Archive for August, 2011

Don’t do it to me Phil

Phil Steele has made my off-season miserable. Not only does he hype all of our positional units and claim that Crowell will be the second coming, but he also picks us to win the East in pretty good fashion.

Now, as I’m trying to cope with the good news Phil has brought us, he lays this on us:


Despite this being a “neutral site” game, GA will clearly have the crowd edge in their own backyard (Atlanta). In 2005 Georgia was #13 and Boise #18 as Boise was the sheik upset pick coming in all summer while UGA was well motivated. They took advantage of Jared Zabransky’s horrible day with TO’s and UGA won 48-13 in Athens w/a 574-292 yd edge. This time Boise has a QB that won’t have those turnover problems as Kellen Moore has just 9 int’s the last 2 years and led the NCAA in pass eff in ‘10. He guided Boise to a win in VT’s back yard LY in the opener. Boise has 14 ret st’rs and a win here could eventually land them in the title game. Boise is just as strong as LY’s 12-1 tm but GA is much better than LY’s 6-7 and my pick to win the SEC East this year. Georgia has a big game on deck vs South Carolina while Boise has a bye and that could be the difference.

PHIL’S FORECAST : boise st 28 georgia 27

Say it ain’t so Phil!

Here’s the thing…all year long I’ve warned that Boise could come in here and beat us. I’ve been called every name under the sun for such blasphemy, but I’ve felt it’s true. I think BSU is the most well-coached team in the country and will play disciplined, innovative football. Yet, this week my gut has changed. I don’t know if I’ve watched too many you tubes, read PS too much, or what, but my gut has got me thinking that HorseMouth Moore and his boys can’t play with us.

So, I check to see what PS says, wholly expecting him to have UGA win by a TD, when he give me that “Not so fast, my friend…”

So, is he right? Sure hope not. Either way, sure seems like this week is creeping by at snail’s pace.

Go Dawgs!


Horse Teeth Moore

You brought the sweet feed.  Awesome Brah

Like Derek Dooley and his shower discipline, we at TGT care.  Especially for the tourist from Idaho who will be visiting our fine state this weekend.  As a public service announcement we would like to tell Mr. Moore that while inside it is still hot and humid in Atlanta.  Proper breathing technique is to breath in through the nose and out the mouth.  So Mr. Moore please close that damn horse teeth mouth of yours or we’ll have Alec Ogletree do it for you.  Now I understand that this may be a ploy by Chris Petersen to confuse defenses.  Rub a little peanut butter on those gums, show off the pearly whites and corner backs will be too distracted to see when the ball leaves his hand.  To counter this I ask at any Georgia fans who have seats inside the twenties to bring a handful of sweet feed.  When it gets loud and the pressure builds, it’s hard to focus with that delicious tasty energy filling sweet feed just a few feet away.  Now before anyone says that I’m jealous of Boise or scared of what they will do this weekend I offer the following evidence.

Kellen, best of luck.  Just close your damn mouth.

Lewis Wednesday – To my Son

I know we’ve done this one before but to us it’s one of Lewis’s best and I like posting this gem right before football season.  It is my favorite column and sums up perfectly exactly what it is we are all about as Georgia fans.  It sends shivers up my spine.

Great moments in a would be father’s life

To my Son, if I ever have one:

Kid, I am writing this on September 3, 1984. I have just returned from Athens, where I spent Saturday watching the University of Georgia, your old dad’s alma mater, play football against Clemson.

While the events of the day were still fresh on my mind, I wanted to recount them so if you are ever born, you can read this and perhaps be able to share one of the great moments in your father’s life.

Saturday was a wonderful day on the Georgia campus.

We are talking blue, cloudless sky, a gentle breeze and a temperature suggesting summer’s end and autumn’s approach.

I said the blessing before we had lunch. I thanked the Lord for three things: fried chicken, potato salad and for the fact he had allowed me the privilege of being a Bulldog.

“And , Dear Lord,” I prayed, “bless all those not as fortunate as I.”

Imagine my son, 82,000 people, most whom were garbed in red, gathered together gazing down on a lush valley of hedge and grass where soon historic sporting combat would be launched.

Clemson was ranked number 2 in the nation, and Georgia, feared too young to compete with the veterans from beyond the river, could only dream, the smart money said, of emerging three hours hence victorious.

They had us 20-6 at the half, son. A man sitting in front of me said, “I just hope we don’t get embarrassed.”

My boy, I had never seen such a thing as came to pass in the second half. Todd Williams threw one long and high, and Herman Archie caught it in the end zone, and it was now 20-13.

