Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Occasional Feature

Once in a while, I'll be adding to a comic short story about special secret agent James Blond. Imagine a combination of James Bond, Joe Friday, and Mike Hammer. Now, imagine the complete opposite of that hybrid figure. That's James Blond! Sort of like a cross between Max Smart & Inspector Clouseau, without the adeptness or outrageous accent. No, more like their dumb American cousin. That's right. That's the guy! Here's part one of what I'm currently calling the "James Blond Chronicles."

* * * * * * * * * *
 In a world where evildoers run rampant, oppressing the poor, making money by illegal means, fiendishly making plans for world conquest, there is a special top secret organization that keeps tabs on their activities and champions justice. But I couldn't join up with up with them. They were too top secret. I couldn't even find out where they were hiding!
However, there is a somewhat less-hidden international organization fighting evil in all its forms. And they let me join! My name is Blond, James Blond, better known as Special Agent Double-Oh-Zero of His Majesty's Secret Service! They told me when I joined the agency that our Special Agent numbers were distributed by IQ, but I never met anyone named IQ. He or she must be some higher official in the agency.

My top secret mission instructions arrived last Monday morning by email. I knew they must be top secret plans, because when I logged onto the internet thingy, I heard a voice telling me "You've got mail!" And since I didn't see anyone, I knew that the voice must belong to someone who was trying keeping their identity a secret!
I had only one email message. The subject line said “Pop Secret!” I knew what that really meant! Somebody might be spying on my email, so they obviously couldn’t label it “Top Secret.” Ya’ gotta be sneaky in the secret agent business! I opened the email and read the message. It was cleverly disguised as a coupon for 40 cents off of my next purchase of PopSecret brand microwave popcorn.
I was working diligently to decode the instructions, when suddenly, there was a knock at the door. A man in a dark brown uniform asked for my signature, and then handed me a package. It was one of those yellowish-brown envelopes that they call vanilla, but I’ve never understood that, because they don’t smell or taste anything like vanilla. Inside the envelope was a cell phone. I pulled it out, switched it on, and it rang!
I answered, “Hello?”
“Secret Agent Double-Oh-Zero, this is the Commander. Are you ready to begin your secret mission?”
“Yes, Commander!”
“Good. At 11:15 this morning, go to the Holy Land Falafel Stand on 5th and Maple Ave. There you will meet your contact person, who will brief you on the specifics of the mission.”
“And how will I recognize my contact?”
“Don’t look for them; they’ll find you. Now, hang up this phone and throw it away.”
“Why? Is it going to self-destruct in 5 seconds?”
“No, I’m just almost out of minutes, and I’m switching wireless providers.”
I hung up, and threw the phone away. Strangely enough, it exploded moments later. I had tossed it into the garbage disposal.
Well, this was definitely a job for Double-Oh-Zero! Specially equipped with a license to... um, what was that again? Let's see, I wrote it down on this little card here... Where is it now? Oh wait! I remember! It was supposed to be top secret, so I wrote it down in invisible ink! Oh well. At least I have a license to drive. Right here! No, wait, that's a bus pass. That'll work. My car's in the shop, anyway.
I arrived at the Holy Land Falafel Stand with five minutes to spare. I was hungry, so I ordered a falafel. When the girl asked me how I liked it, I told her, “Shaken, not stirred.” A stunned expression crossed her face. The smooth, suave, secret agent act gets ‘em every time! After all, I am James Blond! Finally, she found her voice. “By the way,” she said, “nice tuxedo.”
I stood around, waiting for my contact to show up and identify themselves. I spent much of the time trying to stay out of the way of other falafel stand customers. I spotted a figure about a block-and-a-half away. He was standing by the curb, near the bus stop, holding a sign that said “Will work for foo.” Further investigation revealed that one hand was covering up the final “d.” As I got closer, I observed his rather unkempt appearance, unwashed clothes, and a strange gleam in his eye.
“I have a job for you, if you’re interested,” I said.
“I’m interested. What did you have in mind?”
“Nice to meet you, Interested. I need someone to stand in that line and buy me a falafel, extra hummus.” I handed him some cash. “You can keep the rest and buy yourself some food with it.”
The man folded up his sign under his arm, and went to stand in line. The #5 bus arrived while he was waiting, and it left with me aboard. My contact hadn’t shown up, so I returned to headquarters for further instructions. Four hours later, I arrived at HQ. Apparently, the #5 bus only goes to the airport, and once I arrived, the bus drivers’ union decided to go on strike.
* * * * * * * * * *
Tune in for future episodes. Or tell me this is crummy. Whatever works for you.
Listening to: "The James Bond Songbook," James Bond & His Sextet

No comments: