Homage to the man who shut the car door behind him.

There was a documentary last night about the Japanese tsunami of 2011. Several people had filmed the event and the programme intercut their footage with interviews from still shocked bystanders and a narrators sober commentary.

There was plenty to sober about: how the power of the water just swept everything aside without any resistance whatsoever – and what it didn’t sweep aside it engulfed; how black the water looked – like oil or  the darkest colour of bile after the worse ever food poisoning; and the guy who got out of his car as the water  quickly rose around him – but who then turned back to shut the car door. In case of what? Theft from passers by? Out of Politeness? Just in case-ness?

It’s amazing how in times of our greatest stress we try to keep hold of sense of decorum and order. When all around us, riots can be breaking out, pestilence can be ravaging the entire population and locusts can be devouring our crops before our eyes – we will still find time to fill the dish washer, take the milk bottles out and shut the door behind us prior to the rest of our world caving in.

God bless you, man who shut your car door seconds before it was swept away in the tsunami of human debris. I hope you made it alive and can live to tell the tale. But just why did you shut the door behind you?

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