Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reasons I Will Never Work In Espionage

As a kid I thought it would be great to be a spy. I'd seen all the Bond movies and this seemed like an ideal career path. At the time, I felt like I had all of the qualifications- I was dashing, could swap witty banter with enemies, and I was a much better shot than any of the bozos who were firing at Bond.

As an adult, I've given this some reflection, and boy oh boy would I suck at this job now. Not only has the job market changed considerably (e.g. international villains with bizarre henchmen to zealots with bombs) but I've changed too.

It has been years since I was dashing. My witty banter anymore starts and ends at "F*ck You Buddy!", and it has been so long since I've practiced I'm not sure I could shoot anything farther away than my own foot. I don't run very fast. I don't have a good enough memory to recall how to disarm bombs or remember complex codes. I count myself lucky if I remember what day of the week it is.

I'm slow, I'm clumsy, and I couldn't intimidate anyone. I look as threatening as a cardboard box full of kittens. If I was required to "lean on someone for information", I would be forced to make them listen to hours and hours of my children whining and crying until they told me what I wanted to know.

I hate to fly. Hate it with a screaming passion. It takes large amounts of alcohol to get me on a plane, and a few "nerve pills" if you've got them.

I only speak one language, and even that one not very well. I can ask for a steak and a bottle of wine, as well as the bathroom, in Spanish. I also know the German word for zipper.

I hate to drive. I'm not very good with a standard transmission and you know none of those exotic cars are automatic. I drive like an old lady looking for an address, and this would be no help at all in case a car chase broke out.

I suck at keeping secrets. A couple of martinis in me and I'll draw our troop deployment plans on a cocktail napkin for the North Korean Ambassador. I don't even want to get onto the subject of torture. There would never be any need to torture me, just buy me some beer and set a decent plate of nachos in front of me, I'll tell you anything you want to know, and if I don't know what you want, hell, I'll make something up, as long as the cold ones flow and the nachos hold out.

I am a terrible liar. I don't lie for crap. Ask Flannery, she'll tell you I can't keep a straight face for twenty seconds. For example: Flannery: I noticed you got $40 out of the bank today. What did you buy? Doc: (Thinking to myself "Don't say comic books and beer! Don't say comic books and beer!!) Taco Bell. Flannery: You bought $40 worth of tacos? Doc: Yeah, can we talk about this later, I've got to go to the bathroom. See, you wouldn't buy it and neither would she.

I could never seduce a woman, no matter how sexy, for my country. Flannery made this very, very clear even before we got married. Don't get me wrong, I love my country with all my heart, but at night it isn't my country I look forward to snuggling with and have to bed down next to.

There are other reasons I would never make it in the spy game. I'm a heavy sleeper, so I'm easy to sneak up on. I tend to talk in my sleep. On long trips, I'm the guy who has to pee every five minutes. I'm a homebody. My hearing isn't that great. I get sick really easy and I have a weak stomach, a bad back, and a bad heart.

But I hear that the C.I.A. is advertising in all the major papers looking for new recruits. Lord, I hope that don't get a bunch of guys like me.



  1. I love this post Doc! I always wanted to be a spy when I was a kid also. Had James Bond toys (remember the camera that was a pistol?).

    The only thing I could handle anymore would be stunts involving a zip line, or perhaps ski diving. If tortured, I would gladly give up my country or anything the minute they broke out the "instruments".

    Remember this exchange?
    James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
    Auric Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.

  2. There must be some entry level spying jobs out there. Maybe Fisheries wants to make sure everybody is using barbless hooks. You could hang around lakes and streams, and drive an SUV, maybe a small boat. How bad would that be? Then, if there's an opening for a slow, clumsy, meek, non-flying, non-lying blabbermouth at the international level, maybe you could go to work for Iceland or somebody, and slowly work up to the CIA thing. Keep the dream alive, pal.

  3. Well if you ever change your mind and need an arch-nemisis, I am available.

  4. E.G.: you'll need a less comfy chair if you want folken to take you seriously...

  5. Great post, Doc. Self-awareness is a good thing. After all, a man's got to know his limitations.

    And you are cute as a cardboard box of kittens...probably moreso.

  6. hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

  7. All excellent points. Spying is for the younger guys. When you age a little, it's just not as cool as it used to be. Plus, the hours really suck, and you can't sit at your desk screwing off on the Internet when you have to crack into some safe and steal launch codes all the time. Still, it's fun to dream... Alias was one of my favorite TV series.

  8. Actually, I think I'd feel better if they GOT a bunch of guys like you.

  9. Skylers Dad- I do remember the camera/pistol. I always wanted one.

    Cooper Green- I looked into this in high school. Where I'm from they call these guys Game Wardens, and they have the highest mortality rate of the entire spectrum of law enforcement. It turns out they deal with way too many people with knives and guns.

    Evil Genius- Should I ever enter the profession you will be the first to know, as I want you to have a chance to get sized for a monocle and some of those custom tailored suits like Kim Jong wears, not to mention the time and trouble involved in gathering an army of minions. Get back to me.

    Flannery- Thanks for the Dirty Harry quote, as well as the nod to my kitty like qualities.

    BSUWG- I just don't have the zip I once did.

    Bubs- Good to hear from you! Do you think the F.B.I. might let me head up their A.A.S.T. Division? (Alligator Attacks S.W.A.T. Taskforce) As soon as they put me in charge, you know I'm going to hire you to run the whole thing, and give you a chance to add to the compound, while I draw dirty stick-figures on a notepad in my corner office. Stick with me. I'll make you Mayor, Police Commisioner, or Bodyguard to the Stars. Your choice.



Write your beer-fueled ravings here...