2006-01-02 / Columns

Welcome to the future; want some jerky?


So here we are in the year 2006.

I’ll bet there was a time when you thought you would never see a year that started with the number “2”, wasn’t there?

I can remember reading the book “1984” and thinking, “Boy, that George Orwell’s really got it going on. The man can see into the future and the future looks kinda scary.”

But I never actually thought about getting to 1984. And then, after we made it to 1984, we couldn’t wait to party like it’s 1999 and then wait for the end to come. Admit it, you thought the world would end in the year 2000, didn’t you? Come on now, you did. I can see it in you eyes. You thought about building a bomb shelter and some of us even stocked up on canned goods and bottled water and figured we could hide out until whatever apocalyptic event occurred at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, 1999. See, that’s why we wanted to party like it’s 1999 in the first place. We figured that would be the last party — the final big bash before the big bang.

We weren’t too sure how the end would come, but we figured it would have something to do with Y2K.

Remember Y2K? Sounds like one of the robots in Star Wars, doesn’t it? Y2K was supposed to bring about the end of civilization as we knew it. It had something to do with the folks who programmed computers. Seems they neglected to place any “2s” in the programming as the front number of the internal clocks, meaning the computers couldn’t turn over to the year 2000 because there weren’t any “2s” to allow them to do that?

So what did that mean?

Why the end of the world, of course.

Everything would go just plain freaky. There would be unprecedented worldwide disasters. Planes would fall out of the sky; nuclear missiles would launch themselves; your major appliances would just shut down and never work again; electrical power lines would surge to catastrophic levels, causing houses to burst into flames; bell bottoms and disco would make a comeback.

Thankfully none of those disastrous things happened. Turns out the computers were smarter than we thought they were. Now here we are, left with bomb shelters stocked chock full of potted meat and beef jerky.

So where do we go from here?

Well, in the words of Micky Mantle, “If I had known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself.”

Who knows really?

I saw an interesting item on the ESPN web site the other day about what sports would be like 10 years from now. It talked about all kinds of computerized and electronic wonders and things like instant score updates – all you would have to do is think about the score you wanted to know, then spray some special kind of liquid into the sky and the score would appear in the mist.

Wow. Talk about putting the “ESP” into “ESPN.” Who would have thunk it?

And the item talked about a 360-degree television that would make it seem like you were sitting right in the middle of the field. That’s pretty sweet. Surround-sound with surround-vision.

So here we are. 2006.

Wonder what George Orwell would think?

If y’all need me I’ll be in my bomb shelter enjoying some 6-year-old jerky.

Happy New Year.

(Klonie Jordan is executive editor of The Gaffney Ledger. You can contact him via e-mail at editor@gaffneyledger.com)

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