Beware of Falling Meteors

You might want to take cover. A plummeting six-ton satellite is predicted to hit Earth this week. It’s expected to break into as many as 100 pieces, with the heaviest chunk weighing roughly 300 pounds. With the spacecraft traveling at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (5 miles per second), scientists are having a hard time trying to pinpoint where it may touch down. It could land anywhere between latitudes 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south, so basically, on any continent except Antarctica. And anytime between Thursday and Saturday. With the odds of being struck at 1 in 21 trillion, maybe you don’t need to take cover after all.

That is, unless you are my husband. Steve has a well-worn expression. “That’s about as likely as a meteor falling out of the sky and hitting me on the head,” he’ll say. I generally reply that when the number of days that God ordained for him are up, probably the way he’ll go is from a meteor hitting him on the head.

But the meteor, or in this case satellite, will have some stiff competition. My husband is hard-headed. And I don’t just mean he’s stubborn. His forehead has been forged into a substance as heavy as concrete. This bone-densifying process began when he was about seven years old and tangled with a fencepost. The substance grew stronger when he raced down a mountain road, at about age 23, flipping over his handlebars and landing on his forehead.

Any ideas where I might find a used tin helmet for Steve before tomorrow? Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll be safe. By the way, if you do happen to come across a chunk of the satellite, it’s against the law to keep it as a souvenir or sell it on craigslist. NASA claims it belongs to them.

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