Add Meteors to the List of Things I’m Scared of

18 Feb

All of a sudden it appears I have to worry about–along with such important matters as getting enough pickles on my 6″ Veggie Delite–being smashed by a meteorite, not to mention the need to learn the difference between meteor, meteoroid and meteorite, which, until last week, I could give two shits about. (Whatever that means. Does giving three shits mean I care even less? Aw, who gives a shit!)

Here’s a short guide to meteor terms by me, your not-to-be-trusted source: If a giant space rock is going to smash you into nothingness, but, for the time being, hasn’t reached our atmosphere, it’s called a meteoroid. When this deadly rock reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s a plain ol’ meteor; many people call them shooting stars. Finally, when the celestial chunk finally ends your life and saddens your friends and family, they’ll be calling it–if they’ve done their homework–a meteorite.

I watched nine videos of this Russian meteor over the weekend from really cool dashboard camera footage. After the seventh I stopped and thought “Hey, why don’t I have a dash-cam?” Then I sat there wondering why Russians get the cool dash-cams and Americans, for the most part, do not. That led me to where everything leads me–Google. (Because I don’t know shit and The Google knows everything.)

Google suggested I hop on over to The Washington Post where they would be happy to tell me all about Russian dashboard cameras. So I did. When The Post told me the myriad reasons Russians have dashboard cameras I thought “Well, shit, no wonder everyone’s driving around Russia with dashboard cameras.”

Apparently, Russia is a place where–if you want to be safe–it’s always best to stay indoors, preferably under a sturdy bed or table. A helmet wouldn’t hurt. And whatever you do, don’t put yourself near an automobile or a road unless you are brave or stupid. Here’s what I learned about this suicidal activity called driving in Russia:

  • The roads are terrible, among the worst in the world.
  • The drivers are terrible, so now you have terrible drivers on worthless roadways.
  • The traffic cops are corrupt.
  • Pedestrians commonly throw themselves onto windshields at crosswalks and lie on the ground faking injuries.
  • Drivers of previously dented vehicles will hit another car and yell “Look what you did to my car! Give me money to fix that!”
  • Hit and run incidents are common.
  • Road rage in Russia is worse than in the United States.

Well, shit, no wonder everyone’s driving around Russia with dashboard cameras.  (They also comes in handy when you forget your conventional recording devices: “Hey kids, stand in front of the car so we can get a video of you eating your ice cream.”)

Luckily, nobody’s ever jumped onto my car at a red light. Our roads are decent. I’ve never been throttled by a road rager. I’ve never been collision-hustled in a parking lot. And I’ve never encountered a corrupt cop.

But if I can get me a dash-cam I’ll be ready when that meteor is zipping towards me.

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