Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Spies Like Us...

Hello Friends.

The weirdest thing happened to me today. I was walking home from the pool and a girl locked eyes with me and gave me a “significant” face. One of those faces that you know means something but you don’t know what it means—a signiface, if you will! I responded with what I hoped was a smooth, “Care to elaborate?” face, but probably looked like a, “Did someone fart over here recently?” face, and continued on my way. Then, I heard someone running behind me, and I turned and it was the same girl and she gave me signiface again and said, “Hey. Do you… have Lady Gaga tickets to sell?”

I wish I could have responded in a cool way. Said, “Who wants to know?” Or, “Yeah, but there’s a pretty big service charge” then done the Hannibal Lector “sf-sf-sf-sf-sf!” thing. Actually, that’s creepy, why would I do that? But instead I said, “Ho ho! I think you’re confusing me with someone much cooler!” Which is SO STUPID! “Ho ho?” Who am I, Santa’s son? And would someone cooler than me be selling Lady Gaga tickets? I don’t think so! Anyway, the girl just said, “Oh. Sorry” and left.

The more I thought about it, the less her question made sense. Unless she vaguely knew someone who looked like me who was a ticket scalper, why would she approach me with a question like that? I wondered if that was street slang for drugs! Maybe she thought I was a troubled teen who could hook her up for dope or chief or molly or zerts or crampers or dyce (I don’t know the names of street drugs). But when I Googled the phrase, “Do you have any Lady Gaga tickets to sell?” it didn’t yield any drug-related results (and we all know the kids dealing crampers use Google). Finally I thought, what if this was a coded message? What if “Do you have Lady Gaga tickets to sell” means, “It’s time to begin Operation Do What U Want”? How cool would that be? 

Dream: Be a spy.

Goal: Achievable. Look, unless a job I applied for recently pans out, I really don’t have much going on. The clothing store where I work could replace me with a gay monkey in a little sweater without missing a beat. Plus, I adore the Doc, but he’s pretty oblivious, so if I had to leave for long periods of time on top secret missions, I’d just throw a blanket over him and he would think it is night until I get back.

Plan: Improve the aspects of myself that are well-suited to being a spy, so when the call comes, I’ll be ready. I need to work on:
Stealth. I’m not particularly agile or fast except for when I’m on moving sidewalks in airports. If I start walking on one of those as it’s already moving, I’m excited to report that I become the fastest person in the world. I imagine people that I’m passing look on agog, thinking, “Was that a person who just passed?” So a great deal of my spy work would have to take place in airports, which is fine because the best spies are international and international means travelling everywhere.
Being nondescript. Perfect! Done! Aside from a long face and droopy, baggy eyes, I don’t think I have any memorable or distinguishing features. I often spend half of my time at a large party reintroducing myself to people who think we’ve never met. That’s a bruise to my ego, but a tremendous asset to my spy career.

Cracking difficult cases. This is going to take some real work. Despite perennial Dateline-watching and my affection for a formulaic British mystery novel, I never, ever see the twist coming or guess the killer before he’s revealed. The other day, for instance, Doc and I were watching the CNN special about Crimes of the Century and there was a piece about the Unabomber. They were going over a timeline of all of his bombings and at one point I turned to Jon and said, “Geez, did they ever catch this guy?!” And he said, “Are you asking if they ever caught the Unabomber? The guy who’s mugshot they show before and after every commercial break? The guy who they’re interviewing from prison?” Oh. Yeah.

Keeping secrets. I could definitely hold on to classified information because I already kind of do. People confide in me! I love a good piece of gossip, but if you ask me to keep a secret, I will die with that secret. I’m almost always the most sober at a party, and people have drunkenly disclosed things as varied as gay thoughts, infidelity, bad debts, recipes (the secret is to buy premade pie crust). I’d love to use my ability to gain sensitive intel beyond learning who hooked up with whom at the Christmas party.

Perhaps some compelling evidence to the contrary, suggesting I might be a poor spy, is a new Google search I did just this minute, announcing Lady Gaga’s Edmonton concert this July. Bit of a downer, this development. (This is another blog entry entirely, but do you know how much it costs to go the concert of a major pop star? A bazillion dollars! I like Katy Perry, for instance, so when I read yesterday that Edmonton was a stop on her new tour, I looked online for ticket prices and the cheapest ticket I could find was $200. For the nosebleeds! NO THANKS, KATY!) But I’d like to think that the girl who asked me about the tickets was really asking me to join her on a mission, take some exciting risks, leave my old life behind, and get ready for adventure. Ho ho, I think that sounds like fun.

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