Don was just leaving his office on the 15th floor in downtown San Francisco when the whole building started to shake. "I survived," said Don. "But it definitely wasn't fun. It was the scariest 15 seconds in my life."
Diane was at a conference in San Mateo at 5:04 on Tuesday. "I didn't panic. But I did dive under a table.
Jeannie was in the Tracy DMV parking lot. "It was a pretty good place to be during an earthquake," she said.
Dad and Eleanor were at home, preparing dinner and awaiting the start of the World Series. "That was the first one I've felt in this house," Eleanor said.
Greg was in his car at a stop sign when he felt his car starting to quiver.
Steve and Denise were on their way to Dad's house.
Bill was climbing the stairs to the third-floor level of his parking garage, and didn't feel it at all.
Lucy was driving to Sacramento, and didn't feel it, either.
John was scheduled to work in San Francisco in the hard-hit Marina district that day. But, due to an upset stomach, rescheduled his appointment for another day, and was home with his kids when it hit. Psychic premonition? Or just an upset stomach? You be the judge.
Mike was in West Germany.
Doug was on the east coast.
Eleanor hits jackpot!
About a month ago, Eleanor hit a $1250 jackpot playing the slots in Tahoe! That just about covers her losses of the previous couple months.
Bill played Lotto last Wednesday — $10 worth! Of course, he only got two numbers right. But that tied his all-time best. That's right, he's never even won $5. Why does he keep playing?
Greg visits Sacramento
gives free exercise clinic
Greg is in the middle of a state-wide tour of California giving free exercise clinics. He demonstrated his fitness tips for an enthralled crowd at Dad's house last week.
"My ultimate goal," says Greg, "is a physically fit America."
If you were born between October 23 and November 21, you are a Scorpio. And we feel very sorry for you. You are a borderline schizophrenic sex fiend. And it would probably be a good idea to register your name with the police and at the free clinic. This month will also be a good time to have that plastic surgery you've been putting off. Good fortune is just around the corner. Pay all your bills on time this month. And be sure to look both ways before crossing the street.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
"Greetings from the Fatherland! My room is very nice. The main problem is only half of it is high enough to stand upright in. Freiburg, however, is the best place I've ever lived. The nightlife here is extraordinary since it's a university town.
I just got back from an Oktoberfest in Stuttgart. This is the one the Germans go to. Everyone in the hall was on the tables dancing with a liter of beer in hand. It was basically like the State Fair, only not so much livestock. I slept in a car that night. According to Germans, it really doesn't matter whose it was.
I have a very good chance of starting work by the end of the week as a vegetable inspector for a trucking company.
For sport, I play squash. It's a great sport for us ex-badminton stars.
Please excuse my grammar and penmanship.
P.S. — This is off the record." — Mike, student, Freiburg
[Sorry Mike, but I liked your letter so much, I had to print it.]
[This week we spoke with some guy we found on the street.]
Newsletter: Is there anything you'd like to say before we shoot you dead?
Some Guy: What!?
Newsletter: Oh, sorry. Wrong set of questions. Okay, here we go. When will your next film be coming out?
Some Guy: I haven't made a film.
Some Guy: No.
Newsletter: Oh, right. That's next week's interview. Well, I can't figure out why I'm interviewing you at all. Maybe you can tell me.
Some Guy: Can't say.
Newsletter: Sure you can. You can trust me.
Some Guy: No. I mean, I don't know.
Some Guy: Can I ask you a question?
Some Guy: Have you ever considered reconstructive brain surgery?
Newsletter: Yes I have, actually, but the college tuition was too much. So I went into journalism. You don't need an education to be a writer. But enough about me. I'm supposed to be interviewing you. So, tell me, what's it like being a belly dancer?
Some Guy: Can't say.
Newsletter: You can trust me.
Some Guy: Not again.
THE MAUDLIN WANDERER
Saturday, October 14, 1989
Took a little trip down memory lane today. Drove by the old Edison Avenue house. What a joke that place is. It's like a forest. It looks really weird. But, at least it's shady.
I then headed out to Folsom, taking a circuitous Edison-to-Winding Way-to-Madison-to-Folsom-Auburn Road route that I used to take on my little "stingray" bicycle in the summers. It's at least a 15-mile trip. And I was only 11 or 12 at the time! Kind of amazing, huh?
Anyway, once in Folsom, the memories were much older and dustier and, well, harder to remember. I never did find the old School Street house. But then, I could have driven right by it and not recognized it. What was the address, anyway?
I had lunch at — where else? — the old A&W. And there just happened to be a football game in progress at Folsom High. The Bulldogs were playing some blue & gold team.
Had no problem finding the old Inwood Road house. (It's still a gravel road, by the way.) Whoever lives there now has put in a second-level wooden deck up against the backside of the house.
The "white house" looks like an old shack. There are actually two houses there, one behind the other. They're both shacks. And the old weeping willow tree seems to be gone.
Folsom Lake, such as it is, is still there. So are the prison, the rodeo grounds, and the zoo.
Anyway, that's an update for you on the old neighborhood. It hasn't really changed that much, actually.
Until next time, this is The Maudlin Wanderer saying, "You're never too young to be senile and stuck in the past."
"My dog "Lucky" keeps peeing on the furniture. What do I do?"
Make sure you pee on the furniture before he can. Then he'll know it's your
"My boyfriend is cheating on me. What should I do?"
"My car won't start. What should I do?"
Try turning the key. That works for me.
"I can't seem to hit the low, inside curve ball. What should I do?"
Nobody can hit the low, inside curve.
"My house burned down. How could this happen?"
Probably just some kids playing with fireworks. Don't worry, the insurance will pay for
"I have hemorrhoids, and my head seems to be getting smaller. What should I do?"