The Last Lawsuit

The year is AD 2027 and all but one of the millions of lawsuits precipitated by the Y2K bug have been settled. The plaintiff is Mr. Jaron Summers, a handsome elderly man with a warm, grandfatherly smile. He walks with graceful dignity using a silver cane, one of the innumerable gifts he's received from royalty around the world.

The year is A.D. 2027 and all but one of the millions of lawsuits precipitated by the Y2K bug have been settled.

The plaintiff is Mr. Jaron Summers, a handsome elderly man with a warm, grandfatherly smile. He walks with graceful dignity using a silver cane, one of the innumerable gifts he’s received from royalty around the world.

His pale blue eyes shine with gentleness, belying the incredible intellect that garnered him three Nobel Prizes in literature for his weekly humour column.

Many women half (or even a third) his age, attracted by his animal magnetism, pack the overflowing courtroom. Members of the press from every major city are present, for Summers can always be relied upon to deliver clever quotes that resonate with deep philosophical insight.

The defense lawyer representing the United Nations is Mr. Evil. Despite a lifetime of success, including two terms as Prime Minister of Canada, Evil is cautious as he circles Summers, for the charming writer has on numerous occasions employed his rapier wit to devastate world-renowned jurists.

“Now,” booms attorney Evil, “admit you concocted this case for your own financial gain!”

“I am a simple layman,” Summers calmly explains, “not able to juggle the law as you do.” To illustrate his disdain for the legal system, the spry Summers juggles a massive set of law books. Female spectators swoon from this stunning display of agility, strength and metaphor.

“Stop grandstanding,” shouts Evil, “and please spare us from your so-called rapier wit.”

Summers stops, and tomes crash onto Evil’s head. The courtroom breaks into thunderous applause. No one has ever defended himself with such skill and style. The judge herself joins in the applause, then remembers that she must maintain at least the illusion of impartiality. She orders quiet in the court.

“Tell us what happened on the night of December 31, 1999!” snarls Evil, blood trickling down his bald pate.

“Because of the millennium bug, six people on my property were killed,” replies Summers.

“But you were prepared for the so-called Y2K bug, were you not, sir?” chortles Mr. Evil. He waves a faded piece of paper. “I have here a receipt for a gas generator in your name.”

“I purchased the generator because I suspected the power grid might go amok. This would have caused our refrigerator to stop, and all of my butter would have melted.”

“Do tell us what happened when you hooked up your generator.”

Mr. Summers, now juggling three iron busts of great lawmakers, bows to the jury. “Tragically, my gas-powered generator gave off carbon monoxide that asphyxiated my mother-in-law and father-in-law. My wife, who liked to sleep under an electric blanket, was electrocuted when I accidentally introduced 440 volts into her bed.”

“So, your trying to outsmart the Y2K bug resulted in the death of your wife and her parents? Do continue,” says Evil, careful to keep out of range of the whirling busts.

“At a little after midnight, at the dawn of our new millennium, there was a freak windstorm that blew down our power lines,” explains Summers. “When my banker, my agent and my broker – men I have always loved even though I lost a fortune due to their collective advice – reconnected the high voltage, they didn’t realize that we had live power leading from our house. When they touched what they thought were dead wires, they were fried.”

“You caused the death of six people by preparing for the Y2K bug – and it never hit, did it!?” screams Evil.

“Our governments had a duty to warn everyone what could happen if we prepared for the Y2K bug – “

“The government made certain there was no danger from the Y2K bug! They did protect you! It was your interference – “

And at that point, every light in the city goes off, the power grids freeze around the world and all the airplanes fall out of the sky. The busts of lawmakers all land on Mr. Evil’s right foot. He howls and…civilization ceases.

To understand what happened, we need simply to go back 27 years to January 1, 2000 at 2:00 a.m. At that moment, the Xon were scanning their heavens and they spotted Earth, lit up for the New Year’s celebrations.

The Xon, who were a hybrid type of MBAs, decided to conquer us. They launched a sun-killer missile that took 27 years to reach our solar system. And that was the end of the human race.

Had the Y2K bug been allowed to take its course 27 years ago, the Earth would have been plunged into darkness for a few days and the Xon could not have noticed our tiny planet. Oh, well.

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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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