"They'll swarm this place like extras from Night of the Living Dead," I assured her while working the slide on my Glock.
"But we live in Chestnut Hill," she said. "The neighbors wouldn't go looting unless it were a catered affair."
Clearly she was missing the big picture. I reminded her that through decades of selfish use of incandescent lightbulbs, gas-guzzling SUVs, and other eco-atrocities, humans had pumped millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing the global warming that fueled this catastrophe.
"Don't you see?" I wailed. "We've stomped on Mother Earth's corns, and now she's angry! First the earthquake, and now this: A storm of unprecedented destructive power aimed right at us. This is payback!"
"Global warming?" my wife demanded. "Are you serious? You seem to forget that I grew up in Rhode Island in the 1950s and lived through Hurricane Carol, which leveled half of New England. And my parents told me that Carol was nothing compared to the 1938 New England hurricane. Wasn't that before we produced all this carbon dioxide?"
"But there are unconfirmed reports of human sacrifice and cannibalism on the Outer Banks!" I shuddered. "Avalon could be next!"
"Look, I don't have time for this," she said. "How many times are we expected to fall for this media hype? Trust me, this will be a heavy rainstorm, nothing more, and it will have nothing to do with SUVs, human sin, or Al Gore."
Undeterred, I remained on alert through the night, waiting for the tidal wave that never came. At Sunday's first light, despite our despoiling of the planet, the East Coast had, by the grace of Gaia, been spared.
As I rubbed my tired eyes, my wife grinned at me triumphantly.
I hate it when she's right.
George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor practicing law in Philadelphia.