On January 4th, I opened up the west coast offices of “The Chip Chinery Organization” in Los Angeles. I had hoped to become a mover and shaker out here, but quite frankly this was not in the brochure.
I feel somewhat responsible and have chosen this forum to come clean. See, I bought one of those fancy-shmancy, novelty clock radios when I moved here. On the night of the 16th I was playing around. Instead of setting it on “radio” or “alarm”, I selected “earthquake”. Like I said, I thought it was a gag. I’m sorry. Please don’t tell State Farm.
To me that’s the most interesting occurrence about the January 17th earthquake: Everyone and Everything in the greater Los Angeles area, woke up within 5 seconds of each other. From shut-eyed to bug-eyed in split seconds. The words, “When did you get up?” were not uttered on this day.
My thought process was simple. As I lay in bed being shaken back and forth, I heard loud rumbling, and my closet doors rattling. In a split second I surmised, “Oh, it’s a train outside. Wait a minute, trains don’t run by here. It must be an earthquake.” Then I rationalized, “It can’t be an earthquake, I’ve only been here a couple weeks.” As if that had any bearing on the situation. Like I had some sort of 30-day-satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your-money-back agreement on life out here.
Now the hard part, trying to remember which Public Service Announcement applies to this situation. It was ridiculous. The room was shaking and I was thinking “Drop and Roll–no, that’s fires. Boil Water–no, that’s delivering a baby in a farmhouse. Oh yeah, Stand In A Doorway. BINGO!”
The days that followed were filled with after shocks, or “temblers” as they call them. I find that word very annoying. Shouldn’t it be “tremblers”? Anyway, in one 20 minute span we were hit with several. They were 4.4, 4.5, 4.8, 5.0, and 4.2 from the Russian judge.
Recently, I was able to see all the damage. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything else I could’ve done. Then I realized that maybe all of the quake’s destruction could have been avoided had I voted for Quisp. Once again, I blame myself.
Life is getting back to normal, as normal as LA can be. Out here normalcy is graded on a curve. Recently, I was approached by an agent who was interested in handling me. During what became our final conversation, he asked me if I smoked pot. “No,” I replied. Then he said, “Do you know where I can get some?” Oh great! This guys not even connected enough to find weed, how’s he going to get me a TV show?! Showbiz.
Besides being fluent in English and a master of the automatic transmission, Chip Chinery is a nationally touring stand-up comedian originally from Cincinnati, now living in Los Angeles.