“Tremendous forces are building in the earth’s crust, making it very unlikely that you will finish that pie that you just started.” said Trenton Wickmire, who always had an answer for everything.

“I’m making it anyway,” said his wife, Elaine Fonswep, who had kept her last name for this very sort of reason.

“If the earthquake is anything more than a 1.4 on the Richter scale, then you should probably just forget about that meringue,” said Trenton, eyeing the silver bowl of whipped foam that, if it wasn’t going on the pie, would go directly into his mouth.

“This is South Dakota,” said Elaine, “we don’t get too many earthquakes here.”

“You’d think so,  wouldn’t you?” said Trenton, and he slid imperceptibly into the living room, where he was very quiet for the next half an hour.

Elaine finished the pie, and she applied meringue.  Four inches of it.   Then she went shopping and Trenton went to the DMV where he sat in an empty waiting room for three hours watching the one staff person behind the counter not call his number, and finally he gave up and went home.  “Maybe I’m in the wrong place,” he thought, as he turned his key in the ignition and was suprised by a blasting surf-punk rock station he forgot he had been listening to on the drive out here.  He turned it down and stopped at the Dairy Queen for a vanilla kids’ cone.  These are all the facts.

Meanwhile Elaine had gone to a consignment store where she picked up a pair of someone’s gently used shoes for only 15 dollars.  Wonderful shoes, a terrific steal.  Sling-backs.  A slight heel.

And yet, later, when they both returned home, they found the pie, some unseen force having knocked it off the counter and onto the floor.  The force was not a pet, because they did not own any.  The doors had been locked.

“I told you,”  said Trenton Wickmire.

“It’s still good,” said Elaine Fonswep, because luckily, the pie had landed face-up.  Not a bit of meringue was out of place.  She picked up the pie and later they ate the whole thing.

And it’s true. It was still good.  Very, very good.