Georgia got the ball again and scored again, and it was now 20-20, and my mouth was dry, and my hands were shaking, and this Clemson fan who had been running his mouth the whole ballgame suddenly shut his fat face.

Son, we got ahead 23-20, and the ground trembled and shook, and many were taken by fainting spells.

Clemson’s kicker, Donald Igwebuike, tied it 23-23 and this sacred place became the center of the universe.

Only seconds were left when Georgia’s kicker, Kevin Butler, stood poised in concentration. The ball rushed toward him, and it was placed upon the tee a heartbeat before his right foot launched it heavenward.

A lifetime later, the officials threw their arms aloft. From 60 yards away, Kevin Butler had been true, and Georgia led and would win 26-23.

I hugged perfect strangers and kissed a fat lady on the mouth. Grown men wept. Lightening flashed. Thunder rolled. Stars fell, and joy swept through, fetched by a hurricane of unleashed emotions.

When Georgia beat Alabama 18-17 in 1965, it was a staggering victory. When we came back against Georgia Tech and won 29-28 in1978, the Chapel bell rang all night. When we beat Florida 26-21 in the last seconds in 1980, we called it a miracle. And when we beat Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl that same year for the national championship, a woman pulled up her skirt and showed the world the Bulldog she had sewn on he underbritches.

But Saturday may have been even better than any of those.

Saturday in Athens was a religious experience.

I give this to you, son. Read it and re-read it, and keep it next to your heart. And when people want to know how you wound up with the name “Kevin” let them read it, and then they will know.

Boise State Game Notes

One of the top items on my “to do list” before each game day is to print out the Game Notes on Friday afternoon.  It’s like a mini media guide or program for that weeks game including some notes and trivia and most importantly a full roster for Georgia and depth chart for both UGA and Boise.  This really helps at the beginning of the year when there are some new players that you haven’t memorized their number yet or lets you point out to Corbin’s friend from the Tech game that its pronounced cro-WELL.  Take a minute and print it out and happy game week.

Boise State Game Notes and Depth Chart


It’s A Feeling I Get

It’s not knowing where you’re going, but knowing when you’re there, Bein’ with the ones that you know really care

Hey I guess these are all a part of it, It’s a feeling I get

-Roger Creager

It is something all Georgia fans have said to each other since last year’s New Year’s Eve embarrassment to Central Florida. 

What will it take to save Mark Richt’s job in 2011? 

How many wins will it take to you make you happy?

2011 is a wide open season for Georgia.  Prognosticators range from having UGA win the East to finishing 6-6.  UGA has the talent to win 11 games, but following the last couple of seasons, does anyone beside Phil Steele feel comfortable saying that with a straight face.  It is hard to justify a team that went 6-7 coming back strong and winning the second toughest division in college football.

Can UGA win the SEC East in 2011?  Sure they can.  Most years they are capable.

Should UGA win the SEC East in 2011?  Yeah they should.  They should win it more seasons than not. 

Will UGA win the SEC East in 2011?  I don’t think so.  I am thinking 9-3, simply because the schedule is so easy.  Throw in a bowl victory in Florida against an overmatched Big 10 opponent, and UGA is going to have themselves a nice 10 win season.    

Plus, South Carolina is going to be good.  Jeffry, Garcia, Lattimore and Ellis Johnson’s are going to be tough to beat this season. 

But what I want is a feeling.  I want to have faith restored.  Even if we go, heaven forbid, 8-4, that wouldn’t be the absolute end of the world for me.  It is a “know it when you see it proposition” in 2011.   You’ll know it when you see it.  No win total can dictate it, no demands of you have to beat X, Y and Z (except Florida). 

The last time I exited the Georgia Dome I had that feeling.  It was December 30, 2006 for the 2006 Peach Bowl and I had just witnessed a thrilling UGA victory.  

The 2006 season was an interesting one.  UGA started out 6-0, but no one really felt at ease.  Some scares against Colorado and Ole Miss made you worried about Tennessee.  Those fears were erased during the first half of the Tennessee game, but then you hit in the face with them in that second half.   Then, the next weekend was the infamous Vanderbilt game.  A close, hard fought loss to eventual National Champion Florida was followed up by another embarrassing loss to Kentucky.  I would say that the UGA stock was pretty low.  But then in the misty rain, UGA smacked Auburn,  held on to beat Tech, and then beat Virginia Tech.  The only time in program’s history that UGA beat 3 teams ranked in the Top 15 in 3 consecutive games. 

