Friday, August 26, 2011

It's funny how now and then completely minor choices have repercussions you can never forget. For example, the pants I wore Tuesday caused me to spend more than an hour sitting around and waiting in the hot sun, and if the earthquake had been just a bit worse, my pants might have cost me several more hours.

Let me explain. I have a pair of pants that are perfectly good - look nice, a bit warmer and more formal than is really needed but not ridiculously so - except for a hole in one pocket. I plan to fix it, of course, but you know how easy it is to put things off... I have only worn the pants twice since noticing the hole, and normally I keep my keys and metro pass in that pocket, so the first time I wore the pants I just put the keys and pass in my messenger bag, and it was a perfectly normal day except for feeling very slightly off-balance.

The second time I wore them, though, happened to be Tuesday, the day of the earthquake. And when the quake hit, I didn't think to bring my messenger bag with me when we evacuated. (Maybe I would have if we hadn't had a fire drill earlier that day, by bizarre coincidence, so I was primed to expect evacuations to be brief, harmless interruptions.) So my house keys and every means of travel except for on foot were still in the office. About half an hour or so after the quake, they announced that the building would be closed for the afternoon to check for damages, but they'd let people back in briefly to get things they needed. Just by bad luck, my floor was the second-to-last to be allowed back in. In the end, I had to wait for more than an hour in the DC sun. All because of those pants. Well, the moral of the story is, get holes patched more quickly...

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