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Homepage / Food For Thought / The Year 2000

The Year 2000
If You can keep your head when all about you
Listen up people and you shall hear
The harrowing tale of an upcoming year.
On the last of December, the year 99
All of our code, every damn line
Will erupt in a tangle of chaos and fear

Back in the fifties when COBOL was king
The programmers didn't think twice
But now that the Century's doing it's thing
We'll all pay a terrible price.
The time is at hand, two zeros, you see
Condemn our machines to inaccuracy

The one hundred years that we count as our time
That carries our birth date and ages our wine
Will give up the ghost when it goes 99
It will die and will never return.

The Millennium's coming! The year Y2K
You might as well throw your computers away
Like a virus it's waiting to stalk and erase
Every calendar line in the big data base.
Government agencies flat on their backs
The great IRS can't go figure your tax
Pension plans falter and down in the bourse
Stocks, bonds and options will trade in reverse.

When you go to re-up for your license to drive
The DMV says you were never alive.
All the statistics from death rates to sports
Will go up in smoke when the program aborts.

So this our fate, the worst of our fears
To be turned back in time for the rest of our years?
No! Not if we're ready, like brave Paul Reveres
To get up from the table, leave our Sam Adams beers,
Boot up our Pentiums, light up our Macs
And post to the world of the impending attacks.

If we can whip Hitler and poliomyelitis
Then we can respond to this bug, primed to bite us.
Call up the White House, give Willie your views,
Go on Heraldo and tell him the news
There's 600 billion lines of bad code
That in two years ten months are timed to explode.
So, get off your butts and start acting like heroes
Or we'll all go to Hell cause of two little zeros.

Peter Bergman 1997