24 September 1999

Y2K a Hoax?

At midnight I watched the ball descend in Times Square on TV with great satisfaction. I opened the champagne early, because I didn't want to have to pour it in the dark after midnight when the electricity went out and I would have to take the flashlight I had set to my right and my handgun and go out to start the generator.

Midnight came and went. Still the TV continued. I wondered whether I was confused about time zones. But all the clocks in the house said it was 12:02 AM January 1st 2000. I turned on my computer and it turned on. Its time and date read 12:03 AM January 1st 2000. Impossible.

I turned on the radio. There were many stations, the same ones I remembered. They seemed to be celebrating the new year. Damnit, I thought, it's not a year it's a millennium.

I went outside. There was no gunfire. I heard distant laughter. I saw the lights of the city. I listened for sirens and heard none.

I guess I got drunk at that point and passed out.

I awoke with a start and reached for my gun, which I couldn't find, having set it down someplace while drunk. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful morning. The TV and radio were both on.

I got dressed and went to the store to see if it was closed or looted or burned to the ground.

It was open. There were signs reading Y2K CLEARANCE SALE. In the sale aisle were batteries, aspirin, candles, generators, handguns, and canned or dried food in bulk being sold for amazingly low prices.

I felt really stupid, as if I had lived a decent life as an atheist, then died and found myself, to my utter embarrassment, in hell.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books