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It Could Happen

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When you are in my line of work, statistics are your best friend. While to the layman these figures might seem little more than fun trivia to pull out at parties, or when you're desperately trying to win an internet debate, to me, they are market research. These are the figures which help me plan my moves accordingly, and create contingencies for nearly every possible outcome.

For instance, did you know that your odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 700,000? That sounds astronomical, but those are only the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year. Over your lifetime, the odds shrink significantly. You have a 1 in 3,000 chance of being struck by lightning at some point in your life. Your odds go from a 0.0000014% chance to 0.00033% chance all by the simple act of living a long life. And that's just an estimation, not factoring in your location's climates, your lifespan or your personal proclivity for running around in a thunderstorm wearing a full set of iron plate armor. Don't laugh, I knew a guy.

You have a 1 in 100 chance of dying in a car crash. No dots or insanely long string of zeroes there my friend. That is a 1% chance. You are more likely to die in a car crash than you are to die by fire (1 in 1,166), gun violence (1 in 325) or even suicide (1 in 121). Of course your method of suicide may involve any number of these, though I would hope you didn't choose fire.

What about your odds of dying in a plane crash? 1 in 20,000. Seems like wide margin, but it's really not. You see in the strictest technical sense, which is the only sense I abide by, if a plane has crashed then its odds of crashing were 1 in 1. I don't mean to say it was predetermined or anything, but once something has occurred, it's occurred. Now you see where the fun comes in, don't you?

I wouldn't want to brag, but I can usually tell my clients exactly the manner and timing of their death despite all these long odds. Heart disease? 1 in 5. That's 20% of you right there. Cancer? 1 in 7. That's 14% of you. Big clusters of people that I can plan for. I'm a busy man, and multi-tasking can save me a lot of stress. That's why I keep trying to think of bigger, more interesting ways to clear up lots and lots of floor space. What I wouldn't give for the day the big man himself lets me go nuts and open up a can of "Extinction Level Event" on you just like I did with the dinosaurs eons ago. Time will come sooner or later. In the meantime, I'll stick with my usual methods.

Odds of being murdered: 1 in 19,000. Now there's a fun thought. I know nobody likes to think that is how they might go, but it happens disturbingly often. Even more so than plane crashes or lightning. Who wants to be laying in bed thinking about some psychopath slowly making his way through your house, with no other purpose than to end the life of its occupant? Damn, is it that time already? Well, that last estimation was a bit off in your case. Like I say, when it's occurred, it's occurred. And with you distracted like this, it's safe to say that your odds of being murdered are 1 in 1.

Sorry, just the cost of doing business.

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