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Twitter uses #earthquake to mock Nature's wrath, you

Every old joke is new again. Even though this picture is dated July 2010, it gained fresh Twitter popularity on Tuesday.
Every old joke is new again. Even though this picture is dated July 2010, it gained fresh Twitter popularity on Tuesday.

Immediately following news of a moderate earthquake in Virginia that was felt in Washington D.C., New York City and as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C., aftershocks — of sorts — rippled across the Internet. Many turned to the U.S. first-alert system by default — Twitter — to find and share news of damage in our nation's capital, travel delays and how much they did (or didn't) feel the earth shake.

Even more jumped online to mock panic, make witty reference of eschatological beliefs of a cataclysmic event in 2012/and or that one John Cusack movie, sarcastically mourn the reported split of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, insult your political leanings, mock death and take advantage of ample opportunity for appending "that's what she said" on pretty much everything. And as is, I believe, required by law, the D.C. Earthquake now has its own Twitter account.

That was fast.

No less than eight tongue-in-cheek groups named around various versions of "I survived the Aug. 23 earthquake" popped up on Facebook, the most popular heading toward 1,800 "Likes" at the time of this post. A photo of the "D.C. devastation" on jmckinley's posterous blog post of July 2010 — a set of plastic lawn furniture with one toppled chair — became the popular photo link to retweet on Tuesday, quickly inspiring a photo meme of more earthquake non-devastation.

Even as nail-biting reports about Virginia nuclear plants that shut down circulated in the news, Foursquare tips on the new check-in "location" — Earthquakepcolypse — piled in by the thousands. (My fav, courtesy Matt S of Livingston, NJ: "Try the pie. It's delightful.")

Nothing inspires the humor center of the brain like the false sense of security that follows a quick reminder that Nature can kick your insignificant arse at anytime, only this time, it didn't. Observe.

On mocking your jokes:

@amorrissey: protip: someone's already made that #earthquake joke you're crafting.

@TheEricPatrick: You see that Will and Jada. You're the glue that's holding this country together! #earthquake

@yeltup2: 5.8 earthquake ...that's kind of big right? Oh oh THATS WHAT SHE SAID!

@darthwiggieToo many opportunities to add "that's what she said" with some of these #earthquake tweets. :-)

On mocking your Twitter use:

@zarchasmpgmrFriends in the NE — check your loved ones, get out of masonry buildings, look for danger, then post to Twitter. That's the correct order.

@villagevoiceHow are people going to tweet earthquake jokes if their cell phones aren't working?

On mocking your overreaction:

@maximosis MARTIAL LAW TO BE PUT INTO PLAY IN 26 MINUTES!! #EARTHQUAKE2011

@FINALLEVEL   As long as everyone's ok...... Keep it moovin.. The EARTH is gonna do whatever the f*** it wants to do.

@dylanmatt: "In retrospect, I resorted to cannibalism rather fast after the earthquake."

@d44pan:  If you don't go back to shopping then the earthquakes have already won. 

On mocking your beliefs:

@mike_walsh: That was not an earthquake.. It was our nation's founders rolling over

@politicoroger: “We wouldn’t be having earthquakes like this if Hillary were president.”

@ArmisteadMaupin: Earthquake in DC? Stand by for Biblical explanation from Pat Robertson

@BadAstronomer: I'll make this prediction now: psychics & bogus quake predictors will say they knew this was coming but have no hard evidence for it. 
 
@TheTweetOfGod: There was just a 5.8 earthquake in Washington. Obama wanted it to be 3.4, but the Republicans wanted 5.8, so he compromised.
  

On mocking New Yorkers:

@veronacodex:   Not to be mean to people who just had a scare but tagging #nycearthquake on an earthquake 317 miles from NYC is the most New York thing ever

@jdickerson: Everyone calm down. If this is an earthquake on the east coast we’re supposed to react ironically.”

@katz: "I felt that earthquake last week" - Brooklyn hipster

On mocking the earthquake:

@TimDuffy My favorite part was when we stopped working for a few minutes to talk about the earthquake. #nostalgia 

@baratunde: this #earthquake story is so over. can we talk about actual current events now?

@elizapi:Earthquake. Lolz. Thought I'd join in even if I'm nowhere near the east coast. It's the cool thing to do.

@hodgman: This guy in the cafe and I agree that we liked the earthquake when it first started. But now it's like, the wrong people are into it.

@dogboner: i hope ja rule is okay

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or FacebookAlso, Google+.