As I was riding back to Athens that in the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve 2006, my mind was racing about how great we were going to be in 2007.  I was imaging coming back to the Georgia Dome to watch UGA-LSU for the SEC Title Part III.  Well, UGA didn’t make it back to Atlanta, but did finish #2 in the country.  All of a sudden, the pain of the second half of the season  against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky was erased.  I felt great.  There was a reason to be excited again.

Since the 2008 Florida game, there has not much to be excited about or much to look forward to. Oh, sure, we all get excited about football.  I already have my shirt ironed for Saturday.  But true excitement has been missing.

That hope I felt is what I want to feel at the end of this season.  If I can realistically say on January 2, “Yeah, we are going to be really good next year,” then I will be happy.  I understand we are in a rebuilding process.  I can only speak for myself, but to satisfied, I DEMAND to have faith restored.

Because blind faith and faith with evidence are two completely different things. 


Can Mark Richt Change History: How Mark Richt Compares To Napoleon Bonaparte

France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France.

-Mark Twain

First, a very crude historical overview.  In the quest to colonize the new world, France lagged behind other European powers.   Spain had pretty much all of South America, Mexico, and the Southwestern United States.  In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, flying a Spanish Flag, brah.   The British became the world’s leading power.  During the mid-1700s, Great Brittan even moved over towards India.  Ever hear the saying, “the sun never sets on the British Empire?”   

All France had was Canada (cold, worthless land) and some fur trading with the Indians.  They got to North America first, but lost most of their North American interests to the British in the Seven Years War/French-Indian War.  But really, the British had tobacco.  France had fur.  Leave it to the French to chose the sissy fur while the British chose the addicting cash crop.  Watch Last of the Mohicans, Pocahontas, and Pirates of the Caribbean for further explanation.

Point is, France sucked and was far behind as a super power, when their neighbors were dominating the globe.  Much like the University of Georgia was in the 1990s.  Even through the Jim Donnan era, Georgia could never get quite past Florida and Tennessee in the SEC hierarchy.

France’s fortunes changed.  Generations of wars and disdain toward the Crown led to the French Revolution.  Other European superpowers were war ravaged and this created a power vacuum.  Britain was now weaker from decades of war and the loss of the 13 colonies, its real strength.  Blood was poured in the streets.   Heads rolled but when the dust settled, one man who was a brilliant military strategist took the sleeping giant known as France and helped bring the country to prominence.  That man was Napoleon Bonaparte.   

Georgia’s fortunes were about to change.  The other powers in the SEC, unbeknownst to us all, were about to be on the decline.  Tennessee had just peaked under Phil Fulmer and the Florida Gators were unknowingly running the Ol’ Ball Coach off, their real strength.   This created a power vacuum.  Moving past the forgettable Goff era, Jim Donnan brought some moderate success and left Georgia fans wanting more.  But after years of coming from behind to lose, never fulfilling lofty preseason expectations, and losing to Tech, Jim Donnan was beheaded in a revolution between Mike Adams and Vince Dooley.   When the dust settled, one man who was a brilliant offensive strategist and longtime successful assistant took over the sleeping giant known as the Georgia Bulldogs and helped the program back to prominence.  That man was Mark Richt. 

Napoleon became Emperor of France and his reign began with near instant success.   The French Empire overtook present day Italy and Germany.  France even overtook Spain-the former mighty super power and their Armada.    The French Empire and its satellite states cover most of Europe, stretching from Spain to Russia.  But there were still the British… 

Mark Richt came to Georgia and had near instant success.  When David Greene hit P-44 Haynes you knew there was something special.  That special season came year later when Georgia won its first SEC Championship in 20 years and finished #3 in the country.  During Richt’s career, he had more success than any other coach had at Georgia during that same time span, and   2 SEC Championships, 6 top 10 finishes and 4 top 6 finishes.  Richt holds strong company with Bear Bryant, Vince Dooley, Phil Fulmer and Steve Spurrier as the only SEC coaches to win 10+ games in 4 consecutive seasons.  But there was still the Florida Gators.

There were cracks beginning to show in Napoleon’s empire.  Other European countries were getting stronger and starting to encroach on his power.  This came at the same time that Napoleon started to get comfortable and too ambitious.  His success turned to arrogance and stubbornness. Despite advice saying not to, Napoleon decided an ill-fated invasion of powerful Russia.  Russia provided to be too much of a challenge to overtake due to its geography and climate.  Napoleon lost 380,000 men and the loss was devastating for morale and the future reign of the emperor was now in jeopardy.

