Star Light, Star Bright

What are the odds? I’ve always hated when people say that. Most of us have no real appreciation for matters of chance. We believe that things we want are much more likely to happen than they really are and things we don’t want are less likely. I didn’t wake up today feeling lucky. Or unlucky.

Odds of winning Powerball Grand Prize: 1 in 195,249,054. Odds of being struck by lightning in the United States in any single year: 1 in 700,000.

She has the softest brown eyes I’ve ever seen. We met in the grocery store when she hit me with her shopping cart. I’ll always wonder whether she did that on purpose, but I flatter myself at the thought. Anyway, we chatted a bit while a good size bruise formed on my leg. We made plans to meet later for coffee. I kept thinking, “Things like this just don’t happen to me.”

I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did he fire six shots or only five?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? ~Dirty Harry

I went on about my business for the rest of the afternoon with a bit more bounce in my step tempered by the pain of that bruise which was turning the most brilliant colors. Sure, we were just meeting for coffee, but that doesn’t stop a guy from considering whether there are more intimate possibilities. What? It could happen.

Star light, star bright,
first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Oh darn, it’s a satellite

Little did I know, just about then a 6.5 ton satellite was tumbling out of orbit. As it entered the atmosphere it began breaking apart and burning. Much of it disintegrated, but pieces scattered over a swath several miles wide and a few hundred miles long. One of those pieces hit me right in the head. Who would ever have thought that a burning chunk of space debris would be the last thing to go through my mind? At least I gained some notoriety in death that I never did in life.

According to NASA, the chance of a piece of UARS debris hitting anybody anywhere in the world: 1 in 3,200.

So twice in one day my life took a wholly unexpected turn. How often does that happen? I’m going to miss that coffee date. Here’s the funny thing though. Don’t ask me how I know this, but had I lived she would have broken my heart. I sure dodged that bullet.


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