Tongue in Cheek: An Interview with The Millennium Bug

Risking life and death, intrepid reporter Philip Sim has tracked down and gained an exclusive, world-first interview with that most notorious of terrorists -- The Millennium BugI was granted an interview with The Millennium Bug in a smoky bar in southern Rwanda. A good seven feet tall, he sat menacingly in a chair not two metres away from me, with only a coffee table between us.

I admit I was somewhat edgy, being face to face with the creature that I considered to be the world's most despicable terrorist.

One limb clung onto a sawn-off shotgun, while another grasped a Cuban cigar. He held glasses of margarita with two of his other limbs, while he routinely rubbed the final two together making a spine-shivering scratching sound, the likes of which made fingernails on a blackboard sound like the Philharmonic Symphony.

I'd heard tales of Braveheart-like bravery, but he didn't have the courage to show his face to me. He was naked, bar for the balaclava which hid his identity, and from which rose two extraordinarily long antennae. They seemed to twitch reflexively every five seconds or so.

He took a drag on his cigar, sculled one of the margaritas, then the other and said to me : "So vermin, what do you want to know?"

I asked him to tell me a bit about himself and the guerilla army he led.

His first reaction was to modestly blow off my question about himself, saying there wasn't anything I needed to know except for the fact that he was, quite obviously, an overgrown cockroach. But I persisted, I wanted to understand the motive behind the madness. At this point, he waved one of his antennas in a circular motion and almost instantaneously a waiter arrived with two more margaritas. I asked him about his childhood, his family, his mother and it was then that he snapped.

He threw both margarita glasses fiercely to the floor and they shattered with a shattering shatter. Then he rose to two of his feet, bored over me and pointed his shotgun fair between my temples.

"You want to know about my mother," he screamed at me.

Somehow I found the courage to press on. "Yes."

Challenged, I could literally see the bravado drain from him. Slowly he shrank back into his seat and then amazingly he began to cry. I passed him my handkerchief and he regained some composure.

"My mother was the most beautiful creature on earth. Who would love such a monstrosity as I? Only my mother. I'll always love you, she said to me, and she did, even after I stepped on dad and crushed him to a pulp."

He began to sob again as he related the story of how his mother and indeed 63 of his siblings were killed by cockroach traps. He envisioned that technology would eventually wipe out his entire race and so he devised a plan to destroy it and hopefully take out mankind in the process. Using money raised from a drug running operation, he began to systematically buy whatever memory he could get his hands on. RAM, ROM it didn't matter. He knew a memory shortage would force programmers to try and conserve it by using only two digit date fields and that this would eventually lead to the cataclysmic possibilities we face today.

"You have no time to fix the problem now. You are doomed," he said, laughing in that evil kind of way that only a madman can. "Now, if you'll excuse me I've got a memory reselling business to run." And he stood up and flew away.

Philip Sim is the editor of Australian Reseller News. E-mail him at philip_sim@idg.com.au.

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