Cracks began to show in Richt’s reign.  Other SEC schools were rebounding and getting better.  South Carolina upgraded to old UGA nemesis Steve Spurrier, Florida upgraded to Urban Meyer, Alabama upgraded to Nick Saban, Ole Miss upgraded to Houston Nutt, Arkansas to Bobby Petrino and even Mississippi State upgraded and got Dan Mullen.  All of this came at a time when Richt was getting perhaps too comfortable due to the continued success and the ambition and expectations for the program were sky high in 2008.  His success probably led to a slight bit of arrogance and stubbornness to doing same old-same old, as shown with keeping around Willie Martinez and Dave Van Hallanger a season or two too long, and employing a flawed approach to special teams for far too long.  The beginning of all of this was the ill-fated “Blackout” game against the powerful Alabama in 2008.   

Once Napoleon returned from the Russian campaign, he was overthrown and sent to exile to the tiny island of Elba.  Napoleon escaped and reclaimed his throne.  He was in command again for about 100 days.   However, a strong coalition of forces gave him his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.  Finally, Napoleon’s reign came to an end and was banished once and for all.

Mark Richt has had some troubled years.  His perch as beloved head coach has been over thrown, and now there is doubt cast across the Bulldog Nation.  The Bulldogs have been exiled to remote Bowl games, including the Liberty and Independence Bowls.  After a particularly embarrassing loss in the Liberty Bowl, Coach Richt has showed some semblance of resurgence with a stellar recruiting class.

Now here is chance for history to be changed.  Approximately 100 days in to Napoleon’s resurgence, he lost to the British led coalition to drive the final nail in his reign’s coffin.  Approximately 100 days after the season opener versus Boise State, we’ll see if the Bulldogs were able to circle the wagons or if this season, Richt’s Waterloo, will be the nail in his reign’s coffin.


What It Was, It Was Football

It’s finally game week!  The dog days of summer are almost about to end, and we are going to have football.  Here’s a story from Andy Griffith about his first ever football experience:


When The Bulldogs Return To Winning, You Can Thank Me

Funny how things work out.  Exactly one year ago yesterday, I posted about my revelation that I was to blame for the recent Bulldog misfortunes.  I realized the red gameday pants I used to wear had “shrunk” and, since the last time I wore them to the Auburn Blackout, UGA had struggled since my personal waist size expanded to a size beyond the wasit size of the britches. 

I vowed to attempt to get in the pants by the end of the season.  It didn’t work.  Although current set of pants did get a little baggier, it was no where near the required amount to get back into the pants I doned in 2006-2007. 

Well, as luck would have it, I found a loophole. 

Last night, on the 1 year anniversary that I posted about my red pants, the Mrs. and I were in Belk  getting  a present for some friends who had a newborn.  We were about to leave and I noticed a big sale in the Men’s section.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some red pants hanging on the rack.  I ran over there and and saw some red Dockers chinos in my size.  It ain’t exactly UGA Red, but it is red enough to be passable.  I looked at the red sales tag and realized they were like 70% off, so I paid my $16 and went about my business.  I now have a pair a of red pants to wear to games again. 

Now, some might say that is skirting fate.  But that is not the case.  You see, I bought a pair of red pants in 2004 and wore them faithfully for two seasons, until a 34 would no longer cut it.  So then I upgraded prior to the 2006 season.  There was never any stipulation on my superstition; red pants were always red pants from 2004-2007. 

So, everone, you’re welcome.  Coach Richt, when you have a good season and save your job, you can send me $16 repayment.  I am sure you can afford it.


Boy! That Escalted Quickly. I Mean, That Really Got Out Of Hand Fast

You never know when you are going to be walking down the street with your buddies, and the next thing you know, you are in a gang fight and someone gets stabbed in the heart with a trident. 

