Chris Johnson

Asteroids, meteors and bears, oh my!

Well, I guess there aren't actually any bears falling from the sky, but with all the other recent celestial and bad science fiction movie stuff that's been happening above the Earth lately, I wouldn't be real surprised.

OK, I'd be a little surprised, but not real surprised. Actually, I might just be curious as to how the bear got into outer space.

Last week, when an asteroid came within 17,000 miles of smashing Earth into Tic Tac-sized, yet less flavorful pieces, my wife was the last to know we had a near-miss with disaster.

"What? Do you know (metaphor for incredibly upset) I'd have been if I'd have spent my last day on Earth working?!" she yelled as if I was somehow personally responsible for hurling the giant rock at my own planet.

On top of that, we had a strange explosion in the sky over Russia, which apparently was a meteor and not some faulty North Korean rocket as if there's some other kind of North Korean rocket.

She had a good point -- other than insinuating that I was withholding pertinent information. I agree completely that I don't want to spend my last day on Earth working, especially if I know the end is coming. If it's a total surprise when I look up and see the asteroid coming for us, I can just take a quick break from work so that I technically won't be working when the end happens.

However, I'd rather have time to plan. I've already made plans for the eventual day -- hopefully long from now -- when my doctor says, "Mr. Johnson, you've got six months to live." In which case, I'm going to eat myself to death in three. So, hopefully, long from now, my favorite burger joint back home will still be whipping out greasy double-chili-cheeseburgers in a matter of seconds.

The fact that I don't want to be working during the asteroid colli

sion has nothing to do with not liking my job. Whether its penning a weekly column or my day job of helping a Christian housing ministry change people's lives, I truly enjoy what I do. But my work often involves sitting in front of a computer, and that's simply not the way I want to witness an asteroid strike. (That's assuming I don't have a choice; I'd rather just avoid the asteroid strike altogether.)

But, when NASA confirms an approaching asteroid and Bruce Willis isn't available to drill a hole in it, I'll resign myself to the inevitable and head straight to the ocean. I'll plop down on the beach and start drinking the world's largest margarita while chomping down on the biggest, juiciest burger I can get my hands on.

However, as long as asteroids are brushing by a full 17,000 miles away, I won't worry about them. When they come within 17,000 feet, please let me know so I can go ahead and plan my Jimmy Buffett playlist, rev up my blender and put Troy's Snack Shack on full red alert!

-- Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. Connect with him at