Armageddon and other inconveniences
The world ended today, here in Santa Cruz County. Vandals cut through several fiber optic cables and dumped a hefty patch of Northern California into the 1980s. Tens of thousands of people were completely cut off from the world. Computers did not communicate, cell phones went silent, land lines hummed with the noise of desperate neurosis. ATM machines went dark, credit card sales were refused, as our corner of the state returned to a cash or barter economy. Emergency calls did not go through: the police recommended that in a medical emergency, people should drive to the hospital. If they needed the fire department or police they should stand in the street to flag one down. Or they could drive to the nearest department and on the front of the building they would find a, er, well, a telephone…
I, however, knew nothing about it. I had nice calm morning working, my slow-but-adequate satellite Internet connection making do, and no phone calls to interrupt me. Until I wandered blithely down from my little hilltop world at two in the afternoon to record an interview with my radio friend Rick Kleffel, and found him tearing his hair in frustration at the lumps of inert metal and plastic on his desk, and the world outside his windows seeking the terrorists who had done this and contemplating electronic Armageddon.
Made me wonder, if it had been the real thing, how long would it take me to find out that the world had ended?