We don’t live in an earthquake zone, but apparently the building I work in – the giant pepper pot I spend forty hours a week in – is earthquake proofed. No, I don’t know what that means either. Sturdier girders? Walls that bend like reeds in the wind? A roof made of sugar so when it shatters and falls, we’ll be lightly dusted with tasty powder and not cut to shreds?
Whatever it means, in the event of a major ground wobbling incident, we’ll be safe. In theory. I still think if the soil rises up against us, open ground’s your best bet. Like the Lidl car park. Or that old brown field behind the abandoned Slinky Spring Factory. That must be pretty safe, aside from the rusty slinky springs riddling the ground.
I digress. The last people who rented our building earthquake proofed it. Heaven knows why. Unless they had an incredibly panicky staff that saw the 2015 Dwayne Johnson film San Andreas, and didn’t want that happening to them. Although we were here in 2015, so it couldn’t have been San Andreas they’d seen. Maybe 1974’s Earthquake? Or that tremor in Short Cuts that saves Sean Penn’s brother from a rape charge?
I digress again. If you’re not in an earthquake zone, how can you prove that the building is earthquake proofed? It’s not like you can get a giant over to vigorously shake it. No, the more I think about it, the more I think the last company to rent our building were taken for a ride by a dodgy local contractor. “I don’t want to worry you, mate, but you want to get this building earthquake proofed. Council catches you without proper seismic protection and you’ll to get a nasty little fine. Tell you what, my tools are in the van, I could do it for you now? I’ll charge a monkey and be out your hair by the weekend? Wicked!”