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Man emerges from bunker 14 years after Y2K scare.
December 18, 2013 10:29 AM   Subscribe

January 1, 2000 was the day that our computers were meant to fail us and change our lives forever. It was also the day that 44 year old Norman Feller headed into his underground bunker over fears of the fallout from the Y2K virus. Remarkably Mr. Feller spent the next 14 years in isolation only to emerge this past September.

"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door... It was the Pizza man with a steaming hot dog stuffed crust pizza."
posted by Telf (90 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
fake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


From This is That, an Onion-esque Canadian parody news show. Apparently their lack of infamy leads to frequent re-reporting by unsuspecting real journalists...
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


"The show is produced in Canada, a country well-known for dishonesty and cruelty."
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2013 [54 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the podcast is from a satirical Canadian program. Still, i liked the tone of it and it has a certain sweetness to it.
posted by Telf at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2013


- The show is produced in Canada, a country well-known for dishonesty and cruelty.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


DAMMIT
posted by louche mustachio at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


DAMMIT
posted by Mister_A at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2013


DAMMIT

Hey, you just proved how well-known it really is.
posted by yoink at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


DAMMIT
posted by rahnefan at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2013


YOLO
posted by BobbyVan at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


My fave episode thus far is the one where the Quebec government is going to impose a policy where everyone must wear the same pants (to increase unity)
posted by chapps at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


It's okay, even if it's fake it's real.
posted by desjardins at 10:37 AM on December 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


Previously.
posted by chococat at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I
WANT
TO
BELIEVE
posted by disconnect at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hate This is That. And it seems to get played three times a week these days (WAH CBC BUDGET CUTS).
posted by stray at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


(I posted the above comment because that statement is becoming true)
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:43 AM on December 18, 2013


Can we just have a hard rule banning This is That posts? This is at least the third one.

Also, could the CBC cancel This is That, please? It's terrible.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 AM on December 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


He would have stayed in there if the water chip hadn't stopped working, too.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:50 AM on December 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Knock knock
Who's there?
Armageddon
Armageddon who?
Armageddon tired of this story.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on December 18, 2013 [26 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, it routinely fools Canadians as well. But yes, pointless and unfunny show.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:54 AM on December 18, 2013


If we're posting favourites: Montreal bylaw requires dogs understand commands in both official languages.

Got repeated a few times by some of the more credulous tweeters/blogs, particularly in Western Canada.
posted by bonehead at 10:54 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


There are days where it seems more accurate than the "real" news...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2013


I didn't realize this was fake when I first started listening to it, but when he was at the mall and he said "Where are all the book stores, the music stores?" that's when I knew. If you had just gotten out of bunker after 14 years that is not even in the top 50 of things that would strike you as odd.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I spent New Year's Eve with friends in Vancouver, BC. Before I left on my trip, my friends were concerned - what happens, they asked, if all the Y2K stuff actually happens? You'd be trapped in Canada!

I failed to see what the problem would be with that. Still do.
posted by rtha at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you die in Canada, you die in REAL LIFE!
posted by mbrubeck at 11:02 AM on December 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you had just gotten out of bunker after 14 years that is not even in the top 50 of things that would strike you as odd.

Hmmm, what would strike you, I wonder? "Hey, all the phones are bigger!"
posted by yoink at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Wait... they rebooted the Superman franchise twice?"
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 11:08 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not only is this story fake, but so is the very concept of the nation of Canada. It's all been a big hoax from day one, and we fell for it! (The fact that these so-called "Canucks" called their money loonies and toonies should have tipped us off that it was just a goof.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:09 AM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


I knew this was too good to be true. No one watched Friends for Chandler. NO ONE.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 11:20 AM on December 18, 2013


For a more authentic impression of Canada, have a look at the Stats Canada twitter feed.

It's true: "55% of canoe trips end in divorce."
posted by Kabanos at 11:20 AM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


when he was at the mall and he said "Where are all the book stores, the music stores?" that's when I knew. If you had just gotten out of bunker after 14 years that is not even in the top 50 of things that would strike you as odd.

Since 1 January '00 half a dozen or so book/news sellers have gone out of business just within walking distance of where I am right now. If I'd just dug myself out after 14 years underground, I'd probably wonder where they'd all gone.

It's all been a big hoax from day one, and we fell for it!

I admit they had me going for a while, but finally that "Rob Ford" was just too unbelievable.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:22 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hate This is That.

Also, could the CBC cancel This is That, please? It's terrible.


Who are you people? My older brother, who hates anything that fools him.

the one that got me was the small town in Newfoundland that made helmets mandatory for all automobile drivers and passengers. As a tall person who barely fits in some cars anyway, it made my blood boil. but then I laughed
posted by philip-random at 11:23 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came for Blast from the Past mention, was disappointed.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:26 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


WTF CANADIANS?!

