The problem of the bug, says Nicholas Edwards is that: "when it clicks over to the next millennium at the end of 1999, it thinks it's 1900 when it knows that computers had not yet been invented, so it turns itself off." Bruce Birchall, however, welcomes the idea that the bug will dump us back in the year 1000. He advises the Queen to abdicate in favour of Edward, who should at once style himself "The Confessor". He also sees the illegalisation of cars, no galloping in built-up areas, and a "thee" and "thou" reforestation program beginning at once.
Norman Foster sees the bug as a modern-day Robin Rood "removing all the excess noughts from the ends of various billionaires' fortunes and transferring them on to the end of my meagre share". Alternatively he suggests that by failing to recognise the start of 2000, it could make the 1999 New Year's Eve parties go on for ever. Tony Chilvers will not be bugged on 1 January 2000 because he insists that the true millennium does not begin until 2001.
Roy Askew will also be ignoring the bug. "Compared with the one that got into my roses this summer, it's clearly the lesser of two weevils," he says. John Ellis blames IBM for the whole problem (it stands for "I'll Bugger the Millennium", he says). He advises opening all your Windows and Gates and the problem will disappear. David Marks thinks it would be helpful if the millennium bug buggered off rather than being a millennium stone round our necks.
Phil Worth sees the millennium bug as the solution to the Queen's problems in keeping up with technological change. He has written an address for Her Majesty to deliver when rewarding it with a knighthood in the AD 2000 honours list. It begins: "Millennium bug, We give you a hug." Maria O Treadwell points out that "millennium bugs" is an anagram of "sling nubile mum".
Rather riskily, Nicholas E Gough says he'll take a chance and do the diametrical opposite of whatever Sian Cole does with them. Ms Cole herself, however, plans to spray them with Poeme or Lulu, which she says "makes me so irresistible that one thing inevitably leads to another with no interruptions in between" thus guaranteeing a smooth transition from 1999 to 2000.
Duncan Bull has a solution so simple that it's surprising Bill Gates didn't think of it first: "Concoct and unleash a lethal virus to annihilate all computer programs. Thus the parasitic millennium-bugs will inevitably perish and everybody will be happy." David Morris suggests tossing them with 2001 other ingredients for a crunchy new age salad - with millennial island dressing, perhaps. Jack Dolan and Renee Gallagher hope that the FBI will use millennium bugs "for listening to criminals who are very noughty", but they fear that Warner Brothers will bombard us with Millennium Bugs Bunny merchandising.
"Few realise," says Geoffrey Langley, "that it will generate a famous sequel, One Dalmation, and many revised hymns, including O for nine hundred tongues to sing." He believes that its best use may be to take the Millennium Dome back a hundred years and turn it into the useful Greenwich gasworks.
"Millennium bugs live in carpets and rugs," Maguy Higgs warns us. "They set out to trash and reduce to a mash, Every bank account (cash), credit record or stash."
Inez Joliffe suggests sending all the millennium bugs to the US, where they could mate with ladybugs. She does, however, alert us to the danger of millennium bugs infecting fish and giving them a bad case of fin-de- siecle. Viv Wellburn thinks there must be a good "Waiter, there's a millennium bug in my primeval soup" gag, but she can't think of a punchline.
Prizes to John Ellis, Jack & Renee and Inez Joliffe. Next week, dimples. Meanwhile, as the 50th anniversary of the game of Monopoly nears, we seek things to do with Monopoly sets. All ideas will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for those we like best.Reuse content