So on Friday evening, you may have cause to be a tad worried. A 45m-wide asteroid with the flirtatious name of 2012 DA14 will swing past Earth.
According to ‘scientists’ (these people are rarely named in the news reports), there’s no chance of it hitting us and sparking a planetary doom-type scenario, but it will come as close as 27,000km: in astronomical terms, near enough for a snog and a bit of mild-to-moderate petting. Most significantly, it will be close enough to be inside the orbit of many of our satellites.
The scientists say the chances of any of our space junk getting a belt from DA14 are “slim”: which, you’ll note, is not the same as “none”. The outcome of such a collision hasn’t been covered in any of the media reports I’ve read: and thus one could reasonably infer that it will result in a catastrophic loss of access to Twitter and a dramatic change of trajectory for DA14. A planet-killing lump of rock will suddenly be hurtling towards us, and we’ll be powerless to even create a hashtag.
Or will we? As we learned last week, the group of small town teachers we call the Government have proven themselves capable of Mossad-like cunning and secrecy.
Through the delicate construction of secret lines of communication and code words and contingency plans, Agents Enda and Michael were ready to spring into action when some big mouth in Leinster House inevitably blabbed about the confidential plan for IBRC and the Promissory Notes.
So there’s bound to be a secret plan for saving the planet. And given that Enda and Michael have so recently proven themselves to be hewn from the Right Stuff, it is more than reasonable to assume they are central to it.
As soon as a threat of Armageddon is detected, astronauts Noonan and Kenny will suit up and be fired into space for Operation Jaysus That’s A Big Rock.
And there will be none of this drilling or firing off nuclear bombs nonsense: diplomacy will be the weapon of choice.
While backing away in their spaceship from the hurtling space-mountain, allowing their craft to be pummelled by the smaller rocks, they will gently ease DA14 into a slightly wider orbit.
Agents Kenny and Noonan will return to Earth and be hailed as heroes. Of course this won’t stop the asteroid impacting: just put it off until around 2050 when it will kill all our grandchildren. But hey, that’s international capitalism.