Malverna C. Charpa gets excited every time she hears there is an upcoming meteorite shower and adjusts her sleep pattern weeks in advance of the events to be sure she is up and awake in the early morning hours to watch the show.
This year's Geminid Meteor Shower was no exception and in fact, was highly anticipated because of the frequency of "shooting stars" that can be seen at its peak. But that isn't what makes this story so exciting. Rather, this year, as she was sitting in her lawn chair, bundled up, drinking hot tea and waiting for the first sighting of one of those magnificent blazing meteorites, Malverna felt a distinct "plink" to the top of her head which coincided with watching as a falling star flared right above her head.
"I've been hit. I've been hit!" Malverna exclaimed into the night. As she was the only one in her yard and probably the only one in the neighborhood who even cared that there was a light show going on in the heavens at 4 in the morning, her cries went unattended.
Honestly believing she had possibly been bonked on the head by a meteorite, Charpa got down on her hands and knees in the dark and felt around the ground for the offending missile, but came up with only a tennis ball, a few ordinary rocks, and something squishy that would later turn out to be the next door neighbor dog's calling card.
"Ewww," exclaimed Charpa, "meteorites smell like shit," still believing it was a space chunk that had rained down on her head. Undeterred, she gathered up what rocks she did find on that cold December night, knowing that one of them was probably the meteorite. She went in, put the rocks in a safe place, washed the offending poo from her hands and crawled into bed.
Malverna knew that come daylight, she would become incredibly famous. When Malverna woke in the morning, it was with the excitement one gets knowing it is Christmas morning. She dressed and then went through the rocks she'd collected the night before. One was very black and Malverna screamed with joy. "I've got it. I've got the meteorite that bonked me on the head last night! We're gonna be rich!"
She went to tell her husband. He'd believe her. She knew he would. Still asleep, she tapped Mr. Charpa on the shoulder and asked if he was awake. One eye open, he looked up and as his stream of consciousness began to take hold, he asked her what all the excitement was about. And Malverna, breathlessly, told him about sitting out in the yard, about watching as the meteorites fell all about the sky and about how suddenly, out of nowhere, one bonked her right on the head.
"We're gonna be rich," Malverna said as she opened her fist and showed Mr. Charpa the black stone she just knew was a meteorite.
Then, "What's so funny?" she said as Mr. Charpa started to laugh.
And that is when, out of the corner of her eye, Malverna saw a small pile of black rocks sitting on the floor beside the open bedroom window that just happens to look out upon the back yard where Charpa's incredible event occurred just hours before.