(also, DAMMIT!)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2013


For a brief moment, I was jealous of this imaginary fellow who was spared the ascendancy of such terms as "twitter," "tweet," "selfie," and "President George W. Bush."
posted by malocchio at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's true: "55% of canoe trips end in divorce."

That's 55% of those who survive the drownings, right?
posted by yoink at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, once people found out that Rob Ford was real, they were permanently primed to believe anything reported on by Canadian media. (Exemptions: Rob and Doug Ford are primed to disbelieve anything coming out of the CBC. And The Star, of course. And the Globe, the Post, the Sun, the Larch ...)
posted by maudlin at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2013


DAMN IT!
posted by maudlin at 11:39 AM on December 18, 2013


I think I saw this on ChristWire.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:39 AM on December 18, 2013


saved by my No Flash policy.
actually, Metafilter itself is looking a bit Onion-esque today.
posted by Abinadab at 11:47 AM on December 18, 2013


Metaflabby
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2013


THIS IS THAT IS AWESOME. It's really funny and really spot on. What I don't get is how people can miss that it's not real. It's pretty obviously over the top.

ALL YOU HATERS CAN STEP OFF.
posted by GuyZero at 12:00 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, it routinely fools Canadians as well.

I haven't listened in a while, but my favorite This is That feature was the outraged calls from listeners who didn't get that the show is a joke. Which always included at least one made up complaint about a story that didn't exist, just to confuse things further.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:06 PM on December 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just love the fact that this is immediately above the post about the best errors and retractions of the year.

I don't know if there's an "eponisterical" type term for such timing, but if there isn't there should be.
posted by garius at 12:14 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


@StatsCan The number of babies fathered by the mailman is expected to drop by 80%
posted by chapps at 12:15 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since 1 January '00 half a dozen or so book/news sellers have gone out of business just within walking distance of where I am right now. If I'd just dug myself out after 14 years underground, I'd probably wonder where they'd all gone.

It's not that he noticed that bookstores weren't there, it's how he phrased. "Where are all the book stores, the music stores?" sounds exactly like what someone who had seen all the book/music stores close would think someone from the past would think.

Like if I was going to my local mall after 14 years in a bunker I'd be like "I wanna go to Borders. Oh, it's gone. Ok, I'll go to Walden. Fuck, that's gone too? Damn, mall owners pricing out book stores. And where's Kaybee toy store? It was right next to Borders or where borders used to be." He'd be missing actual stores and not a generic book store.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:17 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford is also a prank.
posted by humanfont at 12:17 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


And then there is the real stats can twitter feed -- everyone should vote on this! (Perhaps we can get the long form census back through stats can twitter campaigns?)

Statistics Canada ‏@StatCan_eng 16 Dec
2013 marked the first International Year of Statistics. How important are statistics to you? Vote: http://ow.ly/rNX1i

posted by chapps at 12:20 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Not only is this story fake, but so is the very concept of the nation of Canada.

Canadia.

America -> Americans, Canadia -> Canadians
posted by davelog at 12:24 PM on December 18, 2013


I like This Is That but in small doses. I can't believe people still fall for their stories, but on the other hand about 50% of the stuff I see posted on Facebook is crap like this, except from RT and similar bogus sites. The other 50% is maudlin Upworthy crap.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


/unfriends KokoRyu
posted by maudlin at 12:34 PM on December 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


I probably shouldn't have told him about the 2014 bug...
posted by hell toupee at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2013


I still have up a promo postcard on my bulletin board I got in 99 during the dot-com boom:
Prepare for Y2K
The end of the world
a scary thought
Got your fonts organized?


posted by Catblack at 12:37 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This story is clearly a fake as the entirety of Canada is stuck in 1990.
posted by hell toupee at 12:38 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ha! If there were a real "Norman Feller" nobody would know it. He'd emerge like the groundhog, take one look around, then immediately slam, lock, and bar the door. Y2K might have been a fizzler, but it's been a slow train wreck of a ~decade and 1/2 since.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:46 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If someone says "Canadia" (always an American), it's a good sign it's time to find someone else to talk to.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:56 PM on December 18, 2013


I hear the new bunker landlord is Don Knotts.
posted by condour75 at 12:58 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If there were a real "Norman Feller" nobody would know it.

What are you talking about? Everyone knows Norman Feller played Mr Ropest on Four's Company.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


He'd be missing actual stores and not a generic book store.

This may be so. Having never crawled out of a underground bunker after 14 years I could not say one way or the other.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:03 PM on December 18, 2013


I was the Y2K bug for Halloween in 1999. I dressed up as a spider and attached various computer chips all over my body.
posted by slogger at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2013


The only store I miss is Radio Shack.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:06 PM on December 18, 2013


This is That is one of the best things on the CBC!
posted by Bwithh at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


We have yet to hear from the real expert and I will withhold judgement until such a time when he opines in.
posted by Danf at 1:18 PM on December 18, 2013


This is That is one of the best things on the CBC!

