(Author’s Note: This column was originally published in the Bismarck High School ‘Hi-Herald’ on April 20th, 1999. It was titled “Y2K Craze Incites Student to Build Bomb Shelter”. I was only 17 when I wrote this.)
I recently became the proud owner of a bunker. It’s nothing all that special. Just four reinforced steel walls, a plank iron ceiling, and wall-to-wall lime green shag carpet.
Why, you may be asking, would a person need a bunker? You see, I am preparing for the millennium and the ensuing societal collapse, a side effect of the Y2K bug, which will more than likely be the end to all civilization.
Riots will begin. Governments will fall. The populace will take up arms. I won’t be taking any chances. Don’t expect your run-of-the-mill revolution here, people. This will be an all-out collapse. I’m gonna be ready for it, too. Just me, my bunker, and my Browning 12.7mm M2 machine gun.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t the Browning 12.7mm M2 machine gun a little bit large considering the situation? I think not! She may be a big gun, but she is an effective gun. There isn’t a heavy machine gun that I could trust more.
What if some starving vagrant, due to lack of preparation before the Y2K induced collapse, were to attempt to break into one of my food caches? I could pick him off at about 2,400 meters. One squeeze of the trigger and ‘Mr. What-Millennial-Collapse’ would be crumpled on the ground with 40 rounds peppering his torso alone. The Browning 12.7mm is a suitable weapon indeed.
I don’t want to have to shoot any of you, dear readers. you’ll have to plan ahead if you want to be on top of things. As I always say, be ready for anything. Somebody could have used that advice back when granddaddy ENIAC, the first supercomputer, was assembled. Nobody even considered the effects of a millennial change on the revolutionary new machine, which would later morph into the PC. So here we are. Y2K breathing down our necks and nearly all hiding places have been taken.
The software companies claim to have the problem fixed. The experts plead with the world to stay calm. Nothing is going to go wrong, they say. Everybody just tend to your work. Mind your own business and nobody gets hurt. Have they convinced you?
Okay. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They have a fix to the problem. But who is to say that they have the problem fixed? You know good and well that somewhere there is a big computer that the software people haven’t fixed yet. A big computer that everybody has forgotten about. A big computer that controls important things like the release of nuclear warheads, or air-traffic control radar systems, or how about the mechanical marvel which is Al Gore.
11:59:59, Dec. 31, 1999. The world revels quietly enjoying prosperity. 12:00:01, Jan. 1, 2000. Chaos and panic befall the earth. Bam! The eastern coastal region of the island nation of Tambula has shown up missing. All attempts to locate the now absent clump of oceanic geography have failed. 15 plane crashes are reported in the Indian Ocean. Somewhere in Washington, D.C., Al Gore busily gnaws away at a statuette of former Senator Rayburn.
The world will then turn to it’s presidents, kings, dictators, and ayatollahs for answers. “We thought you had a fix!” The world will say in unison, as they usually say things. The world, finding no suitable answers from their befuddled leaders, will fling their maddened selves at the government who allowed such an atrocity to occur. This is where those of us with the foresight to prepare will be thankful for our Browning 12.7mm M2 machine guns.
I have a wonderful view from my bunker. I can see the Capitol right out of my viewport. You must understand, I can’t tell you much more than that for security reasons.
I am just moving in the furniture, and I already have a pretty good storehouse of food, water, and fuel. The septic system will be installed next week and then I can move in. I also stocked up on plenty of batteries. I figured that the city will lose power in a relatively short period of time following the collapse. I won’t be able to listen to my Creedence CDs without power to run my CD player. Fresh air was another concern of mine. What if the neighbors start feuding and try to gas each other out of their houses, like they did last week? I think I’ll have a few oxygen tanks brought in next week, just in case.
So my advice to you, dear reader, is to prepare. Make sure you have all of your money out of the bank. It may not be of any value after the crash, but you can never tell with these things. In any event, burning money will make a good heat source for the winter. Hoard the basics in your cellar, basement, garage or closet. Remember that humans need food, water, shelter, and air to survive. You are no different. Even the stupid people are human.
With the right tools we can take on Y2K and defend the land that is rightfully ours. Oh yeah, make sure that you stock up on toilet paper. Other than the obvious uses, you’ll be able to trade it for food and water. Think about it, and good luck.