In college football, things can escalate quickly, for a variety of reasons.  It could be NCAA investigations, it could be the loss of some great players at once earlier than expected, it could be a bad couple of recruiting classes (any of that sound familiar fellow Georgia fans?).  Here are some examples of teams that had a lot of success (or failure) in many seasons and then things changed quickly:

  • In 2005 and 2006, Notre Dame was “back”.  Brady Quinn was a good college QB and led the Irish to two BCS bowls in consecutive seasons (never mind the fact they got blown out both times).  In 2007, the Irish went from 10-3 to 3-9. 
  • Texas lost a total of 8 games in 4 seasons from 2006-2009, including one loss in 2008 and 2009.  Going back the previous nine years before 2010, Texas lost 16 total games in nine seasons.  In 2010, Texas went 5-7 a year from playing in the National Championship game.  
  • Florida had seven total losses from 2006-2009, including 2 MNC during that span.  Florida had 5 losses in 2010 and I’ll bet you money that Florida has at least 4 more in 2011.
  • Iowa and Kirk Ferentz had good success in the early part of the decade.  Remember how around 2003 and 2004, every time there was an NFL job open, Kirk Ferentz’s name was floated around?  He must have a great agent, because he has got a large contract extension due to his perceived worth.  In 2002-2004, Iowa went 11-2, 10-3, and 10-2 respectively.  Iowa struggled in 2005-2007.  Had an outstanding year in 2009 before going back to 8-5 last year.  
  • According to Phil Steele’s fine research, Penn State had 4 losing seasons from 2000-2004.  The Nittnay Lions went 4-7 in 2004 and rebounded to go 11-1 in 2005.  Penn State had a nice run from 2005-2009.    
  • Illinois football every year except 2007. 

And finally….

  • Georgia was one of the most consistent teams in the country from 2002-2008.  2 SEC Championships and 5 top 10 finishes, including finishing #2 and #3 in 2007 and 2002.  After falling short of lofty preseason expectations in 2008, our beloved Bulldogs have struggled to a 14-12 record the last two seasons.  Mark Richt was chest deep in water before he addressed the leaks in his ship, so now that it is nut cutting time, we’ll see if he is using a tea spoon or 5 gallon bucket to remove the water. 

This is a Georgia Football blog, so what does it mean for UGA?  Well it shows that other programs have struggled and have been able to turn it around.  Most schools that turn it around have brought in a new coach and some fresh blood has been infused to the program.  But established coaches can make changes also to change course.  Can Mark Richt do it?  We saw last season he was making some changes.  Will it be enough?  I don’t know.  I sure hope so.  I looked to last year as a rebuilding year.  UGA was starting out with a new defense, a new QB and a new approach.  That was year one in Part II of Mark Richt’s career.  Year two usually brings more success.

Georgia won’t be down for long, not with the talent that is on this team. If Mark Richt has made the right hiring decisions, we should see pretty quick if the program is getting the water out of the boat. If he hasn’t, then someone else will be roaming the sidelines in 2012 or 2013.

And while it doesn’t take long for success to disappear, it doesn’t necessarily take long for it to come back, either. 

With 3 more years of Aaron Murray, and young talent like Ray Drew, Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah Crowell and Jim Jay Rome, Georgia won’t be down for long, regardless of who the coach is.  I think with this infusion of Dream Team talent, plus the stability of Aaron Murray, Georgia is about to go on a run similar to what we saw in the early 2000s.  I am not saying Georgia wins the SEC East this season, but it won’t be long at all.   

To quote Jimmy Buffett, “better days are in the cards.”


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Double Dose of Current Events

Ripped from today’s headlines, I had something planned about Moammar Gadhafi.  I know whe have done the Moammar one before, but it is topical.  Lewis had a joke one time that the reason that Gadhafi was so grumpy was becuase there was sand in Moammar’s underdrawers.  I’d like to share it, but it was on my old computer that has long “bit” the dust.

Then saw this columnabout earthquakes and thought it was appropriate also.  So, it’s the last Wednesday before game week, why not indulge a little?  I won’t tell if you won’t.   The news is filled with war and earthquakes, and Lewis shared his thoughts on both of those subjects.

Colonel Khadafy — The No. 1 El Freako 
Throughout history there always has been at least one nut case loose who is trying to play havoc with the rest of the world. 

There was Attila the Hun, of course. Great guy when you got to know him, said his best friend, Leroy the Hun, but he was bad to sack cities and rape and pillage. 

(The term “rape” I am familiar with, but I’ve never quite known what you do when you sack a city or pillage whatever it is you pillage. I slept through most of the ancient history courses I had in high school.) 

In more modern times we have had Hitler, Idi Amin and the Duvalier boys from Haiti. 

But the No. 1 el freako in the world today has to be Col. Moammar Khadafy of Libya, who is so nutty he spells his last name six or seven different ways. 

I’m not certain what it is Col. Khadafy wants. Attila the Hun wanted to rape, sack and pillage. Hitler wanted to rule the world. 

Col. Khadafy apparently wants to be a large pain in the world’s behind. (I’m not certain where the world’s behind is, but Libya certainly would be one of my first guesses. New Jersey wouldn’t come until much later.) 

