The Y2K that wasn't

For reasons I would rather not go into (hint: my idea of Friday night entertainment is tending towards the geriatric and my girlfriend was in Milwaukee hanging out with famous movie directors anyway), I decided that tonight was going to be the night that I sorted through my stack of old VHS tapes with the hopes of tossing 99% of them. Digging through the pile, I found one tape labeled “Y2K worldwide collapse in 2000”:

Y2K collapse VHS tape

The redundant nature of the label is amusing to me by itself, but there’s a story behind this tape that I had forgotten. During the crazy housing boom (which I believe has ended, or at least subsided), I often wondered how I got such a good deal on my house back in 1999, but this tape reminds me. The man who sold the house to me was divesting of his Bay Area real estate at the time. While I was in the process of completing the purchase, he was fortifying a house he had bought in Sacramento in the final days of 1999. My memory is a bit hazy, but I remember talk of generators, tanks of drinking water, and stockpiles of canned food. I think that I was handed this tape during one of those conversations (a cursory viewing tonight showed preachers Stan Johnson and Mark Andrews of the Prophecy Club forecasting the doom that would come upon us all when we flipped over to January 1, 2000). I probably nodded, said, “thanks,” and never viewed the tape.

I do remember that I ran into the guy who sold me the house a couple of days after Y2K proved to be a non-event. He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head: “Oh well.”

My advice: take out a mortgage in a doomsday scenario if you get the chance. If the doomsday doesn’t come to pass, you’ll be happy you took the plunge. If the world ends, there will be no one left to collect on the mortgage. You can’t lose.

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