The Un-Millennium?: Our panel of judges has rendered its verdict in Off-Kilter's contest to create a slogan or product to promote the next millennium. As usual, all decisions are final--unless large amounts of cash are involved.
However, we should point out that not everyone approved of this contest. Lawyers representing the year 2001 threatened legal action unless we explained that the new millennium actually starts on the first day of their client, not in January 2000 as is commonly reported.
Several readers concurred. "My idea for your 'new' millennium slogan is: 'We're 365 days too early,' " grumbled one.
In response, we consulted with numerous leading scientists and determined that since we have a newspaper column and they don't, we can say whatever we want. Therefore, the millennium starts Jan. 1, 2000.
Here are the winners. First, in the millennium products category:
* Y2K-Y Jelly, to help ease your way into the new millennium. (Submitted by reader Barry J. Stone.)
* Rip Van Wrinkle Cream, which causes you to sleep through the Y2K problem and wake up looking 20 years younger. (Ann Harrison)
Honorable mention goes to Tom and Trudy Egan for Y2Kream Pie, which might or might not crash into your face on Jan. 1, 2000.
In another entry, reader Bill Williams suggested "flying cars" for the third millennium. Unfortunately, since the cars will still lose your luggage, the judges felt the product wouldn't improve the millennium's image. But the panel did like one of Williams' slogan ideas: "The new millennium--or as Bill Gates calls it: 'One hour's pay.' "
Here are the other winning slogans:
* "It's the third millennium: Reach out and defrost someone." (Larry Frank, who also suggested, "Welcome to the third millennium--with your host, Dick Clark.")
* "Y2K, You're OK." (Mike Crawford)
* "Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right this way, the saucer leaves at midnight!" (Jack Hayes)
* "YNot2K?" (Steven W. Alloway)
* "M M good," with the two Ms signifying 2000 in Roman numerals. (Chris Ungar)
Quote of the Day: From comedian Dennis Miller: "Charisma is what makes one man a skinny grandfather with bad teeth repeating the same story since 1964, and another man Mick Jagger singing 'Satisfaction' to a stadium full of screaming fans at 300 bucks a head."
Alarming Trends Bureau: The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City is sponsoring a clothing show featuring dresses made from plastic shower curtains.
Weird Publicity Stunts: A British Ikea store has banned customers with facial hair unless they carry a special "beard permit," according to the Week magazine.
Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: Our campaign to improve the image of the new millennium is already working, as evidenced by this item in the normally all-gloom-and-doom Weekly World News: "The Apocalypse Won't Be All That Bad, Says Famed Theologian . . . Like the Y2K Computer Bug, the End of the World as We Know It Will Be a Minor Inconvenience for Most People!"
\o7 Unpaid Informants: Richard Showstack, Susanna Timmons, Wireless Flash News, John Wilcock. Off-Kilter's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.\f7