Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sinkholes are the new rabies

I don't know if I have more or fewer fears than other people, but one of my big ones is sinkholes.

It is up there with hippos and raccoons and rabies. The first of which I've been reminded I'm unlikely to encounter in DC.

Hipsters, yes. Hippos, no. Hipsters, they scare me not. Hippos can turn on a dime, and they're fast and mean. I doubt the same is true of hipsters.

Oh, also Cape Buffalo and swans (this one is new, as of Sunday). Did you know that swans will drown people deliberately? Symbol of purity and love and brutal drowning death.

In fact, now I wonder about the average number of fears of the average person. Five? Thirty-seven?

I might make a fear list.


Here's the thing. Yesterday this sinkhole opened up in our neighborhood. A sinkhole. In DC. In our neighborhood. I got messages and texts from friends, and immediately flipped out.

It just opened up, as they do. No warning. Reports were that it was 25 feet deep. A corgi, I was told, was nearly lost to it.

There was a lot of commotion and police activity and road closing and such surrounding the sinkhole. Which, you know, is appropriate.

Although it did turn out to be a sinkhole of the rather modest variety. Basically the size of a sidewalk square, and only 3-4 feet deep.

I know corgis have short legs, but really.

However. Sinkholes, they are no laughing matter. The ground opens up and that is that. Could be a little hole with a visible bottom. Could be a chasm to hell.

I mean, you know about that gigantor one in Guatemala that swallowed a city block? Or the guy who was just lying in his bed in Florida and this sinkhole opened and sucked him in and there he was, falling all the way to China.

I can't think of much worse than dying in a sinkhole in Florida, personally.

Maybe being hacked to death with machetes. Or being poisoned slowly. Or being drawn and quartered.

OK, so I can, now that I think about it. But it's up there.

Nick's father is ill, and his parents, who drive to Florida every winter, had to fly home to New Jersey last week. So Nick is flying to Miami and driving their car back this weekend.

Even before the sinkhole business, all that driving alone makes me nervous. I am a fretter. I just am.

And now, it turns out it's sinkhole season in Florida. SINKFUCKINGHOLE SEASON.

I mentioned this today and Nick was all, "What season?"

"Sink. Hole. Sinkhole."

"Yes. I forgot sinkholes are the new rabies."

That's right, my friend. That is right. Just as stealthy, and even more deadly.


  1. Umm...this is terrifying. I don't care how big or small the sinkhole is...I'm not trying to get swallowed whole while walking the dog! The Lawyer also lives too close for comfort in that neighborhood...gah!

    1. I am with you. I do not care what size. They are all possible portals to hell and the great beyond.

  2. I feel like a terrible, awful, rotten human being, but the corgi bit made me snort. I'm so going to Hell for that.

    1. It's terrible, isn't it? Such a funny mental image, and, uh, of course poor dog!

  3. Oh my god. That Florida story made me cry. Never been happier to be really far away from there. And the Guatemala one... the mind boggles. And so now I can add "sinkholes" to the list of things I am no longer allowed to read any stories about.

    Also, have you seen this? Fears of Your Life. Michael Bernard. His list might be a bit longer than yours.

    1. I have gotten kind of fixated and have googled way too many of them. It's awful.

      And I hadn't heard of that book! It is charming!

  4. I'm with you. Sinkholes are now one of my new fears. They're just so random and terrifying!

    Did you hear about the latest sinkhole incident yesterday in Illinois? A guy was golfing with his buddies and a freakin' sinkhole swallowed him up! Like, right as he was minding his own business, walking along, playing golf! It was 18 feet deep. His golfing companions were able to get him out alive but he had a dislocated shoulder.

    That's what's so scary about it. It can happen anywhere. The Earth can open up at any point and bury you alive! That is crazy!

    Here is a link to the story.

    1. Yes. The pictures are terrible. Those three men peering down into this hole where their buddy used to be standing. Ugh.


    Just saw this while looking for the forecast!

  6. I ... live in a highrise on a major earthquake fault line. I can't even begin to think about sinkholes or I will never sleep again.

    1. No, don't think about them. They are mostly in Florida. You are safe.

  7. You always make me laugh. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for telling me! I love hearing this!


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