The Organisation of Disaster-Prone Countries, meeting in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday discussed ways in which their members could be seen to be more 'stoical' than the people of Japan in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster affecting their countries.
'We all saw how the Japanese reacted with calm and dignity in the face of appalling devastation,' said conference organiser Jaeyoung Kim. 'Their patience and fortitude raised the bar when it comes to what we call post-disaster image perception. They've effectively cornered the market in stoicism.'
Measures proposed included carrying on cleaning the windows even as your house is being carried away by flood waters, running from a tsunami in a manner that suggests you are merely late for a meeting, and making sure you have a good book when you bed down for the night in a vast emergency shelter.
'It's no longer enough simply to not panic,' said Kim. 'The world expects you to react to apocalyptic disasters as if you live through this sort of calamity everyday. So things such as idly studying a map as your car is swept miles out to sea or pretending to chat on a non-existent phone network can all help propel your country to the 'top of the imperturbables' league.
The conference was cut short when an announcement that free drinks were being served in the bar caused a stampede resulting in the deaths of three delegates.