Smackdown! (Or Not.)

Whenever something strikes me as odd, funny, or otherwise blog-worthy, I drop a little note in my blog file.  This week I discovered two entries in close proximity:  “tornados vs. earthquakes” and “facial tissue vs. bathroom tissue”.  I half-expected to see “Godzilla vs. Kong”, but I guess that’s been done.

So apparently it’s smackdown time, or at least I assume it is.  Those were the only notes I made, and I don’t actually remember what I meant to say about them.  But what the hell, I ain’t a fiction-writer fer nuthin’.  So here goes:

“Tornados vs. earthquakes”:  I’m hoping to never find out firsthand which of these would win in a smackdown.  But I do know this:  I feel less threatened by earthquakes.  Which is silly, since I live in the most active earthquake zone in Canada.

Tornados strike terror into my heart.  There’s something so damn personal about them.  An earthquake shakes up everybody equally, but a tornado circles around to scope out its potential victim(s).  Then it extends a finger of destruction down from the sky and WHAM!  It smites its target, taking out one building while leaving another standing untouched only a few feet away.  That just freaks me out.

I’m tempted to give tornados the win for sheer intimidation-factor, but I don’t want to tempt earthquakes to provide me with a comparison.  We’ll just call that one a draw.

“Facial tissue vs. bathroom tissue”:  Until I moved to a house with a septic system instead of city sewers, I didn’t see the point in differentiating between the two tissue types.  I’ve since found out that bathroom tissue is designed to fall apart rapidly in water, thereby not plugging up my septic system.  (Thank you, toilet paper.)

The only other difference seems to be that bathroom tissue is often made from recycled paper, although the label wording is a bit vague.  The first time I saw a package of toilet paper blazoned with “Recycled Bathroom Tissue”, I was seriously concerned.

I had visions of some poor schmuck employed in the Sewer Department, painstakingly separating, um… let’s say, ‘the wheat from the chaff’… and feeding the salvaged bits into a giant bleach barrel.  At least I sincerely hoped there was a bleach barrel.

Much to my relief, I discovered that the recycling source was other types of domestic paper.  Whew.  But honestly, there was nothing on that bathroom tissue package that specified what it was recycled from.

So facial tissue gets points for strength, and bathroom tissue gets points for beneficial wimpiness with sinister undertones.  I’m going to call that another draw, just in case toilet paper is ungracious about defeat and decides to take revenge on my pipes.

And that’s my equivocation for this week.


P.S.  We’re having guests for a while so my next post will be August 28/19, but I’ll still check in to reply to comments.  Wishing everyone a happy summer with no smackdowns of any sort!  🙂

Book 15 update:  I hit Chapter 3 this week — it’s great to be writing again!  Arnie and Aydan are off on an adventure, and John will join them soon.  Things get interesting when secret agents go on vacation!

26 thoughts on “Smackdown! (Or Not.)

  1. I kinda think the barely there toilet paper you have to use would win. The threat of a backed up septic systems terrify me almost as much as either earthquakes or tornadoes. Plus I don’t think facial tissue would even put up a fight. It’d be sayin’ “think what you like, but remember that snotty cold you had last winter? Let’s just see how your disintegrating toilet paper helps you then, cause I know you ain’t got no handkerchiefs just layin’ around.”


  2. Where I live, it’s the occasional flood (lately) or tornado, and earthquakes are rare. I only felt one of them back in the 1980s, and it was more of a rolling earthquake, and the storefront we were in was swaying back and forth. Lately our lake levels are so high that the road along the lake gets flooded out in a couple of places, due to it being below the lake level. They are still handing out sandbags here, until the level drops through the entire Great Lakes chain.

    Several miles north of us, just a few days ago, they had a deluge that caused many major roads to get closed down due to flooding, almost exactly five years to the date we had a major rain event in the area that dumped up to five inches of rain within a couple of hours, and left many with flooded basements and some (like us) lost a car in it. The bad part about the basement flooding is that it was the sanitary sewer lines backing up, so anyone who was affected pretty much had to discard everything in their basement.


    • Floods are horrible! You wouldn’t think water could cause that much destruction, but you’re right — pretty much everything it touches has to be discarded. We were in Calgary when it flooded in 2013, and High River, Alberta (gee, do you think that might be a hint?) was nearly obliterated that year. What an awful, stinking, mucky mess.

      Five inches of rain in a couple of hours – wow. I hope your water levels settle down soon — going into the winter with those high levels wouldn’t bode well for next spring’s thaw.


      • Part of the high levels are from the snow melt up in Lake Superior and northern Michigan and parts of Ontario, and those were supposed to subside by mid July. Then we have another “rain event” and the levels are back up again. Several years ago, our lake was very low, to where the tugboats had to dredge out canals so people could get their boats to the lake. Now it’s the opposite! The water looks as though it is just a few inches beneath the docks.

