Maybe it's a sign of long-overdue maturity. Then again, maybe it's just further proof that five years in residence along the Potomac can do strange and not altogether wonderful things to human mind.

At any rate, it's not the sort of thing that a healthy, red-blooded American man of the hot-tub generation finds it easy to confess. But there you have it: the old-reliable fantasy fodder-power and money and sex, in approximately that order, if memory serves -- offers me less nourishment every day. Lately, it has taken a rip-roaring political fantasy to set my ticker aflutter. Try these; maybe you'll understand.

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Alexander Haig bursts into uncontrollable fits of laughter (which he later calls "the giggles") during Chairman Charles Percy's opening statement. Aides carry Haig from the hearing room.

Upon returning to Washington from what he calls a "working vacation in the field," a syndicated political columnist writes: "Judging from my extensive travels through the vibrant, no-nonsense heartland of our majestic, resilient country -- well, to tell you the truth, having drunk deeply from the gracious hospitality of Yale classmates in Shaker Heights, Lake Forest, Aspen, Hillsborough and Palm Springs -- I can report, without the slightest fear of contradiction, that I haven't the foggiest notion about what the so-called 'people' want or need. National mood? Hooey!"

Ted Kennedy says: "Um . . . um . . . well, it stands to . . . um . . . reason, I suppose, that . . . um . . . if we raise the . . . um . . . price of . . . um . . . heating oil, people will . . . um . . . use less of it. I'll . . . um . . . buy that." In reporting Kennedy's comments, newspaper accounts omit the ums.

During a debate with a gun-control proponent on the "Donahue" show, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association says, "The Second Amendment says something about a militia? Well, I'll be. You sure about that? I guess I'm just going to have to rethink this thing."

Testifying on a disturbing trend in adolescent behavior, a sociologist states: "I'm sure there's a whole bunch of reasons for this thing, and I'd be a stinking liar if I pretended I have any real good idea what they are. But I can say this for sure: television hasn't got a damn thing to do with it."

A local newspaper headline reads: "City's New Computerized Accounting System Works Without A Giltch."

Jerry Falwell tells an interviewer for Hustler: "Listen, pal, you've got your ideas about morality, and I've got mine. Now I'll give you five to two that you and your kind are dead wrong. But hey, man, like who can be sure? You catch my drift?"

Robert Byrd quits the Senate to form a bluegrass ensemble called Fiddlesticks, calling his new vocation "a more productive line of work."

Martin Agronsky says: "Now where in heaven's name did we pick up this pernicious notion that you can't be compassionate unless you wear your heart on your sleeve? Carl?"

In tears, William Proxmire tells a press conference: "Okay, okay, I don't jog all the way to work. The truth is, I jog about two blocks from home, and then I pick up a cab. The cabbie drops me off a couple of blocks from the Capitol, and I job in from there."

Rita Jenrette admits that she and her husband once made love at home in bed. He denies it.

An environmental leader says: "I haven't yet seen an environmental impact statement that was worth its weight in smog."

Mayor Koch takes to greeting passersby: "Forget about me. How're you doin'?"

At a state dinner, Nancy Reagan wears only one earring. No one notices.