- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surveillance cameras take all the fun out of being paranoid. You know you’re being watched AND you can prove it.

If you’re outside your home, chances are surveillance cameras are on you pretty much the whole time — watching, recording, focusing, waiting. Always waiting. …

Don’t be afraid. They’re there to protect you. So when a mugger holds you up at the ATM, the camera footage can show exactly how the pistol-whipping transpired.

Surveillance cameras must generate a LOT of footage. I wonder what the authorities do with all of that footage. I worry because I’m afraid that I’ll be filmed “working” on something in the nasal region — and it’ll be uploaded on YouTube.

A second in the nostril, forever on the Web.

“You know what one of the cool things is about being president?” said the man sitting next to me.

“Um, no,” said I. “What’s that?”

“When you’re president, you get your own theme song,” he said. “Everywhere you go, they have to play your theme song.

“You go to a ballgame, and the band strikes up your theme song.

“You go to dinner, and the restaurant plays your theme song.

“You go to the bathroom, and the attendant has to hum ‘Hail to the Chief,’” he said.

I arched a skeptical eyebrow.

“He really does. It’s the law,” the man said. “Look it up.”

Then he stood up and walked out as the doors swung open for him.

Al Gore. You never know who you’ll meet on a city bus these days.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve been really stressed out lately. Really stressed out.

I went home the other night and plopped down on my leather couch, feeling out of place.

My dog trotted over to me, sat at my feet and looked up me. Our eyes locked.In that moment, something incredible happened.

As we gazed at each other — dog and man, man and dog — we made a connection on a very basic level. It was deep and profound and sublime. We shared a consciousness. I could feel it.

My dog cocked his head to the side and said, “You know, you should just accept the fact that you’re getting older. No good can come from trying to fight or deny it.” Then he trotted off and brought me my slippers.

As he trotted away, I thought, “Wow. He’s right.”

And you know what was really strange about the encounter? I don’t even have a dog.

Or slippers. Or a leather couch.

I was in somebody else’s house.

Man, was I embarrassed.

And stressed out.

Susurrus. I like that word. It has a nice, slurry sound, like saying “sure, sir, yes” when you’re drunk.

All those S’s. And U’s. And a couple of R’s.

Susurrus. That’s nice.

How did the Flintstones train all those dinosaurs to do their work for them?

I’m wondering because they seemed to have forgotten all that training in “Jurassic Park.”

You know what the problem is with the president’s theme song? Every president gets the same one.

I mean, really, when you’re the leader of the free world, you should get to pick your theme song.

Or at least personalize the current song - you know, put your mark on it. Variations on a theme, like they do with James Bond movies. (A little “Thunderball,” anyone?)

You could get your favorite musician to arrange it: Bruce Springsteen.


Better yet, you could hold a contest to produce the best song.

You could televise it, make it a weekly battle between two composers and have the American public vote for the best one.

Each week the winner goes on to the next round of competition; the loser gets to be a guest corpse on “CSI: Hoboken.”

Like most American workers, I have a retirement plan — CDs, 401(k), IRA, TVC15.

And like most people, I have a retirement supplement plan. It’s two-pronged — Powerball and Mega Millions.

With all the turmoil on Wall Street over the past few weeks, my retirement plan has really taken a hit.

But when I figure in Social Security, it all works out.

As long as I don’t retire before the age of 93.

Would somebody PLEASE stop David Blaine?

For his latest magic show special, he hung upside-down in Central Park for 60 hours. Like a bat.

In his previous specials, he’s encased himself in ice for a couple days, spent a week in a suspended clear box in Manhattan and buried himself for a week.

David, that’s NOT magic. That’s not even entertainment.

That’s torture! Not for you. For us.

You want to do a magical stunt? You want to impress me? Order the lunch special at a Tijuana dive bar and drink the water. Maintain all of your bodily fluids.

“Member of Congress” is the only job in America that lets you look for a better job when you’re supposed to be working.

And you get to keep all your salary and benefits.

And nobody seems to mind.


I wish I had a theme song — and not just some instrumental number that you can hum through a kazoo.

Something with lyrics that you sing along to. Something like “Shaft.”

“Shaft” has got to be the best theme song ever.

You walk into a restaurant with “Shaft” as your theme song, you think they’re going to make you wait? No way. They’ll toss that old couple at the table next to fireplace right out the back door.

But it would be difficult to walk into church with “Shaft” as your theme song. (“Shut your mouth.”)

Maybe a personalized fight song would be better. Like “Popeye the Sailor.”

Or “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Yeah.

Who let the dogs out? I let the dogs out. You got a problem with that?

Carleton Bryant is an assistant managing editor at The Washington Times

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