing that could happen to America would be to have that city and every politician and lobbyist in it destroyed.

It's be best if the after-shocks could take out Wall Street and Hollywood but I'm asking for too much I guess.

Posted by: thinkingcap | July 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

You crack me up! "What if the entire administration and Congress are taken up by the Rapture?" Yeah! Like THAT could happen!!! Best laugh I've had in ages!

Posted by: RealEstateLady | July 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Alexandra-no, seriously, someone IS thinking about these things! I wrote this just today:
And for the'skeptical side' of you, I also wrote this one!:
I just read your article less than 10 mins ago, so THANKS for reminding me how much 'coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous'.
Not an original thought, but it's still a kick when you experience it. Good luck with your career; you are a really good writer. Your article is a 'grabber' and not just for Christian nutjobs like me ; )
God Bless & Keep you,
Rev. Barb

Posted by: RevBarbaraSexton | July 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Post is still employing this shallow nitwit.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | July 16, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

One of the larger nuclear plants sits atop a major fault line near Richmond.
But,many West Coast nuclear plants sit over along a fault lines.The East Coast should be happy they can share.Most experts agree the plants are so sturdy they will simply slide down into the earth's crust.
After most earthquakes the academic geologists uncover "hidden faults."Many reputable physicists are working on enormous botox injections for these new faults.Indonesia leads the way in all earthquake studies.

Posted by: TarheelChief | July 17, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

The only earthquake that would probably happen in Washington would be if our so called "elected officials, aka politicians" ever decided to tell the truth. I believe it was Pontus Pilate who once said: "What is truth?".

Posted by: barrysal | July 17, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Sacrifice! That's what we need to do to prevent the next catastrophe. I'm gonna git me some virgins! See you!

Posted by: Tom81 | July 17, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"May be we can sacrifice something"--OK, we'll sacrifice you-that will be one idiot less. By the way, wasn't Jesus supposed to come at the turn of the century--in 2000? Did he miss the bus/plane that the next bus/plane is in 2050? There are weirdoes--and then there is Alexandra Petri.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | July 17, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I remember two earthquakes in VA. Both were barely on the news and were in the 3 to 4 range. Now, Charleston, SC had a serious one in about 1886. It did a lot of damage. Then in about 1812 there was a very serious earthquake around New Madrid, MO.

So, these quakes don't necessarily indicate end times. It is just that humans judge time by decades and maybe centuries, and God thinks in terms of mega centuries.

If we need to worry, is how are we going to feed ourselves when population reaches 9 billion, 12 billion, 15 billion, ... n billion.

That might happen in 1, 2, 3, ...n centuries. So, we are just as likely to cause end times for many of us; except those who escape to some other planet.

Posted by: LL314 | July 17, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If an earthquake struck DC, I would know there was a God.

Posted by: happyacres | July 17, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Your admonition, "don't laugh", was hardly necessary. Your attempt to sound blithely irreverent failed. Your column isn't funny, just dumb.

Posted by: trebor0012 | July 18, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Want to plan? Think what you will do if all the Potomac bridges are down.

That ought to get you going.

Posted by: gary4books | July 18, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'm waiting for this headline:

"Earthquake Levels DC, Dow Jones Average up a Thousand Points"

Posted by: mark31 | July 18, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I just know this is Sarah Palin's fault...

Posted by: slatt321 | July 19, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Let's sacrifice D.C. with all the politicians.

Posted by: TexasPE | July 19, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

This area is one of the most geologically stable places on the planet. I seriously doubt that we will be shaken to the point of disaster. Spending billions of dollars on some kind of new fallout shelters is pure folly. That is why I am afraid that the Government might go ahead and do it.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 19, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Frankly speaking, the best thing that could happen to America would be if a natural disaster wiped Washington DC off the face of the earth.
In addition to losing the largest single assemblage of liars, cheats and thieves gathered in a single building anywhere on earth, we would also see a huge drop in global warming due to the huge reduction of bilious hot air that now emanates from the DC area.

Posted by: mimelc | July 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I am sure if you all put on your tinfoil hats and think real hard, you can come up with a reason to blame it on global warming.

I bet Al Gore is doing that already.

Posted by: mlemac | July 19, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

A recent Pew survey found that 4 in 10 Americans believe Jesus will return by 2050.

Forty percent, not quite enough to elect Sarah Palin. You have to wonder why they claim to worry so much about the budget deficit. We should borrow as much as possible from China, then when Jesus shows up and murders all the Chinese the joke will be on them!

Posted by: DaveHarris | July 20, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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