"2000 The Year Of Fear"

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A story based on fiction by Tman

"2000 The Year Of Fear"

("Have I forgotten anything") There are now less than 10 hours to go before 2000 and I can feel a knot forming in my gut. This is going to be one wild ride! I get this feeling that I am forgetting something but I am not sure what it is. Everyday for the last six months the gang and I, we call ourselves the "Survivors" have checked and rechecked the various lists of food, paper products, medications, household items, you know the things you need at least a couple times a week. I personally have gone over every list to make sure we have everything. I keep thinking to myself what if something breaks and we can't fix it? Will we be able to do without it, there's an older guy in the neighborhood named Joe and Joe lived through the Great Depression. He seems to think that we can work around anything because that's what they did back then. The way I see it I am not sure, people don't have the same skill sets that they had back then. I think back to my dad who could fix anything, a little glue or a little wire and "good as new" dad just had a knack for that kind of thing. It's not the same today because so many things need a computer to work. There is a computer in my watch, car, VCR, TV, coffee maker just thinking about it makes my head hurt. We have become a world that has trusted our fate to computers however the only problem is that those computers were built by fallible people and now in just 9 hours and ten minutes those computers might just let us down in a big way! I will never forget when Mrs. Williams finally began to understand what kind of impact y2k would or could have on her. She just kept saying how could they have let this happen, how could they have been so blind.

("How it happened") I understand that memory back then was very expensive and programmers had precious little room on the old punch cards. Yet there was a point when we all started to understand that things needed to be changed and we were powerless to make those changes. It was going to cost too much money or we will be getting that new system soon. But that didn't happen and now with 9 hours to go the whole world was going to pay the price for our slothfulness and greed. I keep having this dream at least once a week that these faceless people are standing at my window and they want my food. I can hear their cries and the sound as they scratch on the window. I want to help them but there are so many, then all of the sudden the window breaks and I wake up covered in sweat. There has been a big debate as to whether gold would be of any value once we get to 2000. Some say that in times of great inflation gold increases in value and helps maintain your buying power. My mother used to say, "in the last days a piece of bread would buy a bag of gold". I keep on thinking you can't eat gold or silver for that matter. Each minute brings us closer to the unknown, to a point when we break through into a strange and New World. It doesn't look good; Russia and China will probably be a total loss and Japan the world's second largest economy is expected to loose 50% of their critical systems.

("Understanding it all") When you first start to understand y2k. When you first 'get it' there is the disbelief/denial stage where you try to prove it can't happen. From there you move into the panic stage where you try to find out all the information you can to make sure you understand what's coming. Then you go into the panic preparation stage. That's where you go into the Sam's Club or Costco and try not to look like you are hoarding enough food for a hundred people. "Oh I am just having a really big party for people who like beans and rice". You also have to deal with the strange stares from the girl at Home Depot who asks what ya going to do with all those buckets? "Well you see I am painting a really big house and I just happen to be using 17 different colors". I don't wonder if we are going down, I wonder how hard it will be, that is the 64,000-dollar question.

("Too Little Too Late") The media has really pushed y2k in the last three months and fear is a 24hour thing now. The number of companies who aren't going to make it reads like a list of who's who. It's almost impossible to prepare now because of the shortages and back orders. The stores have limits on most items now and because of the club cards like Vons and Lucky's the government can tell what you buy each month, and I thought I was just saving money boy was I stupid. For the people who didn't stock up when they could it is especially bad because they have no slack and no options. I work with a few and they are a lot more stressed than they used to be and the closer it gets the worse they get. Just 8 hours left and all the guessing stops, the wait will be over, it will come to an end and I pray that all is well. Tman

-- Tman (Tman@IBAgeek.com), March 07, 1999


GO, T-MAN. Anxiously awaiting the next installment.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 07, 1999.

I was wondering when somebody would finally mention those grocery store club cards. I resisted signing up for a long time, but then finally broke down and gave them my info so that I could save mega bucks on my groceries. Wasn't it about two years ago that the big chain stores went gung-ho advertising their Club Cards / Reward Cards? How can this benefit them??? I regularly get 25% or more off my bill. What a great way to monitor household spending trends.

-- Been Shopping (Beenshopping@stores.com), March 07, 1999.


Those grocery cards are kinda scary. I've heard speculation to the effect that they will sell the information to medical insurers to find out how healthy your lifestyle is. For example: if you purchase a lot of alcohol, cigarettes, fattening food, etc. this may affect your insurance coverage! BIG BROTHER is here, 15 years late according to George Orwell, but he has now definitely invaded our everyday lives.

-- @ (@@@.@), March 07, 1999.

Tman, I think you've captured what alot of us are feeling. Sounds good. I'd only change one thing though; call your group something other than "survivors;" too hokey and too normal. Something a little more creative, something not so obvious would be better.

Reminds me of some of the nuclear war stuff from 20 years ago. I like the dream sequence.

-- justme (frmreditor@collegepaper.com), March 07, 1999.

You can worry about 'them' tracing your supplies thru your club cards all you want. Here in SC, the dang legislators have sold my driving record, MY DRIVER'S LICENSE PICTURE!!, my census information and god knows what else in the last 6 months. They actually sold the pictures off the drivers licenses to a company that is marketing them as an anti-fraud item to merchants.

When you come into a store and want to present a Visa or a personal check, the store calls this company and they download your picture to the store. Don't know if this will work or not. Most of the people I know look nothing like their DL photos. What makes me mad is the fact they didn't ask for permission and they are ignoring request from the residents not to release their photos. Club cards?? Small change compared to what the SC legislators can do.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 08, 1999.

yall may want to check out the book "Y2K: It's Already Too Late" by Jason Keely (i think); if i remember, he used to be some kind of programmer, but decided to educate the masses. how do you know the DoT sold your info? how can i find out if they sold mine???!

-- sarah meadows (qubr@aol.com), March 08, 1999.

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