This week's bad news: An asteroid will destroy the Earth and all its inhabitants, except for Cher, in 2036.
The good news: The U.N. is being urged to meet this threat (really).
This preceding disaster scenario is not wholly true, in that the asteroid is believed to have less than a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting the Earth, but imagine it did -- just as the latest season of "American Idol" was beginning.
But first, we need a color-coded asteroid warning system:
Green -- Asteroid hit expected today, to be followed by 10,000 years of chocking dust and total darkness; don't bother taking stuff to dry cleaners.
Orange -- Probable end of life as we know it, except perhaps for characters from "Lost," about whom we have no idea; TiVo unlikely to work properly.
Red -- This is going to be a Really Bad Day.
And now on to my plan, which I call on the U.N. to adopt immediately:
1. Send a mission of Earthlings who have -- or who seem to have -- intimate contact with outer space, such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, just about anybody involved in the Anna Nicole Smith case(s), etc., to engage the asteroid.
2. Inform the asteroid of the behavior expected of it and the potential rewards of positive behavior, such as a starring role in a new disaster flick.
3. Inform asteroid that even a slight brush with Earth would result in economic sanctions, not to mention our most keen disappointment.
4. Commence economic sanctions, including the immediate cessation of broadcasts beaming popular '70s TV shows into space.
5. Finally, if necessary, asteroid would be placed on the list of very naughty asteroids.
Elsewhere in the news comes JetBlue's plan to issue a customer's Bill of Rights, it having recently discovered that the Founding Fathers forgot to include anything about air travel in their original version. (And everybody thinks they're so smart).
This initiative came on the heels of the recent case where JetBlue trapped travelers for 10 hours on an airplane, the result being a swift descent into depravity, cannibalism and the reported viewing of Adam Sandler movies.
(The last charge, still under investigation by a U.N. human rights committee, has yet to be confirmed.)
Here's what I would expect to be included in a Bill of Rights, if I spent 10 hours sitting in a plane awaiting takeoff:
* Airline shall grant free flights for remainder of traveler's life; further this right is to be extended to any children, grandchildren, friends, acquaintances, potential members of entourage, etc., of traveler's choice.
* Airline shall grant traveler unlimited bags of peanuts, pretzels or whatever snack packs it is dispensing on that flight.
* Airline shall provide instant passage through security lines, with no removal of shoes or belts necessary.
* Airline shall guarantee that no Adam Sandler movies are to be shown on traveler's flight.
However, I think the U.N. is already working on the last one.
Write to Don Flood in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.