Joe Lavin's Humor Column
Countdown to 2000
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We here at the US Government realize that many are nervous about the Year 2000 Problem, and we would like to inform you that there is no need to panic. Your friends here at the US Government have everything under control, and we fully expect that all our equipment will be completely Year 2000 compliant well within the next 15 years -- er, months. While there is still much work to be done, we want to take a moment to recognize our accomplishments and update you on our progress so far.
Al Gore: We are happy to report that the circuitry used in the Vice President is now almost entirely Year 2000 compliant. Contrary to some reports, the Vice President will not spontaneously combust on January 1, 2000. There is a small possibility that he will lose full mobility, but as the Vice President has never previously operated at full mobility this should not be an issue.
Social Security: Our Social Security system, unfortunately, is not Year 2000 compliant. A task force was formed to look into this problem, and their report recommends that since the whole program is scheduled to collapse in a few years anyway our resources would be better focused elsewhere. We are sure you understand.
IRS Pit Bulls: All IRS pit bulls are now fully compliant. You should be relieved to know that IRS pit bulls will still be able to tear out the innards of all tax evaders in the year 2000. Because of problems with our programming code, there is the possibility that some citizens will be mistakenly labeled as tax evaders, but luckily the pit bulls will still be operational. Also, we are happy to report that the rack is fully Year 2000 compliant.
In other IRS news, our brand new tax collection system will be ready to begin operation well before 2000. This should mean no disruption in the collection of taxes. However, our new tax refund system is currently behind schedule, and we may be forced to continue using our current system (a non-compliant Pentium 386 that we keep in the IRS basement) past January 1, 2000. This may cause some delays in tax refunds, but luckily your refund should be delayed no more than six years.
Pentagon Toilet Seats: Unfortunately, the recently purchased Pentagon toilet seats are not fully Year 2000 compliant. Vinnie, our sales representative at Vinnie's Discount Toilet Seats Inc., confirmed that all toilet seats do need to be replaced. "Er, yeah, I'm afraid you'll have to replace all those because of that, er, whole computer thing. Right, the computer problem. That's it." Vinnie told us. Estimated cost of conversion: $17.6 trillion.
The Bridge to the 21st Century: We regret to inform you that the Bridge to the 21st Century is not Year 2000 compliant. We suggest you find another route.
Computer Systems: We are happy to report that we have made excellent progress towards our goal of making all government computer systems Year 2000 compliant. In fact, our second quarter 1998 project -- updating all mouse pads -- was completed a full month ahead of schedule. We have decided to take a few weeks off to celebrate this success, but soon we will be tackling our next project -- correcting the code for all copies of solitaire and minesweeper. Also, George from the FBI reports that all government computers will still be able to access porn in the year 2000.
Nuclear Warheads: We are also happy to report that most of our nuclear warheads are Year 2000 compliant, and practically none will detonate at the turn of the century. We think.
The Clinton Legal Defense Fund: Luckily, the Clinton Legal Defense Fund has always been Year 2000 compliant. Even if no computers are operational, the Clinton Legal Defense Fund will still be accepting donations. To ensure a speedy delivery, carefully place your donation in a paper bag outside the White House. Please unmarked bills only!
The National Debt: Unfortunately, the computers used to determine the national debt are not Year 2000 compliant. It has come to our attention that these computers will crash and cause the entire world economy to grind to a complete halt on January 1, 2000. Our best recommendation is for everyone owed money by the United States to immediately cancel the debt in the interest of world stability.
We have set up a special phone number for this purpose. Those entities wishing to cancel our debt should please call (202) NO-DEBT. Operators are standing by, and as luck would have it the computers for the No Debt Project are fully Year 2000 compliant.
Thank you for your time, and we wish you a happy millennium.
©1998 Joe Lavin