Whilst I snow-angeled in Christmas wrapping paper, playing with the boxes my new toys came in and gorging myself on Dairy Milk selection boxes, there was a certain unease in the air; would this be the last Christmas as we knew it? The Millennium Bug -- a flaw in computer systems -- would the clock tick over to 2000? Would data storage sink into disrepair? Would we make it!?
We made it. The computers made it. The apocalypse never came and talks of the Millennium Bug diminished. But what was this bug? Being the nearly-5-year-old-James that I was, I took it upon myself to find out.
Off I went, 'I'm going to the park' I told my parents; they could never know of my daring adventure to find the insect that could still run amuck, they'd never let me go, 'you brave fool! Let someone else go!' they'd cry. It was better this way.
Wrapped in my winter wears, I was prepared for the treacherous journey I would potentially embark upon. Where to start? My knowledge was limited. Luckily, I grew up in a valley and knew where to find bugs. So I went to the park (quite the genius idea, as now I was going to find the bug and I wasn't lying to my parents, so they would still love me).
There were multiple parks to choose from mind you, so I started the best I knew: the closest. This small park consisted of a roundabout, slide, see-saw, tic-tac-toe game and a bench. But I wasn't here for the entertainment of playground apparatus. I meant business. Surrounding the park were trees, not a dense forest but it was a start.
As I entered the greenery I suddenly noticed how alone I was. There was nobody walking through the park, no joyous laughter of children playing. Silence. The wind blew cold and stinging. This wouldn't be for the faint-hearted.
I turned over branches and kicked about leaves, my eyes traced trees from root to tip, studying every inch of bark. Searching. I knew not what this bug would look like but I knew I'd know it when I saw it.
Suddenly, a rustle in the undergrowth. My heart sank to my wellies. Frozen, I stared at the spot that came to life without warning. I'd found it. I'd angered it. Panicked, I ran from the trees, darting across the grass of the playground, it's blades scarred by the feet of adventurers past. I returned home shaken. I'd awoken the bug. I'd doomed us all. Who was I to think that nearly-5-year-old-me was the person for this dangerous mission? My anxiety meant I barely spoke, my curiosity took over. Never again I thought. Back in my room, I hid and played, trying to forget this ordeal, thinking of how I'd have to eventually break the news to my parents.
A few days past and the bug never attacked. No more mention had been made and my conscious had begun to clear. Maybe I hadn't roused it completely from it's slumber? Maybe it feared me and my confidence in seeking it out? Maybe I squished it in my panicked escape? Whatever the case, I daren't mention it. Just incase.
I'm 21 now and feel like I could handle the Millennium Bug if it ever tries to attack again. I've never ventured back amongst those trees though.