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Fire Away! by Dee Jay Gude

I’m going to go out on a limb here.  The date of this writing is December 29, 1999 and we have two more days until the clock strikes midnight of the first day of the year 2000.  Last night I went grocery shopping and, as I walked through the doors, the first thing I noticed was an enormous display with just a few gallons of water left on the shelves.  “Ha ha,” I said, “Look at the hicks stocking up for Y2K and the end of the world.”  And with a chuckle and a shake of the head I headed off toward the produce section.

Then, as I filled my cart with lettuce and tomatoes, I got to thinking.  I’m the only person in my neighborhood who is pooh-poohing this whole Y2K thing.  My neighbor Suzanne asked me if I was getting any water together and stocking up on supplies.  I laughed and said, “Don’t be silly.  Nothing’s going to happen and you’re going to be drinking bottled water until you float down the Chesapeake.”  She replied, “Okay, just don’t be sniffing around asking to use our potty because you can’t flush yours.”  Hmmmm….

So in the interest of personal hygiene, I bought 6 gallons of water and filled the bathtub.  I also bought beer, hot dogs, marshmallows, Hershey bars and graham crackers.  I figure if the power goes out, at least we can drink beer and make S’mores in the fireplace.  The more I thought about that, the more I started getting excited about possible outages – we could roast weenies and play Disney Trivia by candlelight!  That sounds like more fun than what we normally do!

But I hold with my first belief that we will experience mild annoyances (if anything), and not major blackouts, food shortages, banking collapses and all the other perils the extremists are predicting.  God bless the media and the computer technicians – they’re the ones who have really made Y2K a major catastrophic event.  And we can understand both of their desires to strike while the iron is hot.  Magazine publishers and TV news people just want to sell advertising – if they can make a big deal about “THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT” then they can get viewers to watch and get companies to jack up their advertising.  The computer guys are just trying to make a buck off the ignorance of the masses.  And who can blame them?  If we’re going to be ignorant, then someone should be able to make money off of it, right?  That’s what we deserve for being stupid.

Yes, I am a Y2K debunker – I think it’s all a bunch of garbage and that January 1, 2000 will be no different than January1, 1999.  The only threat to life as we know it after the year turns to the double-oughts will be from nutcases, spurred on by paranoia, ignorance and fear.   They’ll rush to fill their gas tanks, causing shortages.  They’ll buy a gun to keep them safe from convicts who will roam the streets when prison security fails (personally, I’m more frightened of a novice gun wielder than any convict).  They’ll scurry to liquidate their stocks, causing a market collapse.  They’ll loot and pillage in a mob frenzy.  THESE are the real Y2K concerns.

So, if you are a nutcase, stop doing these things immediately!   In a couple of days things will be back to normal and we can go about our business and pretend we were never worried about Y2K in the first place.  And if it’s not, you can all come over to my house for a brew and a S’more.

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