        Thankfully we’re a mile inland, and the rain event from 2014 avoided our basement (although it got to the homes down the street, which is slightly downhill…ironically just a few hundred yards from the local pumping station.) I guess it rained here at the house (I was in Colorado at the time) a few days ago, but missed the deluge just several miles north of us.


  3. Tornados are personal – well said. They are far less dangerous than floods, lightning, hurricanes or earthquakes – or men with guns on killing rampages – but they are so unpredictable. My hometown got hit a few years ago and 90 homes were destroyed, including the next-door neighbors of my sister. My sister lost her fence, swing set, and everything else in the backyard, yet the house was unfazed. One house lost the roof, but the photos were still hung perfectly on the walls.


  4. I moved from Los Angeles, land of earthquakes, to the mid-west, land of tornadoes. Earthquakes may not be predictable in any scientific sense but your pets can usually give you a heads up if you’re paying attention. On the other hand you sit cowering through a whole lot of false alarms when dealing with tornadoes. Meteorologists screaming “It’s coming right at you!!” on radio and tv, sirens going off, and nothing happens. The next day you go into work on five minutes of sleep all because there was a bunch of red patches on the computers weather model. Grumble grumble cuss cuss….. On the other hand I’m one of those nuts that wouldn’t mind a storm chasing vacation, lmao! Oh well. As far as t.p. and facial tissue is concerned, I don’t mind recycled materials but I don’t want it going to bamboo like some paper towels have. I’m allergic . Can you imagine? 😧

    I’m always happy to hear writing is going well because as long as you’re having fun we’ll be having fun in just a few short months. Yah me! …I mean us! Haha. Enjoy your company. Send them home with zucchini😉


    • Oh, that’s a excellent (and devious) idea! Maybe I can sneak a few into the suitcase.

      I imagine the tornado alerts would make for some sleepless nights. I have this really strong desire to not die of my own stupidity, so I’d be afraid to go to bed and ignore the warnings in case I woke up dead.

      Maybe that’s another reason why I’m not terrified of earthquakes — there’s nothing I can do to avoid them or prevent them. I take the same attitude as when I’m flying: It’s out of my hands; so I might as well just sit back and enjoy the ride!


  5. The general rule for septic systems is don’t flush anything unless you ate or drank it first. When my city friends would come up to visit I would hang a sign to that effect on the toilet.


    • Fortunately ours seems pretty robust so far. And that’s the problem right there: It’s perfectly fine… until it isn’t. And when it isn’t, HOO BOY! I still remember the stench of the backed-up septic system on the farm where I grew up. I’m hoping today’s systems are better!


  6. I vote for neither earthquakes nor tornadoes, thankyouverymuch . . . I feel so fortunate to live in an area where we don’t really need to worry about either one. Hurricanes and blizzards, now those I worry about, but they don’t cause the same kind of destruction here (although I know they do elsewhere). Our daughter and her family are out on your coast (on the U.S. side of the border) and earthquakes are more on my radar now because of it.

    Enjoy your company!


    • Thank you! And I’m with you — I’ll take “neither”, thanks.

      I had forgotten that your daughter was on the west coast. For her sake and mine, I’m hoping for a long period of no seismic activity!


  7. TEASE!!!!!!!! I wanna read what you’ve written so far.

    I miss the gang but in the middle of another series so too early for a reread.

    I’m glad to have found a kindred spirit with regards to the horror of recycled loo rolls. I still shudder at the thought in shops


    • What worries me is the way they don’t specify what “recycled” really means. 😉

      And yep, I’m having fun with Aydan and the gang. I’m glad I discovered writing — I get to spend months with the characters instead of only a few hours while I read a book!


  8. Tornados fascinate me, but not enough to want to live through one. Earthquakes come in all sizes. Quite thrilling, as long as nothing gets damaged.

    We all know toilet paper – we’ve gotten used to 1000-sheets-a-roll ones, the best value for money and thin enough for any system, although, in our camper, just like in our boat, we deposit the sheets in the garbage can to avoid issues with tissues altogether – and facial tissue, but I would never throw anything but toilet paper in the toilet, so no worries there. Phew.

    Enjoy your time with your guests!


    • Thanks, I’m looking forward to the visit!

      And I’m glad that my septic system is reliable enough to tackle toilet paper – I certainly don’t envy you that particular inconvenience!

      As to the earthquakes, I’m just hoping I never have to experience a big one. Apparently we’ve had several hundred in the past couple of years, and we haven’t felt any of them. Fingers crossed that continues! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am the opposite. I live in Iowa which has tornados but I did live in California for 5 years which has earthquakes. They can’t be predicted or avoided and hit everything in the area, whereas tornados can be predicted (at least the potential), tracked, and sheltered from. When there’s a tornado warning you can watch the radar and if it’s close do to the basement. I’ve seen photos of earthquakes taking out ridges, overpass ed, buildings, and there’s not a Damn thing you can do about it.


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