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A mainland friend called.

Hey Jake! What’s up with this? NUCLEAR MISSILE STRIKE at the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday, January 13th at 8:05 a.m. “We heard that there was a threat that that nutcase in North Korea had launched a nuclear missile at the Hawaiian Islands. Is that true?”

“Yes, it’s true. Everybody that had a cell phone got the warning, but there was little or nothing on the radio or TV. It scared the dickens out of a lot of folks. My wife, Elizabeth, took it very seriously and followed the directions in the state’s warning. She got me out of bed, dropped a religious scapular around my neck, sprinkled all of us with holy water and prayed while preparing to take cover. We loaded the SUV with the well-used Tsunami (Tidal wave) emergency supplies, the cats in their carrier boxes. She closed the windows and drapes in the condo, and we headed out for one of the nearby concrete bunkers, or caves, that dot the island, and are left over from WWII. Our grandson, who was working at the nearby Safeway, texted me and said the store was locked down. Nobody gets in, and nobody gets out. The tourists, mostly Japanese, in our little seaside town went crazy and fled the beaches. I don’t know where they went. Thirty-eight minutes later, a brief announcement came over the TV and radio that it was a false alarm and there was no threat.

Now, I’m here to tell you that my fellow Islanders and I have been through innumerable Tsunami, flooding and hurricane warning that never amounted to anything, and now this. The State of Hawaii has a real credibility problem, but I’m pretty sure that based on the last twenty-years nothing is going to change and if I don’t like it, I guess I can move.

Don’t get me wrong. This event was not an insignificant screw-up. Most of us thought it was real, and we believed we only had minutes to live. If the blast didn’t kill us, the radiation would. There was no fleeing this thing. Fleeing was just an instinct. We kissed our loved ones that were with us, and we called those who were away. We said our goodbyes, accepted our fate and prayed. What else could we do? When we learned that death wasn’t going to take this morning, we didn’t rejoice, we were somber, reflective, and we know that we and out children will never feel safe again. This is the unfortunate consequence of this event.