Outfoxing the Post-Y2K Apocalypse

The Outside Prognosticator 2000

Bruce McCall

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Yes, folks, it’s finally arrived. Or maybe not! For all those last-minute delusional worriers out there, let us enable you to visualize the bright side of impending doom. Remember, you can never be too prepared—or too paranoid!

Garth Sugley of Perpignan, New Hampshire, above, will be flying high come midnight, December 31. In a diabolical plan to harness Y2K’s explosive power for his own survival, he plans to strap homemade wings and his vintage DEC Rainbow PC on his back and stand on a cliff. Ka-bam! The exploding PC’s energy will power a lightweight rocket engine, propelling him skyward in a carefully plotted trajectory that will land Garth deep in the woods of northern Maine. “I’ll homestead, forage for nuts and berries, start post-Y2K life anew,” he beams. Risky? You betcha. “Zigging and zagging all over the sky, dodging falling airplanes—it won’t be easy,” Garth predicts. “But once the amyl nitrate wears off and my neoprene impact suit inflates, piece of cake. Wish me luck!”

Going Garth Sugley one better, Roland Moley of Council Bluffs, Iowa, figures to be in low Earth orbit on New Year’s Eve. “Before Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians finish playing ‘Auld Lang Syne,'” he boasts. History’s first—and so far only—Y2Knaut has placed his space capsule, Spirit of Moley, formerly his 1983 Honda Civic, atop a pile of 500 working PCs and laptops on his front lawn. The millisecond after Year 2000 arrives and Y2K erupts, Roly reckons, they’ll all explode as one—as in the artist’s conception shown here—generating enough thrust to hurtle Spirit into the troposphere. “I’ll just circle around a while,” Roland allows, “till all the twinkling lights show the electricity’s back on and it’s safe to come home.” Space helmets off and Godspeed to Roly Moley!

On the other hand, Gus Bivouac of Pratt Falls, Indiana, isn’t going anywhere. He’s not fleeing the coming Y2K disaster, but foiling it—by turning himself into a computer! “If I become one of them,” Gus reasons, “maybe I can talk ’em out of triggering the Y2K apocalypse before it’s too late.” To that end, he’s trained himself to think so computer-fast that he’s ready for bed every day by 7 a.m.; he’s done facial exercises until his mouth is wide enough to accept any standard diskette; and he’s braved innumerable painful short-circuits since rewiring his central nervous system with fiber optics. “Those ‘Fatal Error’ messages scared me half to death!” confesses Gus. It’s a crazy idea, he admits, “but maybe just crazy enough to work. One day when you’re touring the Smithsonian with your grandkids and they ask, ‘What’s that ugly mess in the glass case, Gramps?’ you’ll say, ‘That there, kids, is Gus Bivouac—PC, pioneer, hero. Saved the world.'”

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