Heeeere, Mir

Taco Bell will give every American a taco if the Russian space station hits a target in the Pacific. Beats sitting through certain NBA games.

Published March 20, 2001 8:00PM (EST)

Taco Bell says it's going to buy every man, woman and child in America a taco if the core of the Mir space station lands on a 40-by-40-foot target the fast food chain will float in the Pacific Ocean east of Australia. The target will say, "Free Taco Here!"

The consolation prize if the space station doesn't hit the target? Taco Bell won't give everyone a chalupa.

An expert at the Aerospace Corp.'s Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies told the Associated Press that Taco Bell needn't worry about having to whip up 281 million of the tasty snacks, since the odds of the 135-ton Mir actually hitting the target are about the same as the odds of the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors meeting in the Western Conference finals while anyone now living is still around to see it.

That would be very unlikely, for those of you who don't follow the Clippers and Warriors, which ought to be just about all of you.

Still, can we put that little dog on the target? Just in case?

The Warriors, like many NBA teams, offer fans a coupon for a free Taco Bell chalupa if the home team scores 100 points, win or lose. This is often the only source of excitement at the team's games at the New Arena in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors have scored at least 100 points in 13 of their 32 home games, winning five of those. They're 5-14 when they don't score 100. The last time the Warriors hit the century mark at home was three weeks ago against the Sacramento Kings, their formerly hapless neighbors from 70 miles east on I-80 who are currently tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the division lead.

Though the Warriors were the home team, the New Arena was filled with Kings fans. The purple-clad crowd did switch over and back the home team at the end, though, when the Warriors, down by about 20, approached 100 points. The Warriors hit triple digits on a free throw by their star, Antawn Jamison, who shook his head and smirked -- sadly, it appeared -- at the crowd's roaring.

Mir tumbling out of the sky at the end of the week is good news for the few Bay Area pro-basketball fans who haven't switched their allegiance to Sacramento: They might get some free Taco Bell grub without having to sit through a Warriors game.

Salon staffers Anthony York and George Kelly contributed the funny parts to the above.

By King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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