Y2K Flashback

A Short Commentary

By: Angela Gillaspie Copyright © January 2001

Last year, many people prepared for the automated world to stop. As the year rolled from 99 to 00, many feared that the power would cut off, the water would cease flowing, the banks would lose deposits, Aunt Mildred would stop making her cat-head biscuits, and our toilets would stop flushing.

Travelers stayed home, worried that computerized navigation systems would wreak havoc. Transportation personnel feared that satellites would get out of orbit and vehicles with GPS (global positioning satellites) would get lost and perhaps take a truckload of grits to Burlington, New Jersey. Oh, the horror.

I've been a programmer/analyst for over ten years and it's pretty safe to say that I know how basic code works (well, that's what my boss thinks). I wondered and debated with fellow programmers how power grids and water pumps would stop when the year rolled over. I mean, it's not like there was code in the microchips that said, "IF YEAR = 00, THEN STOP FUNCTIONING." Of course, I wondered if there was similar code in the human body, but God is a better programmer than that.

Gas stations, hardware stores, and fireworks stands did a brisk business during the last days of 1999. Banks ran out of cash, and grocery stores ran out of bottled water, batteries, and toilet paper. Bubba and Joe-Bob parked their collective pickups in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot and made a ton of money selling firewood.

Folks turned basements into bunkers and then greedily filled them with bottled water, dry goods, generators, pallets of toilet paper, and other stuff. At midnight on December 31, 1999, they were ready. They held hands, spoke in tongues, and cowered under mattresses reciting the 23rd Psalm. After the clock stopped chiming, they were shocked to see that the power was still on and the toilets continued to flush. They weren't in the valley of the shadow of death!

Around January 3, 2000, there were numerous garage sales, tag sales, and swap meets with bottled water, ten-gallon cans of beanie weanies, generators, and wheels of cheese being marked down to half price.

The bunkers once again became basements, folks calmly bought food for the bowl games, and Aunt Mildred continued to roll out her bodacious biscuits.

Life is good.

Copyright © 2000, Angela Gillaspie
Revised - 01/04/01