It's the End of the World

By Chad Leigh Kluck on

I, as a well-informed citizen, know that many have been making predictions for the millennium about asteroids, demons, militias, and locusts that will bring about the end of the world in the year 2000.

I, as a computer programmer, also know there have been predictions of places where you don't want to be January 1, 2000, at 12:00 AM such as elevators, planes, trains, and automobiles because of the computers that run these things.

I, as a minor philosopher, thought it out: has anyone brought two and two together? Has anyone thought that the end of the world could be brought on by the so-called "Year 2000 Glitch" that has people worried about Social Security checks, phone bills, bank accounts, and has my fellow computer programming colleagues running about making sure nothing bad happens?

You, as whoever you are, may be asking, "What could a harmless computer that doesn't know what century it is do to end the world?"

Well, I as a self-proclaimed writer, will explain it all to you. The answer is probably hidden deep within the earth at various U.S. top secret defense sites that were forgotten about. You know how the government is. One minute a file or building or person is there and another minute gone. They were misplaced or it's denied they ever existed. What if the government truly forgot or misplaced these certain computers that controlled nuclear warhead missiles? What if, at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 2000, these computers were thrown into confusion?

Pretty scary, huh? But then again maybe the U.S. government is smarter than it seems. I mean, when you hide something from other people, you are the one who usually loses it. I'm still looking for my jar of rare coins that I buried in my yard when I was a kid. The government, on the other hand, isn't as stupid as I am. They let the public know where their secrets are stashed as a reminder as to where they can be located when needed. Throughout history U.S. government "secrets" have found their way out into the public. Now we all know the government is smarter than to let that happen by accident.

I offer two theories as to why the general public always seems to know these top secrets. One is: who believes these nuts that go around claiming Area 51, which is near Las Vegas, Nevada, houses aliens? A side theory is: there are no aliens, just an addition to the "secret" to make it unbelievable to the sane citizens of this great country. Two: by having these secrets out in circulation, it is easier to remember them. Have you ever heard this conversation?

PERSON ONE: Remember that time you were totally smashed at the New Year's Eve party and you danced the Macarena?

PERSON TWO: [dryly] Thanks for reminding me. No one here at the office knows, so please keep it to yourself.

[Later that day...]

PERSON THREE: So Person One told me you are a great dancer.

PERSON TWO: I'm going to deny that.

Well, as you see, it is the end of the world as far as PERSON TWO knows it. The secret got out and PERSON THREE will tell PERSON FOUR in accounting, PERSON FOUR will tell PERSON FIVE. Next thing you know, the whole office will be singing the Macarena as they walk past PERSON TWO'S cubicle.

Okay, back to the missile crisis. I have established that the U.S. government has located all its computers by talking to the general public. What about the militias, disgruntled PERSON TWOS, and locusts that acquired certain nuclear devices that we executed or sent to a federal prison? Did we locate all of their thermal-nuclear-incinerating-nuclear-powered nuclear devices? It's something to think about. What if some warped individual such as myself wanted to bring about the end of the world when the millennium came? They could have set the warhead to launch at 01-01-00 00:00:00. (January 1, 00 at midnight) That way, if they were arrested, some computer could launch their warhead that they paid good money for. (About $1.5 million, I hear.) When the clock reaches 01-01-00 00:00:00, it may mal-function, which will set it off in a panic. Either way they got their money's worth.

Where will I be January 1, 2000, when the ball falls in Times Square? Not in an elevator, plane, train, or automobile, but you can find me in a bomb shelter. You are welcome to join me, but please BYOB and come before the fireworks display.