Auld Lang-xiety

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Even with all the "Y2K readiness" that governments and businesses have assured us of, even now, at the 11th hour, no one can say for certain what will happen at midnight on Dec.31.

At my own day job, my "Employee Y2K Manual" informs me that everything possible has been done to insure that there will be no malfunction. However, "we must be prepared just in case." One section instructs employees on what to do "if an unexpected situation develops such as: civil unrest, loss of power, and utility failure."

I don't know about anyone else, but the words "civil unrest" fill me with overwhelming disquiet. So I asked several people around metro Detroit what they plan to do.

Metro Times: On December 31, what will you do if the lights go out at midnight?

Barbara Bush, sales representative for Allstate Insurance in Clinton Township: I'm going to do the same thing I do every night at midnight — I will be asleep! When it gets dark, I go to sleep, it doesn't matter what day it is.

When we were young we had parties for the New Year, but not anymore. I love winter and I love the holidays, but I'm an old person now. I used to wonder why my grandparents went to sleep so early, now I know — you'll see. I'm not preparing for Y2K and I'm not worried about it. At work we are prepared for it, so I'm not worried about the computers crashing.

David Sohn, Sonya's Sundry Shop in Detroit: Everyone I see come in here — nobody is taking it seriously. My family is not worried about it at all, but just in case, we have prepared. We have bottled water, canned goods, dry goods and candles. My son has stacks of wood for the fireplace. If we have even one month with no power we'll be OK. We are born-again Christian, so we are not worried because God will provide.

Catherine Lenard, receptionist and student, Grosse Pointe: What will I do? Light a candle and have some fun! I don't have any plans for New Year's yet. If the power goes out, I've done no preparing whatsoever. I feel excited and apprehensive about it. I wonder what's going to happen."

LaRonn Harris, poet, artist and student, Detroit: "Well, I wouldn't be shocked. I think it's a big scam, more of a spiritual thing. I think Y2K is a gimmick by computer companies so people will buy new equipment. Good marketing strategy!

What am I going to do? Get right with God. That's the only preparation you can make, if it's your time, it's your time. It says in the Bible — worry about nothing, pray about everything.

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