She called out a warning: "Don't ever let life pass you by."
When I first heard that Leesburg native son and country music star Luke Bryan felt the need to apologize for writing some of the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" on his hand and for looking at his watch while singing the national anthem at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game Tuesday night, I really thought it was a joke.
Sure, Bryan makes his living performing in front of ever-growing crowds, but I think even his harshest critic might admit that singing what most say is a really complex tune with no musical accompaniment to an audience that, with TV and radio broadcasts, soared upwards of 25 million might be a little daunting.
Now Luke, as he's affectionately known in Nashville and back home in Leesburg, doesn't need me or anyone else to jump to his defense. Hell, the last I checked, the guy was doing pretty OK for himself.
But I wonder how many of his critics have not, at some point in their lives, relied on some ingenious cheat-sheet method to get through a rough spot. I mean, come on, if you've never written test answers somewhere on your body to compensate for the fact that you spent the night before doing anything but studying ... well, let's just say you're pretty much alone in your sainthood.
And I'll venture a guess that pretty much 99.999 percent of the people who complained about Bryan looking at his watch while singing might have wanted some kind of timing cue as well to prepare for the Batplane flying overhead in the middle of some difficult activity they might have been involved in. You try hitting that "and the rockets red glare" high note at about the time a Stealth Bomber comes buzzing into your peripheral vision. You can't prepare for something like that.
And just imagine, given the uproar over the whole looking at his arm thing, what kind of apology Bryan would have had to issue if he'd sang, "And the rockets ... HOLY $#!&" when he looked up and saw Batman flying overhead.
There's a great new TV ad campaign -- I'm not sure for what product, I think it's either a car commercial or hype for some new feminine hygiene product -- in which an obviously too-hip young lady expresses sadness over how "older people" just forget how to socialize.
The girl is sitting alone in a room lit only by her computer, staring at the screen in front of her and bemoaning the fact that after all her efforts to finally bring her parents into the 21st century by insisting that they get a Facebook page, they'd so far collected only 19 "friends." She smiles proudly at the camera and says, "I have 698 (or some other high number) friends."
Her parents, meanwhile, are shown out hiking some outdoor trail -- they might have been climbing Mount Kilamanjaro or meandering up the Kolomoki Mounds -- with other actual people. They have the healthy glow of those who are doers, a stark contrast to the pasty face of their daughter.
I thought about that ad campaign when I read that folks were all over the various social media, sniping at Bryan for what they perceived was his not taking the job of singing the National Anthem for a few gazillion people seriously enough. Of course, a large number of those Facebookers and Twitterers hadn't actually seen Bryan's performance. They'd heard about it from their "friends."
That, sadly, has become the norm for this social networking generation. To them, talking about something they haven't seen, heard or experienced is equivalent to "doing" something. As if by passing on whatever information -- or misinformation -- they come across somehow makes them a part of some event they didn't even get in smelling distance of.
Here's a little unsolicited advice for the girl on the commercial with all the Facebook "friends" and the non-Hollywood electronic gossips who are just like her: Unplug yourself from your various electronic devices and get a real life. It's happening all around you while you're wasting time with all those "friends," who must be about as boring as you.
Email Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.