In your face!” Father Time slammed the football to the ground and looked triumphantly back onto a playing field called Y2K.
“Uh huh, uh-huh. Good golly, Miss Molly! Didn’t think I could make it, did you. Woo hoo!”
Baby New Year 2001 looked on nervously.
“What a year! You better hope they don’t do the same things to you that they did to me. Phah! You’re pretty lucky, you know that? All you got is a couple or three possible wars to worry about. I lived through an election year,” he pointed a thumb back at himself. “I’m the man!”
“Oh, yeah,” Baby New Year broke in. “They wanted me to talk with you about that.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s always been `Father Time’ this, “Father Time’ that. The Powers That Be decided that since this is the start of a new Millennium it was time (so to speak) for Mother Time.”
“You mean you’re . . .?”
Quasi-intellectual n Smart but not smart enough.
—1979 Dictionario Ooka
Father Time stood with his mouth agape. Finally, he stuttered, “Well, I’ll be dinged! Now I’ve seen it all! Mother Time!”
He walked creakily about the infant girl, appraising her with jaundiced eye. Finally he held out one withered old claw.
“Good luck to you is all that I can say. As far as the state of the world goes, let’s just say the circus is in town.”
Father Time chuckled. He kinda liked that metaphor and decided to expand upon it.
“If you don’t like what’s going on at the Big Top you might just stroll along the Midway, take in the Freak Show (although sometimes they’re one and the same). Ride the Tilt-a-whirl, later on maybe take in a Demolition Derby. There’s bound to be a few. Of course there’s always the pony ride and the little floating duckies. Don’t forget to chow down on the candied apples and corn dogs!
“And watch out for the House of Mirrors . . . Oh, and don’t let the fat lady sing. You’ll regret it.
“Let’s see, what else?” He tapped his forehead several times before shrugging his shoulders. “I guess half the fun is finding out for yourself. Good luck, little one,” he said as he was enveloped in a silvery cloud of ice and a black hole appeared to suck him in.
“See you at the end of the line. Ho ho ho! Merry . . .”
“Sorry,” a deep voice broke in. “That’s a trademarked slogan.”
Baby Time watched the diminishing figure for a second before turning away and making her first faltering step into the new year.