By Gavin Sinclair
The man next door is building a shelter. At least that's what he told me when I asked what he was doing at the bottom of such a large hole. It was a hot day and, even with the help of the very noisy mechanical thingamabob he rented, digging a hole that deep is very hard work, so he was sweating very hard and drinking a lot of beer. He paused for a moment, removed his hat, mopped his brow, sat down on the cooler he had brought with him into the hole and, in answer to my inquiry, told me why he was building his shelter.
The way he explained it, it's all to do with this Y2K thing. It's all over the news, so you must have heard of it. Apparently this massive computer glitch is not just going to cause banks and the government and whatnot to think you won't be born for another 60 years or so. According to Ralph, it's going to cause society to collapse into utter chaos, in which only the tough and thoroughly prepared will survive.
"Surely it won't be that bad," I said to Ralph.
He just looked up at me from the bottom of his huge hole and said, "That's what they said to Noah."
I went home, deep in thought and sat down with a cup of coffee and a cookie. It was worrying, all right. I picked up the phone and dialed Ralph's number.
"Hello." He was breathing heavily. I must have interrupted his digging.
"Ralph, it's Jack. Look, I was wondering where you found out about all this."
"Look on the Internet, bud. Try www.y2kdoom.com and go from there. It's all there."
"And you think it's really that bad."
"Hell, yeah. Check it out."
I did, and www.y2kdoom.com made for some pretty gloomy reading. So did the linked sites I surfed through that night. Www.armageddon.com added the threat of a resurgent Soviet threat, taking advantage of the West's paralysis. This was a theme taken up enthusiastically by the folks at www.doomsday.com, who placed particular emphasis on surviving a nuclear holocaust. I called Ralph again. He was a little cool at first, as I had not realized that it was 2:13 a.m., so engrossed was I in this whole thing, but he warmed up when I told him what I was calling about and even told me that I could call him any time day or night on this particular subject. I apologized and thanked him and then asked his opinion of the Soviet threat.
"It's real, all right. Those mothers have really got us suckered in with all that economic crisis shit. All part of a scheme to get us to lower our guard, and get support for an attack on the US."