Biddy makes buttons to celebrate various occasions on the commune. She chronicles both head-achy and joyous events. One of the coveted ones is “Scabies Xmas 2010.” Most recently she has produced three new buttons which say “WTQ 5.8 4.5 40 2.5 2.3” (short for “What the Quake;” the numbers are for the scale of the earthquake and the 4 largest aftershocks that week), “Earthquake,” and “Broken Glass Aug 23, 1:51 PM.”
The last one is especially clever, but only makes sense if you have lived or visited here. Lots of people go barefoot here at all times of year. To support these people, when someone drops a glass or breaks a plate they put up a “broken glass” sign in the area, with the time and date. For example: “Broken Glass 8/12 2 PM.” Our barefoot communards then know to be cautious in this area because the cleanup may have been incomplete. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of broken glass on the day of the earthquake.
“What the Quake” (WTQ for short) is the labor code for all the clean up work which is being done. My guess is it will end up being several hundred hours; I have taken a bunch and I am not much of a cleaner.