“We’re all gonna die!” It seemed very funny to shout that out during a fire drill my freshman year of high school. It was still funny to my friend and I after we realized our only consequence would be a stern talking to by the principal. Yes, when confronted I dragged my friend into it. “He dared me to,” I said. What had really happened was that in the midst of 2000 students being evacuated from our high school I had turned to my friend John Martin and said, “Do you dare me to yell ‘We’re all gonna die’?” Of course John took me up on my offer and unwittingly became my accomplice when I caught heat from the man. At the time I was young and foolish with no concept of my own mortality. I thought death was something to be laughed at. I no longer think death is funny.
I generally still do not believe in my own mortality, but I’m starting to hedge my bets in this regard. Just because it happens to other people doesn’t mean it will happen to me. As my mother always said, “If your friend jumped off a bridge does that mean you have to also?” Much to my mother’s eternal satisfaction I am answering NO. If you want to die, go ahead and do it, but I refuse to be a follower.
My problem is that earlier this week scientists with a telescope larger than a third world country observed a black hole destroying a star in another galaxy. The way it was described in the article was that the star, which is of course a much larger object than our Earth, was essentially snorfled up by the black hole the way you and I would snorfle a glob of jello off the spoon, or plate if you’re in the mood. I may not believe that I am going to die, but I’m not completely unrealistic. Let’s just say that a black hole eats our sun first, then I imagine it would suck up the planets all in a row like we would inhale mini M&M’s through a straw. (For my wonderful Canadian readers M&M’s = Smarties) If a black hole were to pop up right next to Earth and snorfle my planet then what becomes of me?
Who I’m really angry at is the scientists. Damn them and their ever inquisitive minds! Why did they have to tell me this? Did anyone here really want to know that getting eaten by a black hole is a possibility? In this case ignorance was bliss. Why couldn’t the scientists just leave well enough alone? My entire life I’ve been at the top of the food chain and that has been a pretty secure feeling. Now this. Now I have to spend the rest of my life staring up at the night sky looking for black holes and asteroids. Yes, I worry a little about asteroids too. In general I figure that if a really big one hit the Earth I’d be fine as long as it didn’t hit me directly in the head.
Maybe all this is why the scientists developed the male birth control pill. They just figured that if “we’re all gonna die” then we might as well start gettin’ jiggy with it. Yes, that’s right, I said jiggy. In fact, that’s probably the new science geek pick up line. “Hey baby, you know we might get eaten by a black hole any minute, so why don’t you just go ahead and sleep with me?” Obviously I’m cool enough to say jiggy, but the scientists aren’t.