Scientists long have estimated that asteroid 1950 DA is on course — within a 20-minute window on March 16, 2880 — to crash into Earth. It’s only a 0.3-percent chance, but such a miniscule probability makes it 50 percent more likely to come flaming down than any other asteroid. It supposedly would hit somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, creating insanely large tsunamis, aka homicide waves, which would absolutely crush Virginia and very possibly end life as we know it.
NASA eggheads say it would be similar to the asteroid that stopped the dinosaur’s reign of terror about 65 million years ago. Sorry, it wasn’t some white-bearded, magical soothsayer-creator type who lives in the clouds. It was an f-in asteroid. Get over it.
I know you’re asking, who gives a flying dump about this futuristic, possibly fabricated, mass-murdering molten rock of doom? Mile-wide asteroids flying through space? Dinosaurs? Fossils? Pangea?
But what does it all mean, Basil? The good book told me nothing of this!
Our kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ grandkids won’t even be alive if and when this thing begins its great terror cleanse. And even if they were, I’m sure we could send a ragtag team of completely undertrained, blue-collar, deep-core drillers to land on the asteroid and dramatically blow it up while a used-to-be-awesome-rock-turned-soft-rock band’s pussy soundtrack plays.
That’s just basic science.
I bring it up because what if you really knew the end was coming? What if you had a magical watch that told you exactly how long you had to live? Would it make a difference? Would you change anything? Do I sound like a horrible John Mayer or Tim McGraw song?
I think I’d tell certain people that I loved them. Hugs and kisses and all that jazz. Then I’d probably go completely off the rails. Free-base heroin while base jumping off the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or something neat like that. Maybe gather my friends and play demolition derby on Monument Avenue with machine guns and grenades while high on peyote. Nothing too crazy.
Perhaps you’d focus on staying the course. Working hard and continuing personal growth. Learning, doing, experiencing, meeting new people. Trying to bring meaning to a life still undecided, still undiscovered.
Many of you probably would drink your faces off. Some of you would make passionate love to your true mate until your genitals ceased to work. Others might try to make love to every potential mate within a 5-mile radius until, well, your genitals became extinct. All perfectly normal reactions, and for many of you — especially my friend Kyle — just a normal week in the life.
It’s an experiment in time wasting to even consider crap like this, I know. If the Death Maven — what I’ve lovingly renamed asteroid 1950 DA — arrives bearing mass destruction and face-melting super waves, it’ll be 867 years in the future. Things most likely will have changed here on Earth.
I mean, 867 years ago it was 1146. It was the High Middle Ages, which makes it sound like a fancy time to be alive, but it really wasn’t. They didn’t even have Chick-fil-A or Starbucks. They did have Genghis Khan, but he wasn’t anything like the do-it-yourself-hot-bar, Mongolian grill that we’ve all come to know and love. And the women? Let’s just say that grooming wasn’t a huge priority back in the time of plague. It was very much like the 1970s, actually. The life expectancy was 12 years.
Again, basic science stuff.
So to circle back, we’re all going to die. Today, tomorrow, 80 years, centuries from now.
Something I’ve been working on before my untimely and much bereaved passing, something that I will pass on to you: Next time you get upset, take a deep breath and get over it. Everything is petty in the big picture, especially when we’re talking this macro. Do what you can control and try your best not to worry about the flotsam that orbits you.
Unless you’re a ne’er-do-well oil rigger tasked with planting a nuclear bomb deep within the Death Maven. Then you better damn well be worried, you worthless sack of shit. My 28-times-great-grandson, Jack*, is depending on your lazy ass to drill baby, drill. People said you were the best GED-equivalent, pretty-boy, washboard-ab, deep-core-drilling prodigy, absolute moron — that out of all the people in the entire world — we could choose to demolish this freakin’ asteroid! Now prove it!
*It’s in my will that every male born in the Lauterback lineage be named Jack. Call me George Foreman.
Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauterback also is co-host of “Mornings with Melissa and Jack” on 103.7 Play, weekdays from 6-9. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.