We had an earthquake in Southern Illinois Monday. I totally missed it. I came out of the shower, and my wife told me that the apartment shook for a second. We thought the girls downstairs might be fighting or something. Yeah, breaking up a fight between two young women would not have been fun. I'd have been lucky to escape with my fellas intact. Sure as hell wasn't going down there. At any rate, there was no fight to break up, since what shook my little homestead was some big ole plates, not two angry coeds. I have never actually experienced an earthquake, so far as I remember. I recall that there was one in Maryland when I was very young, but it happened at night. Until recently, I was always a very sound sleeper, so I missed that one, too. I think my brother said he grabbed the tail of his Scooby Doo doll when he felt it. He'll deny that now, though. Funny, since Joy and I were just talking about quakes the day before we had one in Carbondale. The area around here is home to the worst recorded earthquake in the continental United States. Not San Francisco. New Madrid, Missouri. Seems that Tecumseh did it. There's a nice series of essays about it all in the 2004 Waterman and Hill Traveler's Companion; too bad it's not online. Read up on it. Now you've learned something here today. See how I love you? Pragmatikally, of course. But it's loving nonetheless.