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Van Gogh-Goghs Suffer Y2K-Related Problems

LOS ANGELES (Y2K News Magazine [final edition] - Jan. 10, 2000) -- The local sketch comedy community is reeling from revelations that local sketch comedy group the Van Gogh-Goghs are suffering problems related to the so-called Y2K bug. According to a Van Gogh-Gogh spokesperson, the group's 1999 calendar was not Y2K-ready.

The Y2K bug, sometimes called "the Millennium bug," was caused by short-sighted '50s programmers, who used two digits instead of four to indicate the year.

According to the Van Gogh-Goghs, their calendar, purchased less than a year ago at Staples, has been adversely affected by the Y2K bug. Group member and computer expert Rob Terrell successfully predicted it would break down at midnight, Dec. 31.

"I warned them. But they never listen to me. But no one ever listens to me," said Terrell. "Are you listening to me? Hello? Hello!? Dammit."

Group member T. Mike Childs was the first to discover the problem. According to Childs, he was attempting to mark the group's Feb. 12 show on the calendar. Even though the show is scheduled for a Saturday, the calendar shows Feb. 12 as a Friday.

"It's a mess," Childs said, "Everything's off by a day, holidays are all screwed up and weirdest of all, data we entered on the calender a year ago is showing up now."

When Childs reported the problems to other members of the group, they initially downplayed the issue. "T. Mike's been known to be a idiot before," Terrell said. However, after rigorous testing of the calendar, they were able to reproduce Childs' findings in most cases.

"It's not a problem with every date," said lead tester Alan Benson. "For example, higher-level groupings like years, months, and, to some extent, weeks, still work acceptably."

"You can still indicate 'we're having a show in February' with our existing calendar, but the problem comes in when you attempt to pinpoint an exact day," he added. "The days of the week do not line up with their correct date."

Group member Galen Black, who was in charge of hour, minute, and second research, certified that those increments of time were still valid with the calender.

"Doesn't matter what day of the week it is, you'll still be able to say 'noonish' without experiencing Y2K issues," he said.

The Van Gogh-Goghs are currently limping along using a small January calendar at the top of the calendar. This will allow for limited functionality for 31 days, but it will reportedly fail on at midnight, Jan. 31.

Terrell is working on a complex computer application that will allow the group to look up the correct date and day of week during 2000. He anticipates the program will be ready for initial testing during the fourth quarter of next year.

News of this Y2K problem has not set well with members of the Van Gogh-Goghs. Group member Charles Rempel angrily assigned blame to fellow member Jason Torchinsky, who purchased the calendar Jan. 27, 1999.

"This is the third damn year we've had this problem," Rempel said. "Last year, it was the 'Y2K minus one problem.' A year ago, it was the 'Y2K minus two mixup.' Jason said that this time he'd fixed it. Jerk."

Rempel said the group would handle the problem on a day-to-day basis, typically by applying a "nipple-twister" to Torchinsky. This process, sometimes called a "purple nurple," involves grabbing and violently twisting another person's nipple through their shirt.

Torchinsky refused to comment on the group's handling of the situation, but sources close to the Van Gogh-Goghs indicate that he said "ouch."

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