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Sock Monkeys Are The Solution
To The Y2K Computer Crisis
(a scientific paper published in 1999)

What is the Y2K problem? Well, It's a metaphorical timebomb pre-programmed into hundreds of millions of the world's computer chips. Years ago, to conserve memory space, programmers used two numbers to record the year. For example, 87 would mean 1987. The problem is that on January 1, 2000, computers that still use a two-number year will interpret the 00 to mean the year 1900. This will cause most of the computers in the world to either shut down or generate incorrect data.

Utter chaos is what would occur if our information-dependent society lost its computers. There would be hot air balloons floating out of the storm drains, peanut butter all over the roads, Abraham Lincoln doing calisthenics on your roof, mannequins rummaging through your CD collection....quite simply, an entire culture gone higgledypiggledy.

The government's solution has been to procrastinate for ten years and then in 1999, they decided to have a few programmers begin fixing the program code. Unfortunately, it would require all the programmers in the world to work 24 hours a day for five years to rewrite all the code. And we haven't that kind of time.

But don't panic! In dire times like these, most people would run for the hills like a yak in drag. But not me. Using my superior education, a PHD in Stuffed Animal Psychology, I have devised a plan that, if implemented, could avert this horrible disaster.

My solution has its roots in the old adage that says that a million monkeys working at a million typewriters would eventually write a Shakespearean play. It is my hypothesis that if a hundred million sock monkeys worked on a hundred million computers, all the faulty code could be re-written before the onset of Y2K.

I have already tested my hypothesis at a small scale. On December 14, 1998, I brought five sock monkeys to the eighth floor of the Trensi Computing building. I then set each monkey in front of a computer and waited for seven hours.

The results were limited, but I would certainly not call them negative. Three of the monkeys; Bruce, Red, and Andy sat motionless in front of their computer screens for the entire seven hours as if they were inanimate. Pete, the small monkey, was lost and turned up three days later in the coffee cup of a Trensi employee. And the remaining monkey, Mr. Bowels, went crazy from staring at his computer screen and attacked my colleague. My colleague, the poor delusional fool, claims that he was not attacked and that I simply threw the monkey at him out of boredom, but that's a lie.

Some people might see my experiment as a failure, but I am still highly optimistic. I feel the experiment did not produce the expected results because of my limited number of test subjects. Surely it would work if millions of sock monkeys were involved, but a man of my meager means could never afford that many monkeys.

Therefore, I am making a formal plea to the government to bankroll my project. I will need no more than eight billion dollars, and maybe a few female androids if NASA's got any lying around. That should be enough funding for me to effectively save our society. But time is running out, so please lobby your senator or congressman to support my solution before it's too late.

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