HIGHTOWER: Foodies Fear Y2K

Are you ready for New Year's Eve?I don't mean the usual party reservations and a bottle of bubbly, but the serious, century-ending dawning of the new year, which brings with it the dreaded Y2K. As the clock ticks into 2000, goes the warning from some seers, computers worldwide will malfunction because of a flaw built into them by the manufacturers, and the result will range somewhere between global chaos and Armageddon. Survivalists are preparing for the worst, building bunkers and stocking them with sacks of powdered milk, crates of powdered eggs, bins of grain, vats of water, and plenty of guns and ammo.On the other hand, authorities are insisting that, at most, there will be a few glitches, and they advise simply stocking up with a few day's worth of food and water. But the New York Times reports that even this prospect is causing major anxiety among America's foodies -- people concerned not merely with being deprived of food, but deprived of gourmet food.So the foodies already are making a run on the gourmet markets, filling their in-home bunkers with tins of p‰te«, fine imported jams, plenty of Grey Poupon, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Macadamia nuts, cans of organic vegetables, a case of red wine, a case of white wine, long-lasting sweet delicacies like babka, and chocolate-covered espresso beans, (to provide the coffee buzz without having to make coffee). And, of course, water -- but bottled Pellagrino or Perier, my dears, definitely not that stuff in plastic jugs. As one New York foodie told the Times, "Just because we're in the dark doesn't mean we're not going to eat well." Let the masses eat powdered eggs -- he's already stocked with the ingredients to make insalata di tonno, cannellini e cipolla.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . If you're really worried about survival, load your larder with Twinkies -- they'll last until the next millennium.

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