Staying Alive - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Staying Alive

Here I am in Washington, D.C. I came up here yesterday from Orlando. I spoke there yesterday morning at a truly lovely hotel called The Peabody. Huge, but well tended. I had probably the kindest, most thoughtful room service waiter I have ever had. He was a tall man named Jason. He innocently asked me how I was, and I went off like a tornado. I told him I was in agony because my dog is so old and frail. He was sympathetic and listened patiently as I whined. Really, this poor guy just delivering my toast and orange juice was accosted by the lunatic ancient mariner whimpering about his dog and he took it well, even kindly.

That was nothing though compared with the kindness I was shown in the Dallas Fort Worth airport by my pal Tracey from American Airlines. She wheeled me all around on her golf cart, talked to me about our son, and generally was a super pal. Both American and United treat me excellently, but Tracey (Tracy?) at American in DFW is the ultimate. I have a mad crush on her.

Then, off after my speech in Orlando, to the airport and a flight to DCA, asleep the whole way, out like a light.

My great driver, Bob Noah, met me at DCA with popcorn and lots of smiles. Bob, my pal Russ Ferguson, his GF Claire, and I had dinner at Morton’s. Then I went home to watch a great movie about The Bridge at Remagen, on the Military Channel, about the battle to seize the only intact bridge the Allies could find over the Rhine, then a documentary I have probably seen ten times about the Battle of Britain. Wow, that was the last war we won decisively….and that was largely because we had such great allies in Russia and Britain.

We really owe the Russians a lot for their incredible sacrifice and heroism in World War II. Their losses were breathtaking and we got most of the benefit. We should have a statue to the Russian “Frontovik” in Lafayette Square.

Today, I slept very late. Then I met my old pal David S. Paglin, a super funny, super smart guy, and we went for a brief trip to the National Gallery of Art. I met a staggeringly beautiful young woman from Cologne, Germany. She seemed terrified of me, but she was gorgeous. She probably wondered why this old Jew was talking to her. BECAUSE YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL AND WE’RE IN AN ART GALLERY, FRAULEIN.

Then, a trip with David to the Starbucks at George Washington University. We met many students. My fave was a tall black man with an interesting hat with thick coils of hair on it. “That’s quite a hat you have there,” I said.

“It’s not a hat,” he said. “It’s my hair. If I didn’t have it in dreads, it would be below my knees.”

“Really? Are you making that up?” I asked him.

“Really,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Great.”

“You’re that commentator guy on TV, right?” He asked me. “King of the Commentators. Ben Stein. Right?”

“Right. What’s your name?” I asked him.

“I call myself ‘Boom Chickaboom,'” he said without a smile.

Oh, boy.

“Where are you from, Mr. Chickaboom?” I asked him.

“Well, I am from Cameroon in West Africa,” Mr. Chickaboom said. “But I don’t like to say where I’m from because in a world of digital communications through the Internet, everyone is from everyplace now. You agree?”

“Of course, Mr. Chickaboom,” I said. “Very good point.”

Actually, it was a good point and I was impressed. Too bad he looks like a homeless person, I thought. Then, as I walked out, he got out and slid into a lovely new Mercedes S Class.

Chickaboom, Chickaboom, don’t you just love it,

Chickaboom, Chickaboom, Boom, Boom, Boom.

Remember that? I do.

Then, off to dinner in Alexandria with Karl Rove and his beautiful friend Karen and the former Secretary of Education, a hilarious, smart, and lovely woman named Margaret Spellings. We talked about the issues in the GOP and also about problems in education. I forgot to tell them about Mr. Boom Chickaboom.

After dinner, we walked a few blocks down King Street to get ice cream. To our shock, the street was flooded from the heavy rains of the day. But well and truly flooded. Scary.

I love Secretary Spellings. She is REALLY smart.

Then off with Bob to a big party at Constitution Hall called “Taste of the South.” Lots and lots and lots of beautiful girls in frilly dresses. Lots of handsome men in black tie. But way too noisy. I flirted for about an hour, ate barbecue with the Tarleton Twins, then came home to an angry call.

One of my friends says I have been mocking her over her obsessions about juicing and nutrition. I really feel bad about it. Really bad.

Boom, Chickaboom, Boom, Boom, Boom.

I looked out at the lights of Rosslyn across the Potomac. I love being alive.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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