Pre-Millennium Tension? More ways to stop worrying and start living

Related Topics
We are continuing today our counselling session for those thousands of you who are suffering from PMT or Pre-Millennium Tension - in other words, those who are getting more and more anxious as the year 2000 approaches.

Who, typically, suffers the most from PMT?

Well, the ones who make the loudest noises of suffering are governments. They know they are expected to do something about the turn of the century. They have no idea what it is. Already the Tories have made a mess of millennium plans and now Labour is doing the same thing, with frenzied talk of domes. The idea of a 100ft high statue of Peter Mandelson in Greenwich is, to my way of thinking, the last straw.

Who has suggested that?

Nobody has. All I am saying is that the idea of a 100ft high statue of Peter Mandelson in Greenwich is, to my way of thinking, the last straw.

Ah. Right. Fair enough. What are other governments thinking of doing to commemorate the dawn of the next century?

Nothing very interesting. The Swiss government is authorising the issue of a new Swiss Army penknife with an indoor firework attachment. The Pope has issued an edict calling for the slaughter of all the first-born ...

Why has he done that?

Sorry, my mistake. He has issued an edict asking people NOT to slaughter the first-born. The Finns have asked all their citizens to stay sober for a change. The Americans have requested all their allies not to let Cuba enter the 21st century. The Germans plan to leave vast millennium towels overnight on premier beaches in Phuket, New Zealand, Scarborough, the Costa del Sol ...

As a matter of interest, what kind of celebrations did we have for it in 1900?

Well, don't forget that 1900 wasn't the end of a millennium, only of a century.

Right. So what kind of celebrations did we have at the end of a century ?

Not much. We had already had huge celebrations in 1897 to mark the sixtieth year of Victoria's reign, and people were pretty bored with parades by 1900. They also thought that if things got very exciting again in 1900, Queen Victoria might have a heart attack and die, and then Prince Edward would take over.

Would that be bad?

Oh, yes. Prince Edward was a multiple adulterer.

Is that bad?

Oh, yes. It is worse than being a single adulterer. Imagine if Queen Alexandra had gone on TV like Diana and accused her husband of infidelity. She would have said: "It is very difficult staying married when there are over 50 people in a marriage ..."

Who is Queen Alexandra?

You seriously don't know?

Yes, I do, as a matter of fact. I am simply making the point that she doesn't matter any longer. Anyway, we seem to have strayed a long way from the millennium ...

Ah! That proves you're getting better! You're stopping thinking about it already! You've stopped worrying about how to plan for it!

Come to mention it, how do you think I should plan for it?

Well, if I were you, I would give up all plans of trying to be the first in the next century, as some people plan to do by booking hotel rooms just across the International Date Line.

I'm with you there.

I would give up all ideas of trying to dodge from one century to another by hiring a plane and flying to and fro across the International Date Line.

Nice one!

Anyway, that idea was dreamt up years ago by Alexander Frater in Punch, when he described Christmas on board a South Seas tramp ship which dodged back into Christmas Day from Boxing Day by going back across the International Date Line on Dec 26th ...

Is that true?

Of course. Any other questions?

Yes. What are YOU going to be doing for the millennium?

Me? I'm going to be hiring a room in a hotel on the OTHER side of the International Date Line, as close to it as possible, and I'm going to try to be the last person in the world who is still living in the old century, while everyone else has gone charging forward into the next one.

Isn't that a bit pointless?

Yes, but the whole thing is bloody pointless! And the fact that you've noticed means you may well be on the way to recovering from PMT! Give me another cheque and come and see me again tomorrow ...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US  

The 'caliphate'? We’ve heard Obama’s language of the Crusades before

Robert Fisk

Next they'll say an independent Scotland can't use British clouds...

Mark Steel
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home