If that is what Col. Nutso wants, he is doing a very good job of getting it. He’s in the papers most days, he’s on the tube most every night, and he has gotten so much attention as the world’s bad boy, he has become a household word. Like “toilet.” 

I have observations about how we should handle the Colonel and the Libyan situation. 

First, I think we should launch an investigation into the fact that Col. Khadafy looks very much like the baseball pitcher, Joaquin Andujar. We all know after watching the World Series last year in which Andujar, then with the St. Louis Cardinals, set a World Series record for throwing temper tantrums a la Khadafy, not to mention beanballs. 

Could it be that Joaquin Andujar and Col. Khadafy are the same person? Have you ever seen them photographed together? If they are the same person, then all we have to do is get a few Marines to hide in the opposing team’s dugout one night and when Andujar-Khadafy walks in, the Marines could beat him with fungo bats until he promises to go back to Libya and hush. 

Also, we could send him a year’s supply of Tylenol, or spread a rumor he has AIDS. We could send Frank Borman to run his personal finances, or we could get Dr. Jan Kemp to sue him. 

I heard former Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, who might even become our next president, make a speech recently. He told a joke that isn’t a bad idea of how to handle Khadafy, either. 

“One morning,” Baker began, “President Reagan called his aides and wanted them to bring John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate him, to the Oval Office. 

“When Hinckley arrived, the president said he had forgiven him and would order his release. 

“Hinckley was overwhelmed. He said, `Thank you, Mr. President. Is there anything I could do to repay you for your kindness?’ 

“The president said, `Well, there is this one little thing.’ He took a folder out of his desk and pulled out a picture of Col. Khadafy. 

“He said to Hinckley, `See this guy? He’s dating Jodie Foster . . .’ ”

Earthquakes Frighten Me 
LOS ANGELES – As soon as I stepped off the plane here in Los Angeles, I bought myself a newspaper. A word jumped off the front page at me. That word was “earthquake.” 

There are lots of words that frighten me. “War” is one. “Snake” is another. And I’ve never been overly fond of “alimony,” either. 

But earthquake: as in the ground opens and swallows you up. 

The paper said that only one day before I arrived here, a quake registering 5.9 on the Richter scale had tossed Southern California hither and thither. There was a lot of damage, a few injuries, but nobody had been killed. 

What really caught my attention, however, was the suggestion that continuing shock waves from the original earthquake might set off a few more in the next couple of days, the exact length of my visit. 

I went directly back to the Delta counter to book myself the next available r eturn flight to Atlanta, where there never has been a recorded earthquake. 

My traveling companion tackled me, however, and took away my wallet and credit cards. Quite reluctantly I ventured on to my hotel. Locals don’t fear quakes 

I was assigned a room on the 11th floor. 

“Do you have anything lower?” I asked. 

“What did you have in mind?” said the clerk. 

“A very secure metal vault in the basement,” I said. 

The clerk laughed. “You’re afraid of another earthquake,” he said. “All our out-of-town guests are the same. But don’t worry. A 5.9 on the Richter scale is nothing.” 

For years, scientists have been warning that there definitely is going to be a major earthquake in Southern California, a catastrophic earthquake that could cause the entire area to fall off into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists further say it could come at any time. 

What is amazing, however, is the locals seem unconcerned. 

“The last quake came at 2 in the morning,” a native was telling me. “I slept right through it.” 

“I worry more about the smog or getting killed on the freeway than I do an earthquake,” said another. Taking a few precautions 

Me, I’ve been the proverbial cat in a room full of rocking chairs for nearly 48 hours. 

Everywhere I walked, I walked very slowly, making sure each step was on terra firma that wasn’t doing the boogaloo before I took another. 

I’ve been very careful to notify waiters not to fill my coffee cup completely full. In case of a quake, I don’t want to spill hot coffee on myself. 

Whenever I’ve waited on the street for a cab, I have tied myself to the nearest light post with my belt in case a tremor suddenly came and the flat horizon was suddenly downhill. 

So far, so good. Southern California is still basically intact and so am I, and in just a few more hours, I will be out of here. 

If I make it, thanks, Lord. If I don’t, tell my mother I remembered to brush every day and I never wore dirty underwear unless it was absolutely necessary. 

“Don’t worry,” the hotel clerk had said. “A 5.9 on the Richter scale is nothing.” 

It’s not the Richter scale that bothers me. It’s richter mortis.