- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mike Rowe, America’s favorite “everyman,” warned his Facebook followers this week that a peeping drone has footage of him wielding a shotgun in his birthday suit.

CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” host took to social media Tuesday with a posted titled “Leave Me Adrone!” What followed was the story of an invasive drone that appeared outside Mr. Rowe’s window, his mad dash for a weapon, and a brief stare-down between he and a camera’s red light.

“Early this morning, deep in the middle of some sort of strange gardening dream, I was awakened by the sound of a giant bumble bee, hovering a few inches from my ear,” Mr. Rowe wrote. “As I slowly entered a more conscious state, I realized the sound was not coming from a bee in a dream, nor for that matter, a bee in reality. It was coming from something much larger, just outside my bedroom window.

“Dressed in my favorite pair of non-existent pajamas, I leapt from my bed and pulled the drapes aside,” he wrote. “There, not three feet in front of me, was a camera, dangling from the underside of a drone. The red light was on, and the camera was rolling.

“I was slow to react, partly because I was still waking up, and partly because my first instinct when confronted with a camera is to say something pithy,” Mr. Rowe wrote. “I can’t help it. I’ve been saying pithy things to cameras for the last thirty years, and old habits die hard. Well this morning, I had no words for the outrage I felt at such an intrusion. I was incensed, and as Freddy egged me on with a chorus of snarls and barks, I moved onto my second instinct — an irresistible urge to blow the contraption out of the sky.”

The gregarious star of “Dirty Jobs” fame and the Mike Rowe Foundation then pulled a Mossberg 12-gauge from under his bed and a cellphone.

“In no time, I was out on the deck downstairs, about fifteen feet below the electronic Peeping Tom,” Mr. Rowe wrote. “The drone had moved even closer to my window. I could see the camera panning left to right, and I could hear my dog unleashing a level of indignation usually reserved for raccoons and feral cats. Somewhere, in the logical part of my brain, it occurred to me that nothing good can come from an angry B-list celebrity standing on his deck with no clothes and a loaded shotgun, but I was not really in touch at that moment with the logical part of my brain. I was focused only on the joy that would follow the roar of the Mossburg, and the satisfying sprinkle of cheap plastic that would rain down upon my deck in the aftermath.”

The television star chambered a round but froze before pulling the trigger.

“I’d like to tell you I stopped because I realized that discharging my weapon in such a fashion would be frowned on by the local constabulary,” he wrote. “But really, what stopped me was the realization that somewhere nearby, a drone operator was staring at his monitor, pondering the image of a very naked guy with a very familiar face, pointing a shotgun into the lens of his Go Pro and looking every bit as crazy as Gary Busey and Nick Nolte at the nadir of their careers. I froze, because I could see the video that might very well appear on the local news, (with considerable blurring, naturally.) The same video that might soon appear on my mother’s computer screen, along with the headline - ‘Dirty Jobs Guy Totally Loses It — Gets Naked and Shoots Drone From San Francisco Skies.’”

Mr. Rowe told fans he decided to just take a picture of the drone with his cellphone camera, upload it to Facebook, and warn the world that a pervert is holding onto footage that might appear online one day.

“You can all say you heard it here first,” he concluded.

Mr. Rowe’s fans overwhelmingly lauded his restraint, but many said they would have shot the drone out of the sky. Others joked that his many females fans were eagerly awaiting the leaked footage.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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