Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Mothra Effect, or: sensitive dependence on unexpected conditions

What happened was this: I was on the phone to cancel my credit card, having left my wallet on the plane, having called the airline and been told to fill out the form online, having insisted that I’d just gotten off the plane, that my wallet was definitely on the plane, that please could they connect me to the San Francisco desk as they’d probably found it by now, being on hold only to learn that no, my wallet had not yet been discovered, having gotten mad at myself for doing such a dumb thing, having only left my wallet on the plane in the first place because I’d gotten it out to pay for drinks, two whiskey gingers, having not been charged for the drinks, having said quietly to my boyfriend, woohoo, free drinks, and having not put my wallet back in my purse, having forgotten about it, having exited the plane.

So I was on the phone with Chase to cancel my credit card. The customer service rep expresses sympathy with me for having lost my card, offers to put a 48-hour hold on my card, I agree, and he asks me,

So, what’s it like, living in California…
[I laugh]
...with that movie San Andreas coming out?
What movie? I ask, I don’t know anything about it.
You know, it’s about the earthquake, the big disaster.
Ok, I say, I definitely know about the San Andreas fault, but I don’t know anything about the movie.
But what’s it like living so close to that?
I don’t really worry about it, I laugh again. I’ve lived in California almost my whole life, and I don’t really think about it.
I like your attitude about it, he responded approvingly.
You can’t really predict earthquakes, anyway, I add, so I don’t see the point in worrying.
But aren’t you concerned that there could be disaster at any moment?
I mean, everywhere is a little bit like that, right? Some places have hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis.
Yeah, but doesn’t it concern you that disaster could strike at any moment?
Well, really, the way they exaggerate these things for movies, too. I mean, Hollywood. You know, the last big earthquake we had here, that broke the bridge, only one person died, and that was because they were doing something weird with their car. The way they depict it in movies, it just doesn’t match the historical reality.
And wasn’t that with Mothman, too?
Ok, what? I laugh hugely. Mothman? What is Mothman?
You know, half-moth, half-man.
Wait, what does this have to do with earthquakes?
They saw it on the bridge, right? Before the earthquake.
I don’t know what you’re talking about man, I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternate reality here.
Yeah, well, it is 1:30am here in Florida, so…
All right. I don’t know. No one in San Francisco talks about Mothman.
You can watch it on Animal Planet, look for Lost Tapes.
I definitely will.

And I did.

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