I was having a conversation with Karin recently about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse.
We have fun at the Legion.
I’m not quite sure how the conversation started but there it was: zombies.
Anywho, there I was chattering away about the possibility of slow-moving, blood-lusty doom and she said, “It’s alright, I’ve got reserves.”
Now, it transpired she was referencing a small amount of belly fat that she hasn’t actually had in many months now but still..
“Oh, like in Y2K,” I replied, with what I like to think might have been a wry smile.
She looked at me blankly. And it was at that moment, I realised I was speaking to someone from 1997. She had no idea what I was talking about.
Anyone else might have rolled their eyes and moved the conversation on to something safer, Game of Thrones or the national news. Not me.
“Y2K,” I explained, “was the Millennium Bug.”
I continued, but not nearly as articulately as I will here. I feel I must explain it here, for the sake of da yoof.
When computers were made, they were all programmed with the year beginning 19–. So, there was a very real concern that when the date crossed over from 31 December 1999 to 1 January, the year might not change to 2000 but to 1900.
With the pre-programmed year being so dramatically wrong, planes might fall from the air, the National Grid might implode, all our electrical and electronic items might fail catastrophically, or rise up against their human oppressors, and bitch-slap us back to the stone age. Our toasters cords might have garrotted us in our beds.
And so, in the fear of our impending doom, we bought canned goods and tried to work out how we would survive with a sudden hailstorm of jet engines, no lighting, no heating, and trying to relearn how to build fires. There might have been fights to the death. Like something between ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘The Purge’.
I thought I was set because I bought six cans of French Onion Soup (even though I’ve never liked French Onion Soup), six more cans of baked beans, some matches, several different sizes of battery, candles and a slightly stiff pen knife. I hadn’t thought about bottled water, but that was my survival kit.
I’m sure Karin thought I was making it up.
Nevertheless, in 1999, I felt quite brave because I spent the crossover from 11.55pm, 31st December to 00.05am, 1st January 2000, marching up and down my living room, listening to Crowded House on my personal CD player, preparing myself mentally for an attack. If the CD player was going to rise up and strangle me, I was holding the bugger, so I could just throw it out of the sitting room window.
I armed myself with an egg whisk to defend my mother from her clock radio.
I felt rather saintly in my preparations to fight the good fight against the microwave.
Well, if Karin didn’t think I was making it up, she surely thought I was crazy.