I know. Sad, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:27 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I staged plays with my pillow." And I was like, ah yes. For me that was grades 6th through Sophomore year.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:50 PM on December 18, 2013


I typed into google "what is the longest a japanese soldier held out after world war 2?"

The top hit was an about . com page (I thought they were blocked from my search results) that said:

In October 1972, at the age of 51 and after 27 years of hiding, Kozuka was killed during a clash with a Filipino patrol. Though Onoda had been officially declared dead in December 1959 Kozuka's body proved the likelihood that Onoda was still living. Search parties were sent out to find Onoda, but none succeeded.

Does this mean the true answer to my question is buried under a pile of SEO crap?
posted by bukvich at 2:03 PM on December 18, 2013


About.com is essentially like Wikipedia, except there is only one curator/editor per topic.

If you prefer official spam, here's the Wikipedia entry (it is my first result for your question).
posted by KokuRyu at 3:13 PM on December 18, 2013


How about that pizza? The one with the sausage baked into the crust? That was the tip-off for me. TURNS OUT ITS A THING
posted by GhostRider at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2013


This is That is one of the best things on the CBC!

I know. Sad, isn't it?


CBC TV sucks, but you can't beat 690 in Vancouver. The Current is still pretty good. Also the Sunday Edition.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:16 PM on December 18, 2013


A bunker for one... for 15 years? That is nuts... 2 days into it you trip and break a leg, and die alone on the 4th day. No man is an island.

And what would you do if after 15 years alone there was truly nobody else left? All the stuff you could have used for food is long gone, and you're going to die alone of old age.
posted by MikeWarot at 3:33 PM on December 18, 2013


This Is That is the best thing happening in Canadian media these days. It's Fox News done right.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:52 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, so how long would he have lasted in the same situation with one hundred 5-year olds? And one of them had a lighter? And they're in medieval Spain?
posted by not_on_display at 4:56 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


America -> Americans, Canadia -> Canadians

Vancouver -> Vancouveranians
posted by sneebler at 8:10 PM on December 18, 2013


Oh god The Currant. Every time I hear Anna-Maria Tremonti make that "mmm" sound and then completely ignore an interviewee's response, I get an urge to drive to CBC toronto and stage an intervention. I hate that my drive to work coincides with that hour of millimeter-thin journalism, when the CBC has such great interviewers later in the morning (Ghomeshi) or on Sundays (Enright).

Love This is That though! /derail.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:53 PM on December 18, 2013


Any love for "As It Happens"? The times I've listened, they haven't been pulled their punches — hard-hitting journalistic interviews done right.

In my preferred Canada, we give CBC more money and a mandate to do hardcore investigative journalism.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every time I hear Anna-Maria Tremonti make that "mmm" sound ...

The Ontario Today host does the same thing, although not as badly as Tremonti. Drives me mental, I must say. I don't think they're intending to be rude -- maybe they just want to sound attentive on air -- but it is rude and extremely distracting.
posted by maudlin at 10:04 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Definitely, hiding away the past 13 years was not a bad strategy.

the longest a japanese soldier held out ... October 1972

Two soldiers emerged in 1974 - Hiroo Onoda (who was still shooting Philippinos and was treated as a hero) and Teruo Nakamura (who was a non-Japanese conscript, and so got a pension of $227).
posted by Twang at 10:05 PM on December 18, 2013


"Every time I hear Anna-Maria Tremonti make that "mmm" sound ..."

The Ontario Today host does the same thing, although not as badly as Tremonti. Drives me mental, I must say. I don't think they're intending to be rude -- maybe they just want to sound attentive on air -- but it is rude and extremely distracting.


Oh god, yes, 1000 times yes... I can mmm right along with them now. Terrible interviewing skills too... Can't count the number of times I've shouted at the radio for them to actually ask a challenging, critical-thinking question AND listen to the response.

This Is That is not hilarious, but well-worth the frustration that it seems to cause everyone on my facebook feed :D
posted by NorthernAutumn at 10:12 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tremonti is a great journalist but a so-so interviewer.

At least she's not Terry Gross.
posted by GuyZero at 10:42 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or Carol Off.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:55 PM on December 18, 2013


If Ghomeshi ever leaves Q, will they give it to Sook-Yin Lee or Stuart McLean?

(Death is not an option.)

The Straight has opinions, too.
posted by maudlin at 10:59 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like Morningside got cancelled with the departure of Gzowski, if Gomeshi leaves Q will become an entirely different show.

