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Aw, mom, summer camp? What channel is that on?

A model cow felt the effects of last week's earthquake.
A model cow felt the effects of last week's earthquake. (Mike Marmer)
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A seismic tipping point

I didn't feel the earth move Friday morning. I was in a motel room in Williamsburg and missed the 3.6-magnitude quake that rocked Montgomery County. Not so for Mike Marmer. He lives in Germantown, about two miles from the quake's epicenter.

You might have read that there was no damage from the quake, but, Mike says, don't believe it. The tragic consequences of the temblor were all too apparent at his house. No, it didn't involve any of the 300 antique glass milk bottles that he has collected, including the rare Thompson's Dairy bottle it took him 20 years to find. They escaped unscathed.

Not so lucky was Mike's model train layout, a gargantuan S-scale setup that he has been building in his basement.

While assessing the state of things, Mike's wife, Linda, exclaimed: "Look! A cow fell over!"

Indeed, one of the 15 tiny plastic cows Mike had placed in a tiny farmyard had fallen over, unable to stay on its tiny plastic feet in the throes of the tiny earthquake. "Please have the presses stop and have this as front-page news as soon as possible," Mike wrote in an e-mail.

Sorry, Mike, we missed the front page. (Apparently a two-year investigation into top secret America is more important.) But let future seismologists note that in Germantown, at least one plastic cow was moooved.


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