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with Leslie Generic, 12/31/99

Leslie: Here now the news, I'm Leslie Generic. The twenty first century has begun. Zelda Plowright is in Sydney, Australia.

(sfx: rowdy crowd)

Zelda: The century opened here in Sydney to mixed reviews. Many tourists who traveled a long way to be among the first to experience the new century and millennium found the outcome less than thrilling.

Tourist 1: Oh, there was a lot of hoopla at midnight ... shouting and such.
But after it was all over ... it was ...

Tourist 2: A lot like last millennium. We had hoped we could leave our troubles behind in the twentieth century, but I was shocked to discover at about 2 am that I was not very bright and still ambivalent about my job.

Tourist 1: And I was still fat.

Zelda: There were many disappointments voiced by people who had long looked forward to the year 2000. Some complained that they had grown up expecting robots would do our home chores and cook our meals in the 21st century, and were dismayed to find not only that it's not true, but that technology and it's possible failure are among the leading worries as we head into a new century. Another man checked his watch, looked at the ground dejectedly and said "Well, here it is, the year 2000, and still no anti-gravity boots." Zelda Plowright, Sydney, Australia.

(sfx: rowdy crowd out)

Leslie: The much anticipated Y2K computer bug has caused scattered problems around the globe for various machines of all kinds.
Henry Sykes had planned to make New Year's toast at midnight.

Sykes: Everything was ready. The bread was out of the bag. I put it in the toaster, and at midnight I pushed the handle down. The bread popped back up. I could not get it to toast. I guess the machine has a computer chip. Or the bread does. If we can put people on the moon, why can't I make toast?

Leslie: Millennial panic has not taken hold in one area of West Virginia. Chuck Upchurch reports.

Chuck: (phone) National Mood Researchers discovered the odd pocket of calm during a door to door survey. Paula Perkins is a Mood Assessor.

Perkins: I drove about forty minutes into the mountains ... I got out and started knocking on doors and discovered the people had no computers, no tv or radio, newspapers, microwaves, no phones or anything. When I asked if they were concerned about Y2K, they said "what?" Then I knew I was really off the map.

Chuck: Perkins contacted the Federal Panic Administration, which mobilized a crew of agitators to the scene. Stan Shock of the FPA says there's not enough time to build paranoia up to national standards, but he's hoping for better results in January.

Shock: We've got them a little worried, but we need a few more weeks to really deepen their state of panic. They'll be behind the rest of the nation, but that's no reason to give up. We're accepting contributions of laptops and cell phones. If anyone would like to make a cash donation, we've set up an account in a Ukrainian bank that's gonna fail for sure. That oughta stir 'em up ... and help 'em focus.

Chuck: Officials say there may be dozens of other sites around the country where people are too backward to feel threatened by Y2K. As these areas of satisfaction are identified, the Federal Panic Administration will deal with them. Chuck Upchurch, West Virginia.

Leslie: Members of the Chicken Little Society continue their illegal sit-in at the organization's former offices in New York City. The society, founded in 1855, had been devoted to spreading the word that "the sky is falling." Competition in the apocalypse field thinned the Society's membership, and recently the group sold it's headquarters, but some members of the group refused to leave. Henny Penny is a spokes chick for the remaining adherents of the Chicken Little Society.

Henny: The sky is falling. Nobody believes it, but it is. We don't know where, we don't know when, but we believe what Chicken Little said. Some people think it was an acorn or a raindrop or a leaf that hit her, but we keep faith with the original message. The sky is falling! It is! Whether it will fall in chunks or all at once, we can't say. It's going to happen soon. .

Leslie: Henny Penny of the Chicken Little Society. The new owner of the organization's New York headquarters said the building will be demolished.
Another fairy tale has appeared as news. Forest Grimm reports.

Forest: (phone) When Cinderella ran away from the Prince's ball, she was counting on the palace's security system being Y2K ready! But it wasn't. The computer glitch caused all the alarms to go off spontaneously at midnight, bringing the prince's guards running and making it very difficult for Cinderella to get away.

Cinderella: I said "I haven't done a thing! Your system's malfunctioning because of Y2K! But they thought I was stealing something. Fortunately, the Prince and his entourage showed up just as they were about to frisk me!

Forest: The prince then tried to fit a lost slipper on Cinderella's foot, but just then the power plant failed and the lights went out! The heat too! People left in a hurry, including Cinderella, still holding the glass slipper.

Prince: By the time the lights came back on ... I realized I had no way of finding her. I had lost my only chance to marry the woman of my dreams. On the other hand, one of the fire babes who responded to the first alarm ... was kinda cute.

Forest: Back at her stepmother's house, Cinderella returned to her Y2K- ready broom and mop. She appears doomed to live the rest of her poor, pathetic life wondering why the prince never came to find her!
Another tragic victim of Y2K! Forest Grimm ... New Hampshire.

Leslie: And that's the news. I'm Leslie Generic.

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