They really should rename DNTO since Lee's show isn't Nora Young's show at as of late.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 PM on December 18, 2013


Part of the problem is that they HAVE renamed it, or at least reverse-engineered a bunch of new names that match the acronym. The "winner": "Daring Narratives Told On-Air". Ick.
posted by maudlin at 11:10 PM on December 18, 2013


the CBC has such great interviewers later in the morning (Ghomeshi)

Is that statement another This is That 'joke'? Ghomeshi is just awful, and his unofficial status as CBC radio's flagship 'personality' actively drives me away from the station. His interviews are underprepared and superficial. How many times have I heard him interrupt a subject he's interviewing - often a subject who sounds on the verge of saying something interesting or revealing - to ask them to clarify something that did not need clarification, or to make an interjection that did not need to be made? And then the interesting or revealing thing remains unsaid.

And don't get me started on how the CBC sees fit to have Ghomeshi host Canada Reads when they have Eleanor Wachtel right there. That choice tells you a lot about why Canada Reads isn't anywhere near the great contributor to our intellectual culture that it could and should be.

Grumble grumble grumble.

Anyway, I don't care for This is That much, but at least they are doing the good work of fooling gullible people, poking holes in the CBC's veneer of plodding earnesty. I recently spent a lot of time in the archives researching The Great Eastern (radio programme from 94 to 99; best thing the CBC ever aired nationally, iffin' you ask me), and no small number of letters were asking if the show was 'real' or not. Amazing how the inability to be sure irked some people.
posted by erlking at 5:31 AM on December 19, 2013


Eleanor Wachtel is a national treasure. Every episode of Writers and Company is worth listening to, even if you have no idea who the writer is, because she always draws them into an interesting conversation. It's really worth your time on a Sunday afternoon, or whenever it is you can get to the podcast. Ideas also features Wachtel on the Arts the first Monday of every month. You missed her hour with Patti Smith this summer? Here it is again.

I have great affection for Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter, and appreciate many of the bits and pieces on her show, but it isn't the immersive experience that Writers and Company is.
posted by maudlin at 7:13 AM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


And don't get me started on how the CBC sees fit to have Ghomeshi host Canada Reads when they have Eleanor Wachtel right there. That choice tells you a lot about why Canada Reads isn't anywhere near the great contributor to our intellectual culture that it could and should be.

Don't get me started on the bottomless pit of AWFUL that is Canada Reads. But other than this, I must take issue with your dismissal of Mr. Ghomeshi. Yeah, he's a little annoying on the surface (that "hi there" has got to go, and his previous career as a pop star might rate as a crime against humanity) but to refer to him in his Q role as "... underprepared and superficial" just feels wrong. Q (and it's not just him, it's a whole crew of researchers, producers etc) is a world class chunk of daily radio which does Canada proud, I think.

Maybe Eleanor Wachtel could do it better. Maybe. But maybe she wouldn't even want to, fully understanding just how huge an undertaking it is to produce 1.5 hours of quality stuff five days a week (most weeks anyway).
posted by philip-random at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2013


I apologize if my wording was unclear. I don't think Eleanor Wachtel would be a great host for Q and I didn't intend to suggest that. I think she is the natural and obvious host for Canada Reads, however, because see above: national treasure etc. They'd also need to up the calibre of 'celebrity' advocates, though. (Side query: why doesn't Canada have more public intellectuals, and why aren't the ones we have more prominent?)

I suffered through years of Q. I do not dismiss it lightly. I kept listening for so long (again: years!) because I wanted it to be good, and I kept hoping that it would start to be good. A show like Q is absolutely necessary to have. But I am dismissing it. I do dismiss it.

For example, the last thing I listened to was Jian interviewing Kate Bush in 2011 when she was doing promo for 50 Words for Snow, her winter-themed album. In his premable, he said it was "her first concept album." That is so off the mark I don't even know how to credit it.
posted by erlking at 10:18 AM on December 19, 2013


I'm glad it's not real; the fellow would have been scared back into his bunker by the car horn honking language. I love this show.
posted by detachd at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2013


In his premable, he said it was "her first concept album." That is so off the mark I don't even know how to credit it.

"Concept album" is a pretty squishy term. There are some who would call Red Shoes a concept album and more who wouldn't. The second half of Hounds of Love is a concept piece, but you can't call Hounds of Love as a whole a concept album. So...this seems an odd thing to choose as proof of the outrageously egregious stupidity of the show. I think it's perfectly fair to say that 50 Words for Snow is arguably her first fully realized "concept album."
posted by yoink at 2:02 PM on December 19, 2013


Pity its a hoax, otherwise it could have been sweet irony if we later found out the only reason he emerged 14 years later was due to a Y2K software bug controlling the electronic locks on his bunker..
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 3:48 PM on December 19, 2013


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