Where was I before being so sadistically interrupted?

Mere hours before my procrastinated column deadline, the continuing episode of Technology Twilight Zone struck again. Microsoft informed me out of the blue, “Your subscription has expired. Most features are disabled.”

After many hours on split-screen with several interchangeable agents out of Denmark, I deduced my laptop Christmas present from brother Paul and Jane last December came with a one-year contract. Well, thanks for the non-warning before locking me out of civilization!

So that is why you weren’t treated to the journalistic gem you’ve grown accustomed to each week. I have not, nor will I ever, desert you, and you can take that to the bank. Please, though, wear a mask and don’t make any “This is a holdup” jokes. I painfully learned they frown pretty emphatically on that kind of humor.

As I wrote on NYE, never to be read, it’s hard to imagine a more delightful year than the one we just lived through. I’d be hard pressed to picture a more positive scenario, nuclear winter notwithstanding. That, my friends, is what’s known in the biz as being facetious (from the Latin “Facial secretions).

Obviously it was a horrific year, but who’d have ever guessed decades ago we’d ever even reach such an advanced point in history?

So many memorable years have come and gone that I never thought we’d live to see. I’d listen to Prince sing, “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999,” and think, “Yeah, like the world will still exist as we know it in 1999. Plus, I’d be like 45 and probably outlived my usefulness anyway.”

Well, I did as Prince instructed and partied right through 1999 and then some. 2000 ominously promised to usher in global pandemonium via Y2K crashing every computer and erasing high scores on video games. That day fizzled with nary a puff of smoke, much like most of my hopes and dreams. The new millennium suited up and marched into battle with little fanfare, but had someone offered me a 20-to-1 bet we’d be around to see 2020, I’d have snatched that up in a New Hampshire minute. But here we be, 2021 and counting.

After scoffing at Prince’s wacky 1999 hypothesis, I wonder how many other far-fetched song dates might come to fruition before our very eyes. It begs the question, “In the year 2525, if man is still alive; if woman can survive … they may ...” How about, “In the year 3535, ain’t gonna need to tell the truth; tell no lies. Everything you think, do or say, is in the pill you took today, whoa, whoa.”

Even more sobering is the stanza, “In the year 9595, ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife. You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too, from the bottom of a long glass tube, whoa ...” The melodious Zager and Evans continued their classic tune with even more dire, future scenarios, but I’ve alarmed you enough. I’ll say one thing though: I was a lot more comfortable with that iconic ’70s group singing, “Hey, hey we’re the Monkees; people say we monkey around ...”

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