Saturday, January 15, 2000

Y2K Bug

Despite all of the warnings, I took no precautions against the so-called Y2K bug -- and now I am paying the price. I assumed it was all a bunch of hype brought about by millennium hysteria and the overzealous media. I should have heeded the warning signs: the scratchy throat, lightheadedness, slight chills... But by then, of course, it was already too late.

Christmas vacation actually started out quite well, I flew into Hartford on Christmas Day and met my parents who came up from Florida. Cindy and Susan picked us up and drove us to Woodbury where the rest of the family was staying. Somehow we all arranged ourselves in various rooms in Cindy and Angelo's house and set about the task of incubating the various viruses we had all brought with us.

My big plan for the Holiday was to get as many friends and family members as possible to meet in New York and spend the afternoon sight-seeing and shopping. Miraculously, the plan was a success: my parents, my sisters, my niece and my nephews met up with Kevin and Susie and the four Osborn-Kiley offspring plus David Hamburger at Rockefeller Center and proceeded uptown, stopping for pizza and sandwiches, before heading for the ultimate goal: FAO Schwartz. The plan kind of fell apart outside FAO Schwartz when half of the group balked at the massive lines to get into the fabled toy store and retreated to a fallback position in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel. Only a few of us were foolhardy enough to venture into the teeming cauldron of runny noses, irate parents and rampant consumerism. I spent the entire hour searching for my nephews, whom I finally found just as the last Lego "Boba Fett" Spaceship was snatched from the shelf right in front of their disbelieving eyes. (Fortunately, we were later able to purchase the same item from the catalogue at a much better price.)

Later that week I went down to Middletown to hook up with Dan Haar and catch some live music at The Buttonwood Tree. But the evil Bug had caught up with me, and after an enjoyable dinner, I suffered a complete meltdown and went straight to bed.

New Year's Eve was spent under the covers in the back bedroom (the sick room) at Cindy's house, waking up every few hours to watch the Eiffel Tower explode or to hear Tom Broke-jaw trying to say the word Millennium without spraining his tongue.

The next day I spent sitting on an airplane with a raging fever while all around me people coughed and sneezed and whined. When I finally got to LA and found my car, I realized that I had left my lights on and my battery was yet another casualty of the grim Y2K reaper. I waited in the parking lot for an hour before getting a jump-start. Ten minutes later the car died again and I had to flag down another car for another jump-start. Eventually I got home and went to sleep for 36 hours. When I got up I had to move my car, but the battery was dead again. So I had to pull it out and dump it into a shopping cart and wheel it up to the local mechanic to put a charge on it so I could wheel it back and put it back in and drive the car back to the mechanic to buy a new battery. The I went back to bed for 36 hours. The rest of the week was uneventful.

All in all, my Dad got the flu, my sister Susan got the flu, her son John got the flu but then it went away, My mom got the flu and it turned into double pneumonia, my niece got something like the flu but she was asleep most of the time I was there anyway. My sister Cindy who took care of us all, did not get the flu. But if she is smart, she will burn every sheet and blanket in the house. Thus, the insidious Y2K bug wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting population causing tremendous power outages, communications errors, echinacea shortages and Kleenex mishaps. But with pluck and determination and lots of suda-fed, we came through it with shining noses.

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, I have to do a rewrite of one of my scripts: IN YOUR DREAMS. I had posted a description of it on a screenplay website almost a year ago hoping some producer or agent might see it and take an interest. Sure enough, one did. But it happens to be one of the screenplays that got electronically obliterated when I tried to transfer it to my new software. So I need to take an old copy and re-rewrite it with the notes I used before. You can view the description of this and three other screenplays now on my own EASTWORDS PRODUCTIONS website:

And now I think I will go to sleep for about twelve hours.

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