Y2K Bug Spotted In Newkirk
We, like everyone else in the frantic media business this past weekend, sent our highest dollar reporter all over the place searching for the dreaded Y2K bugs.
The big boys searched the world and had reporters, cameramen, sound technicians and producers stationed every 50 feet around the world.
They didn't find a bug anywhere. It took a lot of searching, but we finally did.
Oh, there was the gasoline rumor last Thursday and Friday that caused folks to turn loose of their money to top off fuel tanks before the price went up. Which it didn't. But that was a people problem, not a computer problem. Horinek, Co-op, and the other gasoline retailers grinned all the way to the bank last weekend.
But you know how we media types are, - we invest all this money covering a story, so by golly there is going to be a story, one way or another.
With great anticipation, our determined reporter first visited the accountant's office across the street. They were happy as bean-counters. No bugs there.
Albrights staff was busily humming along behind their computer monitors when he stepped into their office. They proudly proclaimed that everything worked "just fine".
But wait a minute - one of them frantically pounded the keyboard... "this account is missing..."
More keyboarding and mouse clicking. "What happend to this account?"
"Oh, I put in the wrong number," she mumbled. Well, it's not much, but at least he got something for his efforts, even if it wasn't a real Y2K bug.
As the temperature continued to drop Monday afternoon, our mild mannered reporter noticed a scratching in his throat as he hurried across to Eastman National Bank. Business as usual. They had exterminated all of their Y2K bugs months earlier, they said, and in case there were any other non Y2K glitches over the weekend, they had people on hand to swat them with rolled up $1 bills. But there weren't any.
R&G Style Shoppe and Eisenhauer Insurance both reported normal operations. Ginger at R&G doesn't use a computer at the shop yet, and reported that her "word processor" (a pencil) worked just fine all day. Our writer took note of that, and the fact that his nose was beginning to run.
Bank of Oklahoma's Lynda Eisenhauer was positively glowing when he bumped into her on the windblown sidewalk. "Everything is wonderful," she said. He coughed and sniffled in agreement but was actually disappointed she also had nothing adverse to report.
All of this good news was going to make for a really boring newspaper this week if he didn't find a story pretty soon. Where, oh, where was the Y2K bug?
Aha! Steve Houser at the hardware store had a tale to tell. Well, almost. The Special Order Computer in the back of the shop went from 1999 to 2099 for some reason, and wouldn't let anyone order anything because it was smart enough not to accept any orders that were 99 years old. Resetting the date to 2000 solved the problem. This was a kind of wimpy, mutant Y2K bug... not what was expected of the real fearsome critter he'd been searching for.
Fooey. Not much of a story there either. So on he searched, determined to find troubling news somewhere.
At the Court House, Treasurer Pat Schieber had nothing to report other than normal business. Assessor Tresa Engle's office was busy crunching numbers as fast as it was last week. Not a single Y2K bug in the batch, and so it was back into the bitter cold with no story and only a full blown cold for his efforts.
Well, maybe the City had a glitch or two. City Manager Harold Harris, Jr., reported they were busy computing W-2 forms for employees and checking the math by hand to be sure it was correct. It was. Rats. Cough, cough.
Time for a trip to Eileen's Clinic, and another chance to find the Y2K bug. But alas, the only bugs at the clinic were pestering people in the waiting room. Sniffle, cough, hack.
On the way back to the office, our ailing, bone chilled reporter stopped by Rhoads Bros Pharmacy to pick up a bottle of cough syrup prescribed a few minutes earlier by Eileen.
It was right there on the shelf, all ready to go, computer printed label and all. Mike was smiling, business was good, computers were working fine.
But Cheryl Cain, who works at Rhoads said her uncle runs a grocery store in Wyoming and he lost his payroll records over the weekend. Took him maybe three hours to rebuild them. Not sure if that was a Y2K bug or just a normal computer crash. Anyway it didn't affect anyone in Newkirk, so not much story there. Cough, sputter, sniffle...
Dejected and distraught, our wheezing reporter struggled back to the office, hacking, coughing, and daubbing a raw nose. He caught a bug, alright, but it wasn't the kind he was looking for.
Staring at his blank computer screen, trying to come up with something... anything... that would make a story, he lapsed into a fit of coughing and in desperation broke open the seal on the his new prescription, and took a healthy swig of the potion, hoping for quick relief.
Now we're not sure how much a swig is, but it's probably more than the two teaspoonfuls recommended.
That's when it appeared right in front of him, up on top of the monitor. A little green critter with bulging white eyes, black antennae, red hair and a pointy nose. Wearing a Y2K teeshirt! It was the Y2K bug. Right in our own shop.
Hoping to capture the creature, our well-syruped reporter lunged at him and missed.
The nimble bug jumped to avoid the attack and crashed into the keyboard with all of the enthusiasm and sound effects of a shattering computer monitor. It was a real, honest to goodness, Y2K computer crash.
After another swig of cough syrup, several more Y2K bugs appeared, all green and grinning and making crashing sounds. But eventually our mellowed out writer managed to get them all captured and tucked safely into an old envelope box where they couldn't do any more damage until he finished this story.
It's the same box that holds his pink elephants and his cough syrup.