June 4, 1999
Now that the year is almost half over, I’ve started thinking about the Y2K bug. Okay, this may seem a little late, but compared to the Department of Energy, the Pentagon, and Romania, I’m way ahead of the game. What worries me most about the Y2K bug is not the dire predictions and the possible failures of banks, electricity and water providers, and planes in midair. What worries me is that nothing will happen. I’m worried that the Y2K bug is going to turn out to be as dangerous as an ant under a magnifying glass on a hot July day. Although they’re small in number, there are people who are stocking up on everything from gasoline to guns in preparation for nothing short of armageddon. The year 2000 is, for them, the big one, the one they’ve been waiting for all their lives, when they’ll stop being outcasts and start pushing the rest of us–if there are any of us left–around. And when people really think something is going to happen, they have a tendency to try and make it happen. Back around the last millenium, some people got really worried that the Muslims, who were basically content to leave other faiths alone, might turn violent. So they staged a little event called the Crusades that make the French plan to celebrate the year 2000 by floating multicolored glow-in-the-dark eggs down the Seine look, well, a little less stupid. The result was, of course, violent Muslims. (Interestingly the Crusades also resulted in the end of the feudal system in Western Europe, but I doubt as much good would come from the disappearance of a few million bank accounts.)
Of course, even if we make it past the year 2000 without some problems, there’s still the year 2001. Then after that there’s the year 2012 which the Mayans, various interpreters of Nostradamus, and several wacko prophets are claiming is the REAL big one. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to stock up on a few necessities like toilet paper and hand grenades. From here, it looks like it’s going to be a long millenium.
Enjoy this week’s offerings.
To: Trojan Army Listserv <Trojans-L@troy.org>
Subject: WARNING!! BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS!
This was forwarded to me by Cassandra–it looks legit. Please distribute to Priam, Hecuba, and your 99 siblings.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
IF YOU RECEIVE A GIFT IN THE SHAPE OF A LARGE WOODEN HORSE DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT!!!! It is EXTREMELY DESTRUCTIVE and will overwrite your ENTIRE CITY!
The "gift" is disguised as a large wooden horse about two stories tall. It tends to show up outside the city gates and appears to be abandoned. DO NOT let it through the gates! It contains hardware that is incompatible with Trojan programming, including a crowd of heavily armed Greek warriors that will destroy your army, sack your town, and kill your women and children. If you have already received such a gift, DO NOT OPEN IT! Take it back out of the city unopened and set fire to it by the beach.
FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
I hate to break to you, but this is one of the oldest hoaxes there is. I’ve seen variants on this warning come through on other listservs,one involving some kind of fruit that was supposed to kill the people who ate it and one having to do with something called the "Midas Touch." Here are a few tip offs that this is a hoax:
1) This "Forward this message to everyone you know" stuff. If it were really meant as a warning about the Greek army, why tell anyone to post it to the Phonecians, Sumerians, and Cretans?
2) Use of exclamation points. Always a giveaway.
3) It’s signed "from Poseidon." Granted he’s had his problems with Odysseus but he’s one of their guys, isn’t he? Besides, the lack of a real header with a detailed address makes me suspicious.
4) Technically speaking, there is no way for a horse to overwrite your entire city. A horse is just an animal, after all.
Next time you get a message like this, just delete it. I appreciate your concern, but once you’ve been around the block a couple times you’ll realize how annoying this kind of stuff is.
The Top Ten Signs You Have A Cheap HMO
10. Annual breast exam conducted at Hooters.
9. Directions to your doctor’s office include, "Take a left when you enter the trailer park."
8. Tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicle.
7. Only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.
6. Only item listed under Preventive Care feature of coverage is "an apple a day".
5. Your "primary care physician" is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.
4. "Patient responsible for 200% of out-of-network charges" is not a typo.
3. The only expense covered 100% is embalming.
2. With your last HMO, your birth control pills didn’t come in different colors with little M’s on them.
and the Number 1 Sign You’ve Joined a Cheap HMO…
1. You ask for Viagra. You get a popsicle stick and duct tape.