California… am I right? We’ve got the surf, the sun, the avocados, and oh yeah, did I mention the surf? Top notch. Life here is a gorgeous, filthy beach but occasionally we get knocked on our asses, shaken (not stirred) to our very core. That’s right, earthquakes. Say it with me and don’t be afraid. Earthquakes. One word, two syllables… Hi, I’m Chase Bernstein. Welcome to my seminar on how to survive one of these quakes (industry term) on both a physical and emotional level. I thank you for coming out and ask that you thank yourselves for being part of an experience that The Sacramento Daily called, “Earth shattering.” Can’t say I disagree.
Find a Safe Place: I find the safest place to be during the event of an earthquake is definitely Milwaukee. Unfortunately many of us don’t live in Milwaukee so here is my counter offer: A sample bed at Pottery Barn, take it or leave it. If you can wedge yourself between those gorgeous shams, comforters and throws, I truly believe you can reach a mental destination where dying doesn’t seem so bad. Three hundred thread count? Not a bad way to go. We will now chant, “three hundred,” repeatedly for ten minutes.
Make Amends: If and when the big one hits, it’s always nice to be ready with some email drafts you can fire off to those you have wronged once the chaos commences, and it will. If you would all kindly direct your attention to the screen behind me, here is a sample draft to my former lover, Anthony.
If you’re reading this letter, it’s already too late; I’ve finished watching House of Cards without you. Shit was dope. I’m sorry we couldn’t have worked out a better schedule, one that was accessible to both of our lives. I can’t say I didn’t miss squeezing your bicep during tense scenes, or licking your left index finger every time Kevin Spacey was on screen, which was pretty much most of the time. I did and I do. But as I lay here now, covered in debris from the big one, plot points from the season finale running wild through my mind, I just want to say that I’m actually not sorry. So there you have it, the truth, and isn’t that all we can really ask for in this crazy world? I’m not sorry and I fucking love your left index finger.
Best Wishes and Hopes and Also Dreams,
At this point during the seminar I will now field any questions you guys may be experiencing. (Long pause) Oh right, I forgot, no one ever has any questions because this shit is crystal clear. Back to me…
Salvage: Though your mind and spirit will never be the same, your material possessions have the potential to remain intact. Make a list of the top three things you want to save before the big one hits, and it will. Here are mine:
1. The choker necklace I was wearing the first time I saw Clueless in theaters.
2. My birth certificate to serve as a gentle reminder that I have been born and it is never too late to be born again.
3. The fall 2011 Pottery Barn catalogue.
Move On: Do not let an earthquake define you. The following question should not be asked in reference to you: “Who’s Mark? Ohhhh, Earthquake Mark, yeah I know him.” Aim for something different like “Donuts Dipped in Coffee Mark? Yeah I know him.” See the difference? Quakes are natural disasters but your personality doesn’t have to be.
I hope this seminar has helped you prepare or perhaps recover from any earthquake-related incidences. Please don’t forget to pre-order my upcoming novel Cracking The Case: The Case of Quakes and to make out all checks for the amount of $349 American dollars. Goodnight, California.
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