The panic was tangible and it might have been funny. There was an earthquake, and hundreds died, but it was thousands of miles away. It was a coastal quake and only then did it become our problem. Tsunami! Everyone here braced for impact. The tweets and updates rained like debris falling from a burning tower. When would it hit? Would we lose Hawaii? My God, my cousin lives three miles from Mission Bay - she needs to get out of there NOW. Rafts were constructed. Xanax was taken. The only thing that would have made it more perfect: a press conference from President Morgan Freeman, reassuring us that that we as an American species would survive - well, some of us, anyway; the rest should stock up on Ensure and pray to whatever gods we believe in for deliverance or gills. The news of impending watery disaster interrupted the news about our young athletes, collecting medal after medal, on a world stage constructed in Canada, which hey, is pretty much America anyway. The tidal wave was a tidal ripple, and that was surely divine intervention, never mind the way the ocean works. (They're surfing in Hawaii?! Are they insane?!) The movie studios and tanning salons and golf courses and microbrewpubs were spared. Of course they were. We are a bright sun around which the Universe revolves.