Thanks for the suggestions.
I went to Add/Remove and got rid of all Adobe products, rebooted, went to Adobe and installed the latest 'Flash', rebooted, and still had this problem. It didn't happen on YouTube but it still happened at AOL. I just checked a couple of vids on each site.
I then found a neat trick at:
I followed the below directions and now I don't even get the 'Press escape to exit...' message to begin with.
For patching Flash 10.0.45.2:
For Firefox/Safari/Opera: Open file NPSWF32.dll in hex editor, go to address 0x722FD
For Internet Explorer: Open file Flash10e.ocx in hex editor, go to address 0x72461
Check that bytes are 0F 84 F2 00 00 00, and change them to E9 F3 00 00 00 90.
After the above, all was good. At first however, I was unable to save the changes to the OCX file since it was read only. Windows would not let me change that. I also tried from a command prompt (attrib -s -h -r) and was denied. I then found I could make a copy of the file, remove the Read Only, make the changes, rename original, then rename copy back to expected name. Strange...
Be sure to know what you are doing before making any changes to files with a hex editor!!