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In a Broadway building lobby.
October 13th, 1999

Favours and Feathers
We were talking about the end of the year and our Y2K preparations today. As of this Friday the 15th, vacations for IT people such as myself are strongly discouraged. Come December any time spent away from the office had better involve the funerals of family members. We have a satellite phone system coming on line hosted by a company that has just filed for bankruptcy. Just in case. Come Friday, December 31st, many of us will be in the office 24 hours a day ready to help with any trouble that may be reported in any of our offices around the world. They've rented rooms in the hotel across the street, arranged eats, police protection, bottled water, flu shots. Other stuff.

I'd like to say I'm pissed, missing some exotic left coast Millenium celebration I've been planning A not quite an OAT at lunch with OATS. for years (the bubbly, the body oil, the sparklers, the dancing, the party favours, the peacock feathers), but I'm afraid watching for disaster at the office is the only thing that will pry me out of my apartment on a Millenium Eve, what with the falling meteors, returning Messiahs and drunks. Should be more exciting than watching the falling ball on television or the back of the building next door, though, unless my neighbors have something planned that's loud and illegal. I gave my fireworks stash to the people who helped me move. Maybe they'll bring me the stories of how they exploded and popped, what buildings were burned, how many lost fingers and feet. How many children sent to their rest.

The change of millenium should have power and promise and portent. Somehow it doesn't, at least for now, but that's the old fart talking. For those marching on the Holy Land or Area 51, this will be the hot patootie of all hot patooties and their enthusiasm will make up for moi. Or maybe the young and the not quite that crazy will hold up the bargain for the rest of us old farts who have lost their enthusiasm for celebration and nonsense. (Have I really? Or is this just a way to fill paper? I wonder. Champagne now gives me heartburn, even the good stuff, but a real loss of celebration would be, um, not good.)

The banner photograph was taken in the lobby of our office building. The fellow in the black and white photograph is an OAT who isn't an OAT. We know this, but it's OK.