The clock, as they say, is ticking.
In a few short hours, the last few seconds of 1999 will disappear somewhere just off the coast of New Zealand, and we’ll start to find out what we’re in for. Some believe it’s the end of the world, others believe it’s the end of our civilisation, and others believe it’s the end of the year. (Allison thinks that maniacs who spell "civilization" incorrectly (see the correct British spelling in the previous sentence) will be the death of us.)
I believe it’s the beginning of the future.
Sure, we may lose power for a few hours if something goes wrong, but that’s not going to wipe us all out. Rather, it’ll be the militants running amuck with a few tonnes of nitroglycerine. They’re the ones creeping me out. In many ways, I’m quite glad I’m sitting here in Nanaimo, away from the big cities. The worst that could happen is that I get stranded here when BC Ferries shuts down due to some unforseen navigation problem.
Predictions are in order for such an auspicious occasion, and I find it hard to pass them up. So here’s what I think will happen tonight:
- A few places will lose power, either by some poor programming, by complete fluke, or through some maniac’s planning
- Several thousand people will at some point lose their lives (this will come true regardless of what happens, based purely on the human death rate); whether this number spikes due to artificial designs (see the above-mentioned maniac) remains to be seen — expect several deaths due to drunk drivers
- Hospitals around the world will be deluged by people convinced the world is going to end; there may also be a rush if the above artifical spike occurs
- The banks will go on, as will your bank balances
- Your computer will still start in the morning, provided you have electricity
And my most Earth-shattering prediction:
- We’ll all be disappointed when nothing happens
Leave it to the media to psyche this New Year’s way out of proportion, including the addition of the moniker “Millennium”. This is NOT the new Millennium, folks — that’s next year. (Don’t believe me? Answer this question: Was there a Year 0? Answer: No. Result, the decades actually end with ‘0’, such as 1950, 1970, and yes, 2000.)
Oh yes, and unless Nostradamus’ predictions come true in the next 24 hours (and I doubt they will [insert sound of me knocking on wood]), there will be no Earth-shattering earthquake that sends us BCers into the drink. (If not, I’ll have a really good story for you in about 24 hours or so.)
So, with that, I leave you to the Most Overblown Festivities of the past Millennium (and yes, that you can actually bank on — there won’t be anything worse than this year), and I hope to see you all in the New Year.
Provided the Earth doesn’t end, of course.