Fancy celebrating the next thousand years with a spot of rumpy- pumpy? Plan your assignation with care, advises RUSSELL TAYLOR. Otherwise the computer bug will catch you with your trousers down
Some of you may be thinking of starting the next millennium with some sex. After all, this would be a fitting act of love with which to usher in the third Christian era and, besides, you'll be the drunkest you've been for 1,000 years. A warning, however: some of the standard places where impromptu copulation is performed may not be suitable when the millennium computer bug strikes at midnight on 1 January 2000.

Here is a guide to the places where not to have your celebratory millennial bunk-up.

The Mile-High Club

At 00.00 on New Year's Day the chip in the smoke alarm in the aircraft lavatory will fail, causing it to go off and alert the cabin staff to the less serious but still illegal act you are performing within. Of course, the flight attendant may be too busy to attend to the matter as the plane will already have gone into freefall through computer error at air traffic control. As a sexual turn-on, this would be suitable only for those who thought the film Crash was a bit horny and who wondered if air disaster victims might really do it for them. However, if you want to take the risk, I'm sure those "See in the New Year in Five Different Time Zones" Concorde trips will be going cheap this year.

In the lift

As the date flips over to 00.01, one of two things will occur. One possibility is that the lift will immediately go into freefall, giving you an exhilarating but tantalisingly short taste of zero gravity sex, before impacting in the basement and providing the two of you with a permanent experience of mutual necrophilia. Alternatively, the lift may decide the date is 1900 and, finding no record of having been serviced, will sink to the basement and close down, trapping you inside until the engineer arrives. As he has probably been lynched by a rampaging food mob or taken out by a rogue Chinese nuclear missile strike, this could be a long wait.

The photocopy machine

This machine will also cease functioning, causing disappointment for those making out on top of it and wishing to make souvenir Xeroxes of their bottoms at the same time.

Inside an office building

Any building whose doors are opened by electronic swipe cards will automatically seal all exits and internal doors. Thus, if you are copulating on such premises, you will find yourself incarcerated. The problem of gradually dying of starvation over the course of the coming weeks will be nothing in comparison with being left face-to-face with the inappropriate person you performed drunken sex with, just as your hangovers start to bite.

In a public superloo

When the embedded microchip fails, the loo door may open to reveal your nakedness to the masses outside, which won't matter as by this time they will all be otherwise occupied looting shops and setting fire to buildings. A worse scenario is that you will be permanently locked inside the lavvy with the likelihood being that it will decide it has not been disinfected for a century and promptly flush itself out with scalding-hot Dettol.

In the back seat of a car

First the car alarm will go off, alerting passers-by to what the steamed- up windows had only hinted at. The airbags may also trigger, so make sure you're doing it on the back seat. Unfortunately, as all the car's electronics cease working simultaneously, the central locking system will fail, thus trapping you in the car.

In the back of a taxi

Conversely, this is actually rather a good place for your celebratory coupling, assuming of course that you are able to find a taxi in the early hours of New Year's morning 2000. The electronic meter will break down at midnight so the driver will theoretically be unable to enforce any payment for the trip (let alone his bumped-up, customary New Year's Eve quadruple fare).

Security video cameras

Good news here too. All of these will fail on the stroke of midnight, thus preventing the security guard at your office blackmailing you with taped evidence of your indiscretion. Normally, of course, the problem is that not only is your drunken sexual incompetence lovingly photographed, but, thanks to the time code on the picture, the embarrassing brevity of your performance in milliseconds is also recorded for posterity.

Condom vending machines

There seems to be no consensus on what will happen to these potentially crucial Y2K sex facilitators. Either they will completely fail to work, or they will vend all their contents simultaneously on to the floor for free. Whichever of the two options they choose might resolve the hot theological debate over whether the millennium is to herald the Second Coming or usher in a new age of Sodom.

A longer version of this feature appears in the March issue of `The Erotic Review'.