I am afraid to leave my house. For weeks now, I've been luxuriating in the early spring mornings with music and my cats curled up next to me before getting ready for work, not watching the national or local morning news. But I made the mistake of going back to watching it the other day, and now I am afraid to leave my house.
First of all, I am afraid I am being filmed every single place I go, every minute of my life, because the only stories on the news now involve videos of people doing crazy things. It has become the news. "Cat saves boy's life by scaring away dog" caught on film! Over 5 million hits! Breaking news! Jay Z and whoever caught on film fighting in an elevator! Video released on TMZ! We'll keep you up to date as the elevator film story unfolds!
Hidden cameras on an elevator? Is there no privacy anywhere left on earth? Does this mean I can no longer be on an elevator digging the wax out of my ear with my car ignition key, thinking I am doing this in private? I've never even been that much of a Big Brother conspiracy theorist but, damn it, if I want to clean out my ear with my car key all alone on an elevator, or anywhere else for that matter, except in a broadcast newsroom, I want to clean my ear out with my car key and be the only one to know about it, much less see it.
Speaking of elevators, I am writing this from my room in a Marriott Hotel in Boca Raton, Florida, on a brief but fun- and work-filled visit involving a new song. (I'll be writing about that much more here until I'm told to stop.) I just had to take the elevator from the 11th floor to the lobby. I looked all around for tiny, secret cameras but didn't see any. Nonetheless, I acted out just to see if someone was watching. Since I'm out of town and don't have my car keys with me, I simply inserted a Pall Mall cigarette into each of my nostrils and flailed around the moving death trap as if in a disaster movie, just to see if anyone would be greeting me in the lobby with a contract to sell my experience to a cable show. But, fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you look at it, I seem to have gone unnoticed, and I am therefore not trending. Guess I'll find out for sure after I check out.
While I was down there, I went to a place and got my foot caught in a stirrup. Oh, stop thinking those dirty thoughts. It was at an outdoor Mexican restaurant, sitting at one of those tall, bistro-type tables. They had these round stirrup things hanging from them and while trying to cross my legs halfway through a really good shrimp taco, my foot got all tangled up in it, and I almost fell out of my chair with the taco flying across the table. If someone filmed that with his or her smart phone and it ends up trending, I want royalties.
To me, yes, me — because my opinion is all that really matters — the most atrocious of these secretly filmed episodes that air on national television — and this has reached epidemic status — are the videos that parents are filming of their toddlers having tantrums and other various meltdowns. They, and apparently millions of viewers, think this is "cute." And they aren't just random fits; they are induced by the parents. I've seen them scare kids, withhold food from them, poke them, and do all sorts of other things to them to send them into a screaming rage and then they turn on the cameras and film them, all the while laughing so hard the cameras shake like one of those witches in the woods movies. This is CUTE? It's more like social media child abuse. And they can't wait to post these to Twitter, which I think is going to destroy the world. The only hashtag I ever want to see again is the little one dangling from a brown cafe menu in Amsterdam.
But back to me. I hope there are no secret cameras anywhere in my house. If I'm the only person in this world who has a bathroom routine that they would hate to see on film, then I'll just give in and let mine be filmed. And then there's the getting dressed routine. Have you ever had a little more trouble getting your pants buttoned up and had to insert your hands into the inside of the waistline and do squats to try to stretch it out just a tiny bit to make them more comfortable? Now you have to pray that no one is secretly filming it for a weight loss video. Oh, shit. Is that me? Turn those smart phones off!
And speaking of weight loss and doing things you'd never want to be caught on video and distributed for the viral world to see (there's a reason this is called "viral," because it is indeed an evil sickness), does anyone else ever scream cruel obscenities at Marie Osmond when she appears on television in those Nutrisystem commercials? She is the anti-Christ. I scream such horrible things at her I could probably be placed on a no-fly-to-Utah terrorist list.
But back to me again. One of the reasons I went to South Florida was to see Memphian and The Voice finalist and my good friend Kris Thomas at his new gig as lead singer for the house band at the B.B. King's Blues Club in West Palm Beach. Unbelievable. THAT should be filmed and go viral. Just amazing.
But back to me one last time: Just when something happens that you want caught on camera, they are nowhere to be found. A few hours ago, I was in a flea market the size of 10 football fields, filled with wigs, nails, cheap jewelry, T-shirts, sunglasses, and, well, you name it, they had it for sale. The only thing I bought was a New York pickle out of a barrel. As I was standing there next to the booth of fake designer perfumes, gnawing away at the pickle, a woman walked up, handed me a card, and asked me to please vote to legalize marijuana. Now, THAT I wouldn't mind seeing on secret tapes.