Just in Case

By: Angela Gillaspie Copyright © December 31, 1999

It's December 31, 1999 and according to most of the people of this world, all heck's going to break loose tonight at midnight. Drug stores, grocery stores, and Wal-mart are selling out of water, batteries, canned goods, and other dry goods. Lines at the gasoline pumps are reminiscent of the long lines of the 1970s when there was a gas shortage. People everywhere are stocking up on items ... just in case.

This morning, I received a frantic phone call from my sister Traci telling me that Daddy had been preparing for Y2K. Breathing a deep sigh, I asked her to continue. She said that Daddy got a brand new generator and wanted to fire it up and test it, "Just in case," he said.

Momma was putting on her makeup up in her bedroom when Daddy decided to run his Y2K test. Daddy plugged in his generator and fired it up. A loud boom shocked the house, followed by dimming lights and then complete darkness. Silence and the thick smell of ozone descended upon the house. Then from the corner of the stairs Momma yelled, "Uh Leo ... ?"

Daddy answered with a stomp, stomp, stomp through the house, "I forgot to shut off the durned pare."

"You WHAT?!" Momma answered.

Daddy flipped a few circuit breakers and got the power back on ... somewhat. Mother raced first to her computer and found it totally dead. She found the fax machine, the large television in the den, and the refrigerator functional. A couple of cordless phones, the upstairs television, and a brand new stereo system were fried.

Traci said, "Obviously Daddy ain't Y2K compliant, I hope Momma don't pull an 'Uncle Booger' and shoot Daddy."

"Nah, Momma's got more class than that, but I'm sure the thought has crossed her mind once or twice over the past 40-something years," I said.

"Hopefully there is some type of home owner's insurance coverage for this," I told Daddy later when I talked to him.

"Naw, I don't reckon they have coverage for bein' stupid," he replied.

He sounded like a hound dog that just got beat for eating the chickens. I didn't know what else to say to him but, "Well, I'll pray for y'all." Yes, here is another tragedy that can be claimed by Y2K. I don't know what could have been done to avoid this except maybe reading the instructions.

I tracked Momma down at her office and she told me that one of her clients asked her if she expected to have any trouble with Y2K. "I don't really expect any troubles with Y-2-K, the only problem I had was with L-E-O," she replied.

I'm amazed at the mania that I've seen today. I had to travel around town to pick up dry cleaning and perform my regular Friday errands and I just couldn't believe what all I saw. On the drive through town today, I expected to see people with their "The End is Near" placards as they paced the sidewalks in front of Piggly Wiggly. Nowadays in this age of commercialism, I bet the sign would say, "Repent now and save 50% on your next purchase of batteries at Revco." Just in case.

Wal-mart and Winn Dixie were packed as folks rushed in to buy all the canned peas, bottled water, and toilet paper that they could carry. It's amazing. The long lines at the bank and gas station would made me think that my town was going mad.

I imagine that Bubba first goes to the bank to withdraw his savings, and then visits the store to buy up his share of bottled water, cold beer, and beanie weanies. Next, he'll drive to the gas station and fill up several of his gas cans and the tank of his copper colored 1976 El Camino, and finally he'll head to the fireworks stand to get about five grocery bags full of explosives.

Just in case.

Yeah. Bubba can shoot off rockets, swill beer, and heat up beanie weanies over the grill because it is the Year 2000 -- don't ya know?

On the local news, they have announced that the National Guard is on alert and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) has called in all their people. Every person employed by law enforcement is on the job tonight looking for drunks and or terrorists. Just a bit ago, I sent my husband to the store to get steaks (we forgot to get them when we got groceries yesterday) and a six pack of beer (just in case). When he returned, he said that he got many odd looks when he was checking out with his bag of chips, Coors Light, and two sirloins. The cashier even asked him if he needed any batteries or water. Just in case.

Hopefully, things will keep on keeping on and this Y2K thing will be a total non-event. If not, I charged up my laptop, filled my bathtub, and have lots of peanut butter ... just in case.

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Copyright © 2000, Angela Gillaspie
Revised - 01/14/01