Jimmy Kimmel Rallies Fans to Donate to Japanese Tsunami Relief
In a new original piece for The Huffington Post titled 'A Dramatic Story, at the End of Which Nothing Happens,' the late-night funnyman discusses the day when his recurring tsunami nightmare became a reality.
Kimmel describes, "The dream goes like this. I am outside. Without warning, the tide starts to go out. As the water is sucked away, I know what is happening. The sea pulls back, loading up. For a moment, it disappears. Then a wall of water a thousand feet high towers over me. It is too big to run from. All I can do is watch, frozen by fear. And then I wake up. It's scary."
The 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' host, who was vacationing in Bora Bora with girlfriend Molly McNearney when they news of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami broke, describes how his magical thinking kept the wave from nearing his island destination, at least at first:
"I knew we'd be fine because I operate under the (logical) presumption that tsunamis never strike while one is talking about them or even soon after. So, to keep us safe, from the moment we touched down in Tahiti, I talked about tsunamis non-stop. At least 25 times over five days (ask Molly, she counted). At 5:00 pm on Thursday March 10, Molly and I were caught in a sudden rain shower."
Unfortunately for Kimmel, what started as a light rain turned into the forced evacuation of his hotel in preparation for the upcoming storm. "The plan was to get us to higher ground. We were told we'd take a short ride to the 'big' island (only 19 miles around), hike to the top of a hill, and wait it out. The blue sky and water were now pitch black. Our boat started and began to move. Then it stopped. Then it started again. And stopped. The boat started and stopped no less than fifteen times... Molly was scared. I comforted her by not vomiting."
When the group finally arrived at their above-sea-level destination, they waited out the storm, which almost completely bypassed the island, save for a "a ripple roughly the size of a peanut M&M."
In addition to learning that despite his many godlike attributes, he is not actually Poseidon, Kimmel came to realize that the greatest thing he can do is not to stop dreaming, but to help the individuals who are living through this natural disaster.
"We were and are very lucky, almost shamefully so," he writes. "Going forward, I will try hard to remember that. The minor scare I experienced gave me a glimpse of the intense horror Japan is still experiencing. Help them if you can. Give to the American Red Cross here and send your good wishes and prayers Japan's way. Sincerest thanks those who sent their wishes and prayers my way and to my daughter Katie, who gave news of our safe return a 'like' on Facebook."