Tuesday, July 18, 2006

James Blond returns

In an earlier post, I introduced a character named James Blond. In this new, albeit shorter, segment, you're sure to find a few yuks--and a few yucks, as well. And so, the continued adventure of the world's least-competent spy-guy!

When I got to headquarters, I was met by a woman who is known to me only as “R.” She is our weapons and gadgets expert. “I have something new for you, Double-Oh-Zero,” she said. She handed me what appeared to be an ordinary banana. “I call it a banana.”
“Clever name,” I replied. “What does it do?”
“Oh, it’s very useful! Suppose you’re low on potassium. You can eat that banana and raise your potassium level! And it also can function as a weapon!”
“Really? How so?” I asked.
“Well, suppose your opponent is allergic to bananas. All you have to do is–”
“I get it. Thanks. Anything else?”
“This might be of interest to you. I call this an insta-tux. When the contents of this tiny plastic capsule are exposed to air, they will form a standard, agent-issue, wrinkle-free tuxedo.”
“That’s all fine and good, R. But when will I ever need a tuxedo for a mouse?”
“Double-Oh-Zero, take my word for it, the insta-tux will fit you. Also, your car is repaired. You can take it home now.” R had done a complete tune-up as well as the repairs. The engine purred like a kitten with an electric toothbrush. The dashboard emitted a series of electronic beeps. It was an incoming message from HQ.
“Yes, Commander?”
“Blond, you’re going to a party this evening. It’s a VIP affair. Plenty of foreign dignitaries. Your contact apologizes for the missed connection earlier today, but will meet you there tonight with your special orders.”
“Special orders, Commander?”
“That’s right. We believe the event will also be attended by enemy agents, and we need you to do some counterespionage.”
I arrived at the house slightly later than I anticipated. The car ran fine, and I left with time to spare, but the directions were in Hebrew, so I read them backwards. Also, I had the map upside-down, and can’t read Hebrew. To put it plainly, my arrival made Godot look prompt. In fact, Godot showed up a good five minutes before I did!
Undeterred, I slipped into the kitchen to begin an evening of counterespionage. Apparently, the enemy agents were tipped off to my presence, because I kept an eye on that counter all evening long, and nothing happened.
Counter espionage, as it turns out, is hungry work. It’s not as hungry as, say, a starvation artist in a carnival side show, but it still left me wanting a snack. As luck would have it, I had a banana in the left breast pocket of my tuxedo. It was enough to take the edge off of my appetite, so that I was fully prepared when the kitchen doors burst inward and Mugsy Swibble, expert marksman and notorious mob hit-man strolled through the doorway. The metal of his well-polished revolver gleamed like the metal of a well-polished revolver.
“Hold it right there, Mugsy!” I shouted. “This is a story of spy-vs-spy, not a gangster tale! You’re completely out of place!”
“I know,” said Mugsy, “but I decided to take up the spy racket, on account of a guy can’t make an honest dollar at organized crime no more! Be that as it may, I’m gonna enjoy rubbing you out, Double-Oh-Zero!”
“I’m warning you, Mugsy! One more step toward me and you’ll be sorry!”
Mugsy laughed bitterly. “You ain’t even armed, Blond!” He took deadly aim with his weapon, and just for spite, planted one foot in front of the other.
“One more step,” he said, and then crashed to the floor, striking his head and knocking himself out cold on the concrete. He had stepped on my banana peel!

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