I sealed my doors, boarded the windows and hugged my children in anticipation of the big storm. We waited and waited.
After a few hours, we went outside and beheld a bright blue San Diego sky. What happened to the storm the newspapers and television were forecasting? I canceled trips, didn't go to a Padres game and called my friends, warning them to take the appropriate precautions.
To tell the truth, I ended up feeling ridiculous.
A friend called me. He was enjoying a carne asada with his family in nearby Rosarito, Mexico.
"Didn't they warn you of the storm in Mexico?" I asked.
"Sure they did. It was on TV and the newspapers, but we didn't believe it."
In the afternoon, I watched a program on the History Channel about an "imminent" tsunami that's supposed to lash the Eastern seaboard. They even showed virtual images of how Boston would look after an enormous wave wiped out several million inhabitants and left the others homeless.
It's a good thing I live in San Diego, I said to myself.
Then I watched another program about the San Andreas fault and the "imminent" mega quake that sooner or later will destroy Southern California. Again, digital images showed Los Angeles in ruins.
I thought of moving to Nebraska, but I remembered a program I saw the week before about the "imminent" danger the planet faces of being struck by a comet.
Geez, I don't want to hear anymore about calamities that might happen.
Here are just a few things that are scaring the nation: terrorists (they are among us), germs (we must kill them all!), aliens (terrestrial or otherwise), global warming (the polar ice is melting!), bird flu (look out, two turkeys died in Turkey!), Catholic priests (no wonder we don't go to confession), trans-fats (we didn't know they existed; now, they're killing us), people who are different (why, oh why, are they like that?), lead in toys and candy (it comes from China, it comes from everywhere!), the economy (it's the best in the world, but ... ). It seems everything is against us. And if the media says so, it surely must be true.
I'm surprised we still venture outside our homes.
Let us close our eyes and pray.
The end of the world is near.
Or is it?
Just for one day, I've decided to ignore the Apocalypse. For 24 hours I won't believe in sudden climate changes or the doom of the Padres and the Chargers. I'll kiss my kids before putting them to bed. Then I'll pour myself a glass of wine and put on some music.
The only thing imminent on my horizon will be my internal peace. I'll be the calmest man in the country ... until the following morning, when the terror begins anew.
Luis Humberto Crosthwaite writes for Enlace in San Diego. CNS.