Burton on the Bay

Vol. 8, No. 1
January 6-12, 2000
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’Twas the Morn after Y2K —
and all through the house, all was still running

‘Twas the morn after New Year’s Eve, and all was still running … including the computer mouse.
The unused Y2K flashlights remained snuggled in the hall. Hell, they hadn’t been needed after all.
The hack who fermented all the turn-of-the-century fears turned out to be the Year 2000 louse,
And if only I could determine where he was hiding, I swear I’d have made a long distance call.

I’d have reminded him of the sleepless nights and daytime fears that doused this beard with tears
as I dreaded a new Millennium with all of the woes he had solemnly forecast for months on end.
So it turned out nothing happened at all. The worries were wasted. ’Twas the biggest farce in years,
And he pulled it off to the tune of billions of bucks we spent to skirt Y2K bugs we had no need to mend.

January 1, that big first day, dawned sunny and bright like all before the universe can recall —
and I dashed to my computer not so jolly, just quick to determine if it showed words I could read.
I pressed the feared On-button, an ominous sight — and waited for the screen to light, not stall.
And darned if it didn’t like any other day — or night. I knew I was in business. The Mac wasn’t dead.

Within the household, Lois was beginning to stir, and Frieda the cat was ready for canned breakfast — oblivious to the previous Y2K jawing. To her, ’twas only another Saturday morn, just another day,
and what was all the fuss, the words of cuss, and the troubled look on household faces so downcast?
She knew in a moment, St. Nick had called a week before and she wanted to eat — that was her say.

But for her am meal, she’d have to wait. There was so much first for Family Burton to review:
Was the electronic stove, with all its knobs, in kilter? Or would the roast turn to toast?
And, empty the bathroom tub where cold water was stored, part of the worried family’s Y2K preview.
Atop the kitchen counter, no room for cat dishes. They were stacked with batteries, charged to the most.

There were radios, am, fm and weather, lined up to get the latest reports had power went out,
which it didn’t, and from the tap came water, clear and hot and cold; no feared inconvenience to face
from facets we thought would sputter and stall had dreaded Loch Raven terrorists been about.
So Frieda could wait a bit for her vittles, so much we had to do as we checked out the post-Millennium pace.

On the eve of the dawning of that big day, we had gone to Maryland Yacht Club to frolic and play,
not knowing what things would be like when to the house we returned. Would it be dark and cold?
Or would it be like other times, just as we had left it? We couldn’t be sure. Yet we wouldn’t stay.

So we headed for the club on the Patapsco’s shore, and partied galore with holiday spirit to behold.
One hundred and one for the night had signed up, all dressed to kill, with bubbly drinks in hand,
joyous with anticipation — though harboring fears that once the big clock struck 12, that dreadful hour would bring all the unknown events that we feared. Yet we all bravely sang, “Bring on the band.” We partied and to the 20th Century we bid farewell as television brought fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.

Suit pockets and purses all bulged with flashlights, as celebrants were ready, they said “just in case”
this Y2K thing is really a threat. But they weren’t about to be done in by a computer whiz prank.
After all, we’d waited lifetimes to celebrate 2000, and it showed through the hall on every face,
though beneath all the frolic some clearly had fears as champagne flowed from the tank.

Handshakes, hugs ’n kisses welcomed the new year; for the moment forgotten were Y2K bugs.
One and all, we had survived to that new Millennium, and whatever it brought, we could handle.
’Twas the spirit of the moment, the party theme, our big dream, so we laughed and raised mugs
as to each other, we all wished the best while wondering if soon we would light a candle.

As the new year wore on, to the TV many went, all wondering how elsewhere things were doing.
There were fireworks galore on the screen, and from the yacht club we saw them above Baltimore City. Everything was all good, the broadcasters assured, the party went on — and with the usual cooing.Then from the big window next to the bar, came talk of a spectacle. No longer was everyone giddy.

Across the river Patapsco, where Bethlehem churns out steel by tons upon tons under bright lights,
only dull glimmers were seen. The old timers couldn’t remember old Beth so dark,
What could be the cause? Had the long feared bug finally struck — and on this of all nights?
The crowd at the window grew in numbers. Was there really a Y2K problem — or was it just a lark?

Back to the video they tromped. Surely it would be on the news. What happened across the river?
Never a mention was made on the screen, and not a one of us suspected a thick fog had come by night to suddenly shroud the opposite shore and prompt fears that only terrorists or bugs can deliver.
It wasn’t until the day thereafter that they could account for the ominous sight.

When we got home, the lights were on, the clock was running, and in the cellar the furnace heating.
The hour was late, the morning was here, we went to bed. Tomorrow we’d know how things went.
Tomorrow came, and with nothing wrong, the fridge and all else was running — what a holiday greeting.

The cats were fed, the computer alive, and now, dear friends, we can forget all the worries we spent.
Happy New Year, B.B.: 1926-20??

Copyright 2000
New Bay Times Weekly