When continents collide.

I once read that the continents of North America and Asia are slowly drifting towards each other. The following scenario came to mind.

The people stood silently along the shores of California, facing the ocean and preparing for the worst on this potentially fatal day. For now, they could see just the vast water reaching out towards the horizon but they knew that it wouldn’t be that way for much longer.

Then they saw it. Tall buildings began to rise from the horizon in the distance as whimpers of fright began to circulate among the terrified crowd. Taller and larger the buildings became as the coast of Japan came racing closer and closer towards the shores of California, the result of a dramatically accelerated continental drifting caused by tectonic plates gone berserk deep underneath the Earth’s surface.

Faster and faster Japan approached, but there wasn’t anything anyone could do. There were warning signs of this happening decades ago, but everyone ignored them, hoping they’d go away. But they never did. And here it was, unfolding before their very eyes, and all they could do was stand and watch.

By now, Japan was so close to California that the people standing while screaming along the California shoreline could now see the people standing while screaming along the Japanese shoreline. And then it happened, the most horrific sound of all, the coconut-like bonking of thousands of heads in collision as the two shorelines finally met.

But it was only the beginning. The two coastlines continued to collide, not only throwing cars in commute from Japan onto the highways of California, but also cars in commute from California onto the highways of Japan. Much confusion ensued with the addition of additional highway exits.

Countless buildings and houses from the two countries were suddenly mixed together along with the streets on which they resided, creating unprecedented levels of chaos. GPS devices malfunctioned with endless divide by zero errors, causing millions of drivers to lose their way and disappear off the face of the Earth. The load on the GPS satellites was so great that they simply exploded while in orbit.

Book publishers too chose to disintegrate rather than undertake the ambitious task of updating their maps and atlases to reflect the dramatic changes along the Pacific coast. Fierce debates erupted on what to name the merged coastline region as it was no longer California nor Japan. One side insisted on naming the region “Japafornia” while the other side felt that “Calipan” was a more fitting name.

And then it finally stopped, as quickly as it began. The tectonic plates had eased their grip and the continental collision suddenly ceased. There were now millions of people standing outside of their homes, surveying the results of the merged neighborhoods and roadways along with an endless mixture of signs in both English and Japanese. However, a most striking sight awaited them all, the sight of Mount Fujiyama just behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

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