Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Where were you when..."

This is one of my favorite questions: where were you when a certain event happen.  What made me think of this now and want to write a post on it?  Because I live in New Jersey, and last Wednesday all of my patients asked me: where were you when that earthquake hit?  I'm going to tell you, but a little bit later.

In my experience, there are two particular events that I was asked about for weeks afterwards by friends and family, and they both stick in my mind very clearly to this day.

The first is, "Where were you when OJ went on the run?"  I don't know why this event sticks to well in so many people's heads, but it does.  You ask people about this event, which occur ed almost two decades ago, and they remember.  Like I said, I remember exactly what I was doing.  I was leaving a Moody Blues concert with my parents at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia.  We got in the car, turned on the radio, and were instantly regaled with the tale of OJ's wild car chase with Al Cowlings in his white Ford Bronco.

The second is, of course, "Where were you on 9/11."  And I remember this very well for two reasons.  One, it was only ten years ago and I was fourteen.  And two, I watched it happen.  No, I wasn't in New York.  I was in Newark, NJ, in dental school, watching from the parking lot as the Towers fell.

And that brings us to Tuesday, August 23, 2011.  The day the "Great One" hit Virginia, sending aftershocks up and down the East Coast.  Every day over the past week, at least half of my patients have asked me what I was doing at that moment.  "I hope you wren;t taking out a tooth," many of them asked with a smile.  And I smiled back and said, "Yes, that's exactly what I was doing."

You see, I was extracting a tooth.  The patient is an old friends of mine.  He is well over six feet tall and built like a NFL linebacker.  Tough SOB.  And the extraction, well the extraction was a bear.  The roots were caught under the bone and it just wouldn't come out.  Anyway, as I was working, I felt the shaking begin.  And my first thought was that it was my friend shaking because the extraction was pretty brutal.  So I stopped to give him a break.  The shaking didn't stop, though.  I looked at him and he was fine.  He asked me if we were experiencing an earthquake.  I told him I guess so.  We waited another 30 seconds for it to end, then got back to work.  And that was that.

So not terribly exciting, but kind of bizarre nonetheless

So if you live in the northeast, what were you doing when the Big One hit?

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