- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

When you learn a foreign language, one of the first things they teach you is how to ask, “Where is the library?”

Why do they do that? I don’t want to go to a library where the books are in a language I can’t read.

•••


CBS is planning to pull the plug on its long-running soap opera “Guiding Light,” which has been on the air for 72 years.

For those of you attempting the math, the show started before television was born. It began as a 15-minute radio serial on NBC called “The Guiding Light” in 1937 and jumped to CBS-TV in 1952.

According to the Guinness Book, it is the longest-running TV drama, with more than 15,700 episodes. Its last episode is set to air in September.

Wow. Seventy-two years of fake deaths, evil twins, false pregnancies and amnesia. What will they do for an encore?

CBS is seeking to fill the show’s 60-minute time slot with something less expensive to produce — but still classy. Maybe a talk show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell?

The thing is “Guiding Light” is just so dated. It needs a makeover, maybe change its name to “Compact Fluorescent Tube.” That’s much more hip. And energy efficient.

•••


I was out the other day when I saw one of those new Smart cars — you know, those little fuel-efficient, eco-friendly cars that look like they should be started with a wind-up key. Well, don’t underestimate them.

The car I saw really surprised me with how much power it had. It kept up with me the entire time. It never passed me, but it kept up with me.

Of course, I was walking — but it was still an impressive demonstration of horsepower, which in the Smart car is generated by happy hamsters.

•••


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it’s possible that the Obama administration might force other CEOs to resign.

In an interview with CBS, Geithner noted the recent ousting of GM chief Rick Wagoner and said the government has had to do “exceptional things” to combat the economic downturn, citing AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Asked if he would leave open the option of pressuring the chief executive of a bank to resign, he said, “Of course.”

Automaker. Insurance agent. Mortgage broker. Banker. I wonder what Timothy Geithner wanted to be when he was a kid. Because it looks like he’s still playing with a few ideas. When I was a kid, we played “Cops and Robbers” and “Army Men.” Kids in my neighborhood now play a game called “Job,” in which they pretend they’re gainfully employed in a well-functioning economy.

Ah, the fantasies of youth.

•••


I have noticed school buses that are parked at shopping centers and strip malls during the day. Places you wouldn’t expect to see schoolchildren.

It makes me wonder whether the drivers are using the buses for personal trips — or the schools are sponsoring field trips to the Dollar Store. You know, like an economics class or something.

•••


There is new research that shows women are attracted to funny guys, who they think are smarter than a gloomy Gus.

Even though humor is not really linked to brain power, “women use humor as an indication of a guy’s intelligence,” said one researcher. Humor isn’t linked to intelligence? Then how do you explain the Three Stooges?

I never thought of Jack Black and Seth Rogen as babe magnets, but now I can see it. They’re going to eat George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s lunches. Literally.

According to this study, women are attracted to funny men because they equate humor with smarts. And men aren’t attracted to funny women for the very same reason.

Hey, guys. If you can make a woman laugh, she’ll forgive your shortcomings — like stealing her car and driving over her cat. Really. Try it.

•••


The Obama administration is still looking for people to fill key positions. I was thinking about applying, but then I thought, “What’s the use? I don’t owe any back taxes.”

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Whenever I see those Smart cars on the road, I think they look just like the bumper cars I used to ride in at carnivals when I was a kid. I’m always tempted to play bumper cars with those Smart cars.

But I don’t. Because that would be wrong.

And I’m pretty sure they don’t take a bump very well.

•••


Have you seen that lumberjack event called log rolling, where two guys climb onto a floating log and spin it beneath their feet, trying to knock each other off?

Well, I’ve decided to compete in that event. I’ve even started training for it.

Of course, I’m starting out small.

I’ve put a No. 2 pencil on the floor in my office, and every morning I pour a cup of water on it and roll it for about five minutes.

I can go forward and backward, and I’m getting a sideways technique down.

And, sure, I’ve had my share of falls. A header into the trash can. A backward flop into the credenza.

But every time I fall, I get right back up on that No. 2 pencil.

Because that’s how I roll.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com.

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