Sunday, March 31, 2019


I’ve recently become hooked on a reality TV show called, See No Evil, where murders are solved by tracking down evidence captured on home and business surveillance- cameras. Believe me, criminals have just about zero chance of getting away with anything nowadays because cameras are watching their every move.

A lot of the suspects on the show make the mistake of using their victim’s credit card about five minutes after committing the crime. Almost immediately, detectives descend upon the store (usually Wal-Mart, for some reason) and demand access to the store’s surveillance system.

Not only can the store’s cameras zero in on the suspect, they even can read what his sales receipt says and how many buttons are on the shirt he’s wearing.

Just the thought of my own visits to Wal-Mart being immortalized on video makes me uncomfortable. How many times have I scratched a body part or adjusted a bra strap while shopping in the store? And what about the overhead cameras capturing a panoramic view of my head, with all of its gray roots? It’s enough to make me want to switch to shopping solely online.

On the positive side, I think all of today’s state-of-the-art surveillance systems will deter shoplifters, especially if they know their actions are being observed from about 150 different camera angles. Gone are the days when thieves could stuff items into their underwear and walk out of the store without getting caught. Now, technology not only instantly can detect an underwear stuffer (often referred to as “the one-cheek sneak”) from about a mile away, it even can read the brand-name on the shoplifter’s boxers or granny panties.

But even if a crime is committed in the middle in the woods, the suspect still isn’t safe from detection. I remember reading an article a few years ago that made me think twice about ever dashing outside in my nightgown and curlers again to empty the trash.

It said that technology was so advanced (even back then), a satellite a gazillion miles away could zoom in on any object with such accuracy, it actually could photograph a wart on the tip of someone’s nose.

Needless to say, the thought of a satellite zooming in on anything on my body while I was outdoors was not a comforting thought. I felt even more uncomfortable when I thought about how many embarrassing things I’d done while outside.

I’m pretty sure the government has a huge video-file on me entitled, “The Biggest Klutz in New Hampshire.”

For example, back at my former address, a thin strip of land separated my house from the neighbor’s. One day, as I was mowing that strip (with an old-fashioned, manual push-mower), I backed up sideways and tripped over a stump. I couldn’t catch my balance, stumbled backwards and landed with my legs up in the air in (and I am totally serious here) my neighbor’s rowboat! Despite the fact I bruised a certain part of my anatomy that I knew would make sitting down very uncomfortable for a few days, I started to giggle.

“Thank goodness no one was around to see this!” I said out loud, thinking how dumb I must have looked with my feet sticking up out of a rowboat.

But now, I’m almost certain I WAS seen – by some scientific satellite-spying guys who were zooming in on me at the precise moment I took the flop, and they all probably nearly busted a gut laughing.

The other day, I was telling one of my male friends that it’s frustrating whenever I walk my dogs in the woods because I have to cut my walks short, thanks to my uncooperative bladder.

“The older I get, the more often my bladder decides it wants to be emptied,” I muttered.

He shrugged and said, “So why cut your walks short? Just go pee behind a tree in the woods.”

Leave it to a male to make a statement like that. Men just don’t seem to realize that anatomically, women were not created in a way that makes “going” behind a tree a simple matter, the way it is for them. We women have to contort into muscle-cramp-inducing positions that defy gravity as we battle to keep our balance…and still, we inevitably end up with soggy shoes.

“No way!” I said to him. “You want me to go behind a tree and have satellites zoom in on me because they think they’ve discovered a huge new moon? Thanks, but I’d rather have my bladder burst!”

The poor man had no idea what I was talking about.

Before, whenever I took hikes in the woods, I always worried about hunters dressed in camouflage secretly watching me as they blended in with the foliage only a few feet away, so I made sure not to scratch, pick or adjust anything on my body during hunting season. However, when the season ended, I always felt as if I could relax a bit. Now, I’ll never be able to relax, not while knowing that a satellite could be capturing a close-up of me the very second my dog spots a squirrel and drags me face-first into a tree.

I can remember telling my husband about the satellite article and how Big Brother truly always was watching us, no matter where we were – indoors or outdoors. At first, he laughed, but later, he appeared to be deep in thought.

“I’d hate to think of all the embarrassing things I could have been photographed doing,” he finally said. “I mean, how many times have I slipped and fallen off the porch?”

“The front one or the back one?” I asked.

I guess we’ll all just have to learn to live with the fact there no longer is any privacy in this world. But I can assure you right now that I’ll never sign up for that new TV-service you can control with your voice. The advertisement says you just tell your TV what you want to watch and it instantly will change the station to a program that fits your verbal request – no more pushing buttons on a remote control.

Well, I figure if the system can hear me saying which programs I want, it also can hear me doing everything else in the house...sort of like having a built-in eavesdropper.

My kind of luck, one humid summer night, I’d be yelling at my dogs as they chased each other around the house, “Dogs! It’s too hot!” and the TV would switch to the Food Network channel...where a chef is preparing two hot-dogs. 

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