Earlier this week, Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe was awakened by a “giant bumble bee” – or at least what he thought was a giant bumble bee – outside of his bedroom window.
Dressed in my favorite pair of non-existent pajamas, I leapt from my bed and pulled the drapes aside. 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.
That’s when Rowe grabbed his 12-gauge and jumped into action.
Seconds later I’d pulled the Mossburg 12-guage from under my bed and grabbed the cellphone from the bedside table. In no time, I was out on the deck downstairs, about fifteen feet below the electronic Peeping Tom. 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.
Although Rowe was determined to shoot the drone right in its tracks, he decided against it. He knew the media would turn the situation into a frenzy if they got their hands on the footage.
I pumped a shell into the chamber, enjoying the “crunch-crunch” sound that makes shotguns worth owning. I had a clear shot – nothing but blue sky above – and more than enough umbrage to justify the destruction I was about to unleash. But then, as I was literally squeezing the trigger, I saw the camera tilt down. It was pointed directly at me, and in that moment – I froze.
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. 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.”
When the moment passed I put the shotgun down and reached for my phone instead, just as the wicked contrivance bugged out for the Wild Blue Yonder. The attached photo is all I have in the way of proof, and I hope to God that’s all the proof you’ll ever see.
Rowe decided to post the story on his official Facebook page in case the video goes viral.
Because honestly, I have no idea who is in possession of the footage I’ve just described. Nor do I have any idea if it will appear in your news feeds later this week. I sincerely hope not, but I know it’s out there, and there isn’t much I can do about it but make sure – if the unthinkable occurs – that you can all say you heard it here first…
As a publicist who has dealt with “crisis situations” before, I have to give Rowe two thumbs up for putting the story out there before the done user releases the footage to make a quick buck. Better to get in front of the story before it becomes a huge deal. If only all celebrities did that.