Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Spy Business Isn't What it Used to Be

James Bond Didn't Have a Smartphone

"I can't believe you've retired from your life as a spy," I said to Sweetie.

"Well, the spy business isn't what it used to be," she said. "I mean, I loved the Minox spy camera. It had class. Nowadays every idiot has a smartphone with a built-in 8 megapixel camera with high-definition video. It's just not the same."

"I see your point," I said, as I surreptitiously took her photo with my smartphone.

"And then there's the company," she said.

As in "The Company?" I said. "The CIA?"

"Them too," she said. But I mean the players. In the old days I hung out with James Bond and Julia Child and George Smiley. I used to visit Alger Hiss in prison."

"But those are semi-fictional," I said.

"As am I," Sweetie smiled.

"I mean Hiss and Child are real, but Bond and Smiley are fictional characters."

"Well, I used to hang out with them all," she said. "Especially Julia. Who do you think was the source of my interest in the pasty sciences?"

"Either Julia or Smiley," I said.

"Julia," she said, "although Smiley gave me the idea for throwing scones."

"Well, Hiss and Child are dead," I said. "Bond must be like eighty years old now, and Smiley's older than that."

"Exactly," Sweetie said. "And who has replaced them? Faceless CIA spooks. Homeland Security agents. NSA operatives. And Teleportation Security Administration patter-downers."

"Patter-downers?" I asked.

"You know what I mean," she said. "And then there's MI-6. It just isn't what it used to be. Bond is retired, Moneypenny came out as lesbian, and that old guy who made the weapons now works at the Redstone Arsenal and has like a thousand patents."

"Sean Connery was the real Bond," I said.

Sweetie is a Roger Moore fan, but she didn't bite. "And who's at MI-6 now? A bunch of geeks at keyboards, reading everyone's e-mails and recording everyone's calls." She sighed. "The field operatives-- there are still a few-- have to check in hourly via IM and attend weekly webinars. It was time for me to leave the business."

"Maybe you could hook up with Wikileaks," I said brightly.

"Who do you think sent them all those documents?" she asked.

"Oh," I said. "Well, what are you going to do with your time now?"

"I'm not sure," she said. "I'll do some experiments with icing string theory, certainly. I'll have to conduct them well away from the ground. We don't want any visitors dematerialized or covered with cream cheese."

"We wouldn't want that," I said, "although all those Brazilians who leave prims on our land could use a lesson. Maybe you could go undercover at Linden Lab."

"That's already been done," she said. "Hamlet Au. And look how that turned out."

"He's mostly not writing his own blog these days," I said. "Iris Ophelia is kicking ass over there."

"Mostly," Sweetie said, "I'm going to concentrate on being a muse."

"But you already are a muse," I said. "My muse. Please don't tell me you're going to muse others."

"No, no," she said, "but now I'll have ever so much more time to muse you."

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