As some of you know, I'm a hot shot computer programmer, so I wasn't too surprised when a patrol car arrived to rush me to City Hall. It was about 2 pm, and Mayor Kathy Whitmire was frantic. A terrorist organization had planted a bomb between 610 and the Southwest Freeway and would explode it at 6 if their demands weren't met: every non-Houston native be forced to leave the city. Kathy said "locate the A-Team!" but my computer query reported they had disbanded. "Where's Rambo?" I hacked into the State Department computer and discovered that he was on special assignment to the Indiana National Guard. "Who's left?" I decided to break the tension with a joke: "there's always me." "Thank you for volunteering."

(Begin music) By 5, I was ready, and the bomb's location had been pinpointed; it was attached underneath the exit overpass. Within minutes, I was in a helicopter, zooming towards the deadly intersection. The helicopter hovered over the stationary traffic as I climbed down its rope ladder. The bottom rung was about 100 feet above the freeway so I said a prayer and jumped. As I passed by the edge of the overpass, I threw out my grappling hook and let out some rope (ouch).

From where I hung, I could see the bomb, and I began swinging to it. Higher, closer, ... I could reach the bottom of the overpass now, and I raised my legs and used the suction cups strapped to my knees to attach to the cold concrete. Dangling upside down, I could read the digital display of time left: 4 minutes, 38 seconds. The spaces for tenths and hundredths of seconds were racing blurs. I took out my swiss army knife and used the screwdriver to take off the casing. Just as I got the first screw off, some lousy 18-wheeler startled me with its horn, and I dropped the knife. Don't panic. I took off my watch and used its latch to remove the remaining screws. As the last one came off, the casing plummeted earthward, shattering the windshield of a car below. (That's my contribution to Houston auto insurance rates.)

Now I could see the timer and the explosives wired to some batteries. Wouldn't you know: Energizers. Next, I looked for the 3 wires: one I had to cut, the other 2, if severed, would cause an immediate explosion. Red wire, red wire, red wire. Where's the blue wire! In the movies, you always cut the blue wire. 20 seconds left. I reached for a coin to flip, but all I had was a $100 bill. 15 seconds: I looked for my wire cutters -- I found them on the swiss army knife, down there. 10 seconds. I started chewing -- "this wire's tough" -- chew, chew, I've got it. (flinch) "I'm still here." I looked at the timer; the last three digits read double-O six.

All right, I'm not James Bond, but when danger needs to be confronted, and you can't find the A-Team or Rambo, "who you gonna call?" (stop music). Hey --- not me Man, I already earned my key to the city.

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