Y2K

Y2K. You remember it, don’t you? I know I do. It was before all sorts of hell broke out in the twenty-first century.

One moment, December 31, 1999 at 23:59:59, everything’s a-okay. Next, January 1, 2000 at 00:00:01, it’s not.

At 11:59:59 pm, you’re kissing your partner of thirty years. Then click, the clock turns to midnight, and you were kissing a stranger. They looked the same. They had the same voice, sure. But They were not the kisser your partner was before midnight. Not by a long shot. She was a stranger.

Most of you didn’t try to find out what happened. You were afraid that you might be going over to the dark side or losing your mind. Or maybe you were just afraid. Some of you did ask, “Did this happen to you?” When asked, most people looked at you a little strange. But there were a few that admitted it. Yes, they felt that it did.

The thing is that it happened to almost half of the earth’s population. To both the 99% and the 1%. You would have thought that it would have been on the news since it happened to so many. It wasn’t. Most wanted to ignore it and get on with their lives. They accepted that maybe, just maybe, it was they who were the ones that were off.

Of course, there were those who thought it was a religious experience. That indeed the Messiah had come to claim his people and you weren’t one of them. That Jesus had returned. That Krishna made an appearance.

So what really happened? Were you on drugs or was that a bad case of Hawaiian punch you drank? Or was it the Rapture and you got stuck with some sinner-replacement for that wonderful partner you’d fallen in love with at eighteen?

Well, Uncle Bardie has news for you. Now I must tell each and everyone of you that it is a secret, and that is secret with a capital CRET. And, yes, a little se. That’s shhhhh in some language. I am not sure which. So please, oh, pretty please with sugar on it, keep it on the q.t,

I spent a couple of days in the 24th dimension last night and I narrowly escaped. But here I am to reveal the Revelation. To give you the Inside Dope. Are you ready? Of course, you are ready, You wouldn’t be reading this far if you weren’t.

It’s The Immortals. Yep, them guys. Or should I say Guys. You see, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Even farther than Darth Vadar Land and the Death Star, it was at the Beginning. Yes, that Beginning. Big Bang and All. At that moment before wrist watches and cuckoo clocks and Big Bens and atomic clocks and grandfather clocks. Even before sun dials. At that moment, The Immortals worried.

What did They worry about? The Immortals worried that they would become extremely bored. There would be a sameness to things. People born. People graduate from high school. People die. And that was all. They thought about the Sims. You know how you put the Sims on cruise control. You come back a month or so later, they are Sims doing Sims things. They are not doing Halo things or Minecraft things. They are doing Sims things. They are doing exactly the same things they did when you put them on cruise. We all know how boring that can be.

Well, that was what The Immortals were facing. Since this was well before Halo and World of Warcraft and Mine Craft, they had to think outside the Box. They put their Immortal heads together and they thunk and they thunk. Immortals do that a lot. Finally they had a plan. We could call it Plan 9 from Outer Space but I think that has been taken.

So here was The Plan. Once every millennium, millennium is Latin for millennium, you know, once every millennium, they would create a fluctuation in the Time Continuum. As each new millennium comes into existence at 00:00:00, half the souls on earth are zapped from their bodies. They are frozen in limbo for a millennium. Those souls are replaced by souls from a previous millennium. Since the new millennium may need more souls than those of a previous millennium, souls are split into multiples. So you may end up with a partner who is a piece of Cleopatra soul. And it might not even be the sexy Cleo you get. You may get the bossy Cleo, or the suicidal Cleo. Or even worse. The Cleo who likes to play with snakes. I don’t know about you but I don’t care much for snakes.

So there you have it. One moment you’re with your best bud, the next you’re with Genghis Khan. He wants to rape and pillage, pillage and rape something bad. And you know what that spells. The Music Man said it best. “It spells trouble. That starts with t and rhymes with p and that stands for pool.”

So get out your pool cue. It could be a very long millennium.

Old friends fit like comfortable shoes

Searching for my old school buddy, Wayne, I moved through the ballroom and the New Year’s Eve party crowd. I hadn’t seen him in twenty years, not since high school graduation.

Then three weeks ago he’d called me out of the blue. Said over the phone that he’d like to see me, had something to tell me, and he’d be here at this party tonight. He’d leave a ticket for me at the front door if I’d come.

I told him I’d be here and hung up. Over the days that followed, I debated. Did I want to see him again? After all, I ‘ve changed a lot since I was no longer that seventeen-year-old kid he’d hung with. We’d both been on the football team. I was a quarterback and he my receiver, and we’d done everything together. Chased the cheerleaders. Cruised in the bright red Mustang we’d fixed up. Fought in the same fights, always standing up for each other. Gone to the best parties, seeing who could out chug-a-lug the other. We were the Boomer Brothers, the toughest dudes around. Everybody said so.

Then high school was over and Wayne left town. I never found out why. I only knew that he was the restless sort, always looking for a change. The last I heard he’d gone off and joined the Army.

Finally New Year’s Eve morning, I decided I’d come to the party tonight. I made my way through the crowd, checking out the features in each face, trying to figure out if it was really him. I looked across the room and saw someone who could be Wayne. I hesitated, then headed towards the guy. A few feet away I realized that it wasn’t him.

He isn’t here. Why don’t I just leave? Though I wanted to see him, I wasn’t sure how he’d take me these days. But, over the phone, he’d sounded like he really wanted to see me. I decided to keep looking. I guess I’ll find out real soon. If he’s here, that is. I’ve looked everywhere. Where could he be?

I started moving through the sea of faces again, glancing at each one, giving each a quick once-over. Still no Wayne. I looked at my watch. It was almost midnight.

