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Friday, August 2, 2013

Waiting for the Death Meteor

Now on top of everything else, NASA’s pestering me to tackle Death Meteors.  Nobody takes Death Meteors more seriously than I do, but I’m already up to my elbows with other crises.  Hummingbird-feeders, for example.  My wife’s lobbying to remove all eight feeders from the eaves, on grounds they’re an eyesore, a position not without merit.  Visualize red plastic containers sprouting bright yellow plastic flowers, so obviously fake, they wouldn’t fool anybody who isn’t dumb as a hummingbird.   The problem is, hummingbirds think tacky yellow flowers are beautiful, and nothing will budge their conviction that these represent the pinnacle of artistic achievement.  Can I help that nature’s loveliest, jewel-like denizens have moronic taste?
But with my wife out of town, I can turn my attention to Death Meteors.
In case you slept through science class, a Death Meteor one point five jillion years ago explains why you never see dinosaurs nowadays unless you count alligators, telephone solicitors, and Komodo Dragons.  This particular Death Meteor was named Chicxulub, which was asking for it.  Naming a meteor something badass like Chicxulub is simply looking for trouble, which is why scientists started naming meteors nonthreatening things like DA14.  DA14, you might recall, was the football-field-sized space-lump that came this close to walloping us last year.[1]
But DA14 was a weenie compared to Chicxulub.  Dinosaurs wish they’d been hit by DA14.  First Chicxulub instantly vaporizes half the dinosaurs on earth, and while the other half are thinking, “Something smells like burning dinosaur,” here comes flaming debris, tsunamis, and earthquakes.  Dust fills the air.  Plants die.  Throw in an ice age.  Just when the dinosaurs think things can’t get worse, guess what?  They get worse.  Then humans.  Sayonara, dinosaurs.
Statistically, a Death Meteor hits once every one point five jillion years, which is how long since the last one, so NASA is like, “Uh-oh.”  Unfortunately, getting rid of Death Meteors isn’t as simple as spraying them with aerosol.  What I propose is more careful selection of potential Death Meteor names.  DA14’s okay, but doesn’t go far enough.  Why not name Death Meteors “Joey Dinks” or “Wally Smoot?”  Could anything called Wally Smoot wipe out an entire planet?  Of course not.  This also works with telephone solicitors.  When a solicitor calls, try asking, “Can I call you Wally Smoot?”  Then make a point of saying Wally Smoot every three seconds.  Eventually, he hangs up.  The same principle applies to Death Meteors.
Others suggest nuclear-bombing Death Meteors.  Simply target a rocket a hundred thousand miles at a football-field-sized lump hurtling earthward a thousand miles a second, hitting it with split-second, pinpoint accuracy, so a precisely-calculated payload can blast it into harmless meteor powder in the nick of time.  All this would be accomplished by the government.
I think we stand a better chance with the Wally Smoot thing.
Meanwhile, back to the hummingbirds.

[1] Football Fields (FF) are the standard unit of measure for Death Meteors just as hail is measured in Golf Balls (GB).

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