And right after I posted that the building started bouncing like unto a boat on a choppy sea.
Our emergency director (yes, we have someone who directs such things) came on the PA to say he thought it might have been an earthquake and that we should stay inside because there was no danger but if we went outside we shouldn't congregate near the buildings because stuff might fall off them onto us.
I am not making that up. We were safe in the buildings - that might at any point disintegrate and fall onto the revelers outside.
I logged onto Google to see how long it would take to get something to show - about three minutes. The main event was in Virginia about nineteen minutes before. Odd, I always thought shock waves would be faster than that. Nineteen minutes from Virginia to here? That's one laggardly aftershock, but typical of the "just so good and no further" thinking that permeates everything these days. Bah, etc.
I signed onto the USGS website and they asked me to report my observations, so I did. They explained that the observations they were looking for were those about the Earthquake, not on the deplorable slipping standards and lack of backbone in today's youth, so I gave them a gripping tale of one Englishman's struggle to find sanity and relevance as his world bounced up and down around him, a metaphor for the current state of the world made manifest as unthinkable disaster was upon him. The poignancy of his wind-up robot toppling helplessly into the chasm formed between the Ultrasparc Workstation and a pile of unread manuals was of particular note, throwing the whole insane business into harsh relief and causing him to cry out against the forces of nature assembled against his very life in a World Gone Mad.
It took forever for the site to finish uploading my report because the servers were swamped by panicked idiots writing "What I Saw In the Quake" minutiae.
But now I join the ranks of frontline journalists, those who brave the vicissitudes of nature to get the story out to the public safe in their homes. I too, have stood on the abyss as disaster not of man's making loomed large.
You heard it here first.