Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Why selfish Haitians should help American earthquake victims, and the tubing menace — a fly fisher’s lament

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Hey Matt, you live on the East Coast. How are you putting your life back together after the 5.8’er? – Levi S.

Though as an advice columnist, I enjoy playing God with people’s lives, I don’t pretend to speak for Him. But when an unlikely 5.8 earthquake originates in Virginia, shaking a dozen states and several Canadian provinces, and that is only the second biggest disaster story of the week (after Hurricane Irene), then I think it’s safe to say that if God doesn’t want us all dead soon, He’s at least toying with the idea. And who could blame Him for bringing the judgment to a people who’ve kept “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” on the air now for six seasons? Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

That said, I’m still recovering from the Three Seconds That Changed The World. I’ve learned from covering previous natural disasters, like Katrina, that what is most important in the aftermath is for survivors to share their stories. So I’ll now share mine. I remember standing there, and next thing I know, I saw a bridge shaking. That’s pretty much it. As I said, it was only three seconds. End of story. Except, as I later found out, I was one of the lucky ones. Plenty were far less fortunate, like my neighbor, whose Yankee Candle fell off the mantle and shattered. (Why, God, why?)

As someone who covered the Haiti earthquake, and who has even brought out the tin cup on behalf of Haitian victims, I think it’s time for self-centered Haitians to start reciprocating, and to share their earthquake relief. Do you have any idea how much a 2-wick Fluffy Towels™ Yankee Candle large tumbler costs these days? Try $25.99, before tax. To put that in perspective, since the average Haitian makes about 2 dollars a day, that’s about two weeks worth of salary. Expensive. So pony up, Haiti. We scratched your back, now you scratch ours.