1 in 3,200

In 48 hours, I will be landing in Bermuda for a lovely three-night getaway.  No kids.  Just my husband, me and some very close friends.

There will be a lot of relaxation.  And wine.

Am I excited?  Not just yet.  The truth is that I have to wonder if the trip will actually happen.

Because, let’s be honest, the residents of Fordeville have not had the best luck recently with the Travel Gods.  Lest we forget (I know I never will) — in July and August alone, someone in our family vomited in every state along the Eastern Seaboard from Rhode Island to North Carolina.

So far, I have seen no signs of stomach issues in the house to thwart our travels.  And, to be safe, I’ve made the executive decision that nobody is having any ground turkey in the next two days, as the recall continues.  Sorry, Taco Night — you’re on hiatus for now.

Next, I feared that a post-Irene September might bring more hurricanes and tropical storms — and that surely one would end up squarely at our resort.  Mercifully, that appears to be a non-issue.  The forecast looks dreamy.

So.  Dare I say, I have finally begun to allow myself to relax and look forward to this trip — which will be a nice break from the basement renovation chaos and just life in general.  I even began to browse the spa brochure — because that’s something I won’t be missing.

But then, I noticed something on the news.  Just a funny little headline about a satellite barreling towards Earth.

Seriously? That sucker is going to fall to the Earth in a fiery ball?

Sometime “between Thursday and Saturday.”

Somewhere “between Canada and South America.”

Somewhere “more than very likely over the ocean.”


Somewhere on my head, methinks.  In Bermuda.

The odds are 1 in 3,200 that someone will “suffer an injury from the debris.”

I mean, call me a skeptic but I think the chances of an “injury” from the debris are more like slim to none.  Unless by “injury” they actually mean “certain fiery death.”  Because you’re not going to get a little flesh wound from something falling on you from space.

Also, 1 in 3,200 wasn’t particularly comforting to me.  Especially after seeing this table of one’s odds of death by various means {source:  www.livescience.com}.


Cause of Death Lifetime Odds
Heart Disease 1-in-5
Cancer 1-in-7
Stroke 1-in-23
Accidental Injury 1-in-36
Motor Vehicle Accident 1-in-100
Intentional Self-harm (suicide) 1-in-121
Falling Down 1-in-246
Assault by Firearm 1-in-325
Fire or Smoke 1-in-1,116
Natural Forces (heat, cold, storms, quakes, etc.) 1-in-3,357
Electrocution 1-in-5,000
Drowning 1-in-8,942
Air Travel Accident 1-in-20,000
Flood (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-30,000
Legal Execution 1-in-58,618
Tornado (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-60,000
Lightning Strike (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-83,930
Snake, Bee or other Venomous Bite or Sting 1-in-100,000
Earthquake (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-131,890
Dog Attack 1-in-147,717
Asteroid Impact 1-in-200,000
Tsunami 1-in-500,000
Fireworks Discharge 1-in-615,488

Am I a one-woman party, or what?

And can we refer to some of the examples in bold type for a second?  So NASA is telling me that the falling fireball of satellite debris is more likely to kill me than electrocution, or a snake/bee/other venomous bite/sting?  Seriously?  I mean, science is not a strength of mine, but I have to wonder if NASA might consider a different approach to satellite re-entry in the future, other than The Cosmic Crapshoot.

{Also, just for kicks, I find it odd that there’s a likelihood of death associated with legal execution.  I’m no statistician, but I would think one could significantly lower one’s odds by not committing a crime worthy of Death Row.}

Just when I started to raise an eyebrow toward outer space, I then came across this headline:

FEMA Ready With “Just in Case” Scenarios For Satellite Crash {source: CBS News}

Which sounds an awful lot to me like “Brace yourselves.  Especially people and tourists of Bermuda.”

So, while all of you take solace in the prevailing theory that this thing will make impact in the ocean — picture me sitting on a lovely beach, drink in hand, thumbing through the spa brochure again.  And looking upwards with a  nervous eye.

Come on Travel Gods — throw me a bone this time.  Spare my family from any vomiting, natural disaster and falling satellite debris.  Thanks a million.




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  1. zenalicious mom says:

    Ummm remind me not to go on vacation at the same time/ place as you 😉

    LOL – I’m sure it will be fine. Ya know just wear your fire proof bathing suit just in case!!!

  2. Onnie says:

    Pretty sure my brother worked on that satellite back in his rocket-scientist days…

    • fordeville says:

      Can you call him and see if he still has the landing remote control for this thing? Tell him to look under his couch maybe.

  3. Markus says:

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

    I heard the same report this morning about the pending satellite dropping in for a visit. When I heard the 1 in 3,200 statistic, I figured somebody slipped a digit (or three or more). Seriously, what actuarial table gives you that calculation?

    Hope you enjoy your vacation – and don’t forget your sunblock – SPF 3200!!!

    • fordeville says:

      You best not stand near me on the island. It’s for your own safety.

      • Markus says:

        Now I’m getting paranoid. I figure, if we’re on the beach and we see it coming, we have time to step out of the way (maybe).

        BUT…if we’re ocean kayaking, how quickly do you suppose we’ll be able to 1) see it coming and 2) try to gain the coordination required to move the kayak five feet in any direction at a moments notice???

        Maybe we should visit the dungeon in the old dockyard all day on Friday…might be safer!

  4. How awesome that your and your husband are getting away for a long weekend, sans kids!
    Don’t worry about the satellite debris. You’ve got the Bermuda Triangle factor working for you: that magic force that makes things disappear. I heard it’s particularly effective on chunks of satellite.
    Have a great trip!

    • fordeville says:

      Ah, the Bermuda Triangle! You’re totally right! Wait, what if that force makes my drink or spa locker key go missing? Now we’re talking tragedy…

  5. Alexandra says:

    Funny, funny woman.

    And not just b/c I think like that..all the time..

    but b/c you made me laugh out loud.


    despite my jealousy.

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