Then, a foot or so away, I saw a face, his face. I would recognize those intense, dark blue eyes anywhere. They were his eyes alright. But that couldn’t be Wayne.

I took another look at his face as I got closer to him. It was definitely my old buddy. But what had happened?

Over the phone, I hadn’t recognized his voice at first. It had changed that much. And now I understood why. But how could I ever have guessed that he had gone and done what I had done?

I ran up to him and hugged him.

“Wayne, you’re a woman too,” I said, releasing him from my hug and acknowledging our sex change operations.

“My God, John, these shoes are killing me,” he said. “When I made the change, I never realized how hard it was going to be to get decent shoes.”

A Wish for Y’all’s New Year

Here’s what I am hoping for all of you out there.

“This Year” by the Steel Wheels.

May you and your family and your loved ones have a beautiful, prosperous and wonderful year in 2020. And may the world finally find “Peace on earth, goodwill toward all.”

And here’s another from The Steel Wheels for your enjoyment.

 

10 Resolutions I’m Making For the New Year

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful New Year. Party like it’s 1999 but don’t drive while drinking. Remember there are a lot of amateur drunks on the highway. Better yet, stay home and invite your friends over. Let them face the amateurs. Isn’t that what friends are for? Anyway here is my list of New Year’s Resolutions.

1.Remind people that I am not dead yet. But Elvis is.

2.Start a Bucket List, and make sure the bucket ain’t leaking.

3.Turn on the light at 3 a.m., so I don’t break another toe stumbling around in the dark.

4.Quit throwing the alarm clock across the room. Alarm clocks are like hearts. They break easily.

5.Give up dancing. I have no rhythm. At all.

6.Quit imagining I am a bullfighter. Those bulls have horns, and they hurt.

7.Don’t play with guns. I will shoot my eye out. Ouch!

8.Next Halloween I shall not go as a pumpkin. At least, not without cleaning out the insides.

9.Betting on the horses is no retirement plan.

10.Gotta give up singing “In-a-gadda-da-vida” in the shower. The shower is getting sick of my singing.

A Brand New Year

Hip hip hooray! We made it through 2016. Now there’s a whole new year on the horizon. I am not saying it will be better or it will be worse. All I am saying is there’s 365 days ahead of us and we get a new start. It’s my hope that one of your New Year’s Goals is to continue to check out Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such.

Before I go into my hashing and rehashing, I just want all of you, my friends, to know how much I appreciate all that you do. Blogging for me is like being a member of a large circle of a community.

I try to keep up with the posts in my Reader. In addition, late at night when moi has a case of the insomnias, I go roving through the posts of people who have given me a like or a comment. That’s a great way to find new blogs. I may not follow you or make comments on your latest blog posts but I am grateful for the posts. And for your generosity.

Only another blogger would understand how much work and thought goes into each post. We send them out into the world with hope that they will find a friend or two and touch someone with a blessing. Your generosity and your hard work is much appreciated from this end of the galaxy.

Now for some hashing and rehashing. Over the past two and a half years, I have had the great pleasure of giving you Stories & Such. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have making them.

For the last year or so, Uncle Bardie posted five posts a week. Sundays have been a free-for-all anything-goes kind of post. Mondays a weekly movie. Wednesdays an on-going novel called “Politics in America” and the Man from Weazel Sneeze. Thursdays a weekly music selection. And Fridays a Creative Artist.

Uncle Bardie’s been doing a heap of thinking lately. That means that he’s been ramming his head against the wall to shake his brain loose. Long time ago Uncle Bardie started with three posts a week. Beginning this week, he will return to three posts a week.

Why cut back? Doing five posts a week consumes a lot of seconds and minutes and hours. I have come to realize that it’s time to get on with some longer writing projects. I have several long stories and a novel that needs serious editing. Only by cutting back on the posting can I get to those projects.

So here’s the plan. Sundays will continue to be a free-for-all. Fridays will combine three weekly posts–Friday’s Creator Corner, the Weekly Music Pick and the Movie of the Week–into one and retitle the new post “Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight”. Each week will feature one of the three on a rotating basis with an occasional re-ordering to honor someone or something specific or just because I want to be ornery that week.

Wednesdays are for an on-going project. In 2014, I spent a year of Wednesdays creating short stories in response to a series of short story prompts. Fifty-five to be exact. 2015’s Wednesdays were a humorous look at “Hamlet”. 2016 brought y’all “Politics in America”, a satirical response to the presidential campaign. Come February 1 of the new year that will sink over the horizon Titanic-style.

But Wednesday’s comedy will not be over. On top of that, it will not end. There will be more comedy. As Zero Mostel sang in “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum”, there will continue to be comedy.

That comedy will come in the form of a very loosely based historical humorous novel called “The Absolutely Unbelievable Extraordinary of Lady Wimpleseed Prissypotte”.

The Adventures take place at the end of the nineteenth century. The daughter of a rich American is pressured into marrying a British Lord. Momsie wants a title in the fam. The Lord the daughter marries has one foot in the cemetery and one in the grave. In chapter three, her new hubby croaks in a bowl of soup. Suddenly the heroine doesn’t know what to do with herself, so she goes in pursuit of True Love. Or at least a good orgasm.

The novel has bandits, Mata Hari, Tarzan, big game hunters, Queen Victoria and three of the nicest ghosts ever to haunt a British manor house. If that wasn’t enough, it has mud pies, steamboats, and Istanbul. Loosely based on the old serial, “The Perils of Pauline”, it was a lot of fun to write. I hope it’s as much fun to read.

I want to close out this post by wishing you a Happy New Year for 2017. And leave you with the wonderful Renee Fleming singing Cesar Franck’s “Panis Angelicus”.