Every spring unwelcome visitors creep from the woods surrounding my house and set up residence in my basement baseboards, garage and laundry room. Wolf spiders. Those brown hairy ones that jump what seems 20 times as far as they are long. The dogs are curious about them. My husband and son shy away from them. Moreover, my job is to squash them or capture them and return them to the woods.
Not many bugs bother me, but some are simply annoying, including the gruesome wolf spider, filth-eating cockroaches, swarming 17-year locust and bookbinding eating silverfish. And, there is one other bug that has really started to annoy me, the Y2K, the millennium bug.
It creeps into everything, everywhere. The Senate is holding hearings on it. There are numerous books about it. My bank touts itself as Y2K compliant. Even my grocery store claims it is working diligently to solve potential Y2K problems. How big of a problem is this? Will I be unable to buy Oreos®, milk and Frosted FlakesTM?
Certain websites are dedicated to helping you survive the millennium bug, with information on storable foods, emergency meals, back-up lighting and alternative energy radios. (This isn't some kind of nuclear weapon, is it?) Other sites offer expensive software programs and books you can purchase to adapt your computer. However, some sites offer free information about dealing with the bug.
I do not know much about this bug yet; however, I don't believe the world will stop spinning, electricity will vanish or that cash registers will stop ringing when the ball falls on Times Square on New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, charlatans are making a lot of money scaring people into believing the Y2K bug will exterminate life as we know it.
It reminds one to a lesser extent of public and government reaction to finishing companies and chemicals. "Environmental" groups armed with bits and pieces of information about the industry try to persuade the EPA to ban certain metals, chemicals and processes. They have not taken the time to understand the industry, how it works or realize the daily benefits finishing provides. So, they fear it.
They commit what William J.H. Boetcker, a minister in the early 1900's, called "National Crimes:" I don't know; I don't care; I'm too busy; I leave well enough alone; I have no time to read and find out; I am not interested.
So, before I make any definite conclusions about the "frightening" Y2K bug, I will take the time to read and find out about it. Although I would much rather just squash it with my shoe.