By: Mary Fran Bontempo
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When the phrase “rock my world” comes to mind, I can conjure more than a few, shall we say, interesting, images, most of which involve a hot tub and a hot stranger who knows nothing of my personal baggage.

But no matter how the imaginary details vary, I never took the words literally. Until last week.

Sitting on the beach in Ocean City, NJ with my youngest daughter and her friend, I was lulled into my customary beach stupor, enjoying a bright, beautiful day. Then, someone behind me began pushing my chair back and forth. At least that’s what I thought. When I turned around and saw no one was there, I assumed the next logical thing, that my recently deceased grandmothers had come back to haunt me. (They did a pretty good job while they were still here.)

It was only when my daughter asked, “Did you feel that?” and everyone else on the beach began standing up and looking around that I realized my grannies weren’t to blame and we had just felt an earthquake.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I immediately began scanning the ocean in search of a follow up tsunami. “Meg, if that water goes out far after the next wave, we need to run like hell,” I said, not that it would have mattered. On a barrier island like Ocean City, we were sandwiched between the ocean and the bay. If a tsunami hit, we were pretty much fish food.

And now, as I write this, I’m waiting for a hurricane.

Just two days after the earth moved, my daughters and I found ourselves packing our shore house with the outdoor furniture, tying down whatever we couldn’t fit inside and high-tailing it west on the Atlantic City Expressway back to Philadelphia, after being informed that the entire shoreline could likely wash away from the direct hit of the oncoming storm.

Does anybody know what’s going on? Better yet, do we even want to know? I made fun of the Apocalypse guy when he said the world was ending in May (although I took to carrying around my rosaries just for insurance), but now I’m not so sure.

What I do know is this: after last Tuesday’s seismic shimmy, I now have no desire to ever visit California. In fact, I’m questioning the sanity of anyone who would voluntarily live in a state that by all scientific accounts could fall off of the continent at any time.

My East Coast ocean sanctuary has likewise been tainted. I know that for the foreseeable future, every gust of wind on my chair back will be suspect and I’ll be watching the waves with paranoid caution, ready to bolt at the sight of an unusual swell. Of course, all of this presumes that I will have an East Coast ocean sanctuary after Irene roars through tonight. While California may fall off the continent due to an earthquake, the New Jersey barrier islands might just be swallowed whole, never to be seen again.

That leaves the middle of the country, which, as we saw last year, is subject to Mother Nature’s wrath in the form of tornadoes which pound with merciless, random abandon.

Yeesh. It’s beginning to look like Apocalypse guy may have had his dates wrong after all. So just what does one do when faced with the end of the world?

I think my husband and I may have found the perfect Apocalyptic plan. Earlier tonight, before the brunt of the storm hit, we drove to Wegman’s and purchased the following: one small ultimate chocolate cake (just enough for two), a half pound of dark chocolate raisins and peanuts, four double chocolate muffins, some Tastykake krimpets (his call) and a case of water. (We had to make one concession to practicality.) We picked up a giant bottle of wine yesterday.

I don’t know what’ll happen afterwards if the planet implodes but I do know this: before it does, I’ll be fed, watered and as happy as I can be under the circumstances. And really, in the crosshairs of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and tornadoes, what else can you ask for?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear a piece of ultimate chocolate cake calling my name.

What are your “Apocalyptic” plans? Click “comments” below and share!