Spy: A Way Cooler Title Than: “Dork That Pokes Around In Stuff They Shouldn’t”
I’ve always wanted to be a spy. But the Alex Rider kind not James Bond. Complete with the GameBoy that can check for bugs in the walls, zit-cream that melts metal, and yoyo that doubles as a grappling hook. But maybe lacking the steady steam of short-lived love affairs. I’d rather have a steady relationship built on anything but lies about my secret identity.
Of course my secret identity would put my loved ones at risk so I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone. But I’d have secret missions around the world.
But before I could go on missions, I’d have to prove myself to secret organizations. They were of course watching my every move. I had no doubt that a far back relative of mine was a spy maybe my great-grandmother, who I had heard was raised Amish but escaped. That no doubt set into motion the secret organization’s plan to watch her descendants to see if any other could be a spy.
Which of course meant me.
I read my weight in Nancy Drew, Hercule Poirot, and A-Z mystery novels to prepare myself for the inevitable. I was going to be a spy and spies had to be smart. Which meant more mystery books. I added choose-your-own-ending CLUE novels to my list.
And I started snooping. Sadly, there weren’t many mysteries to solve when I was homeschooled. But there were plenty of drawers to paw through in my parents’ room. I found old ID’s of my dad’s and laughed at his slowly receding hair but ever present mustache. I would’ve uncovered more mysteries if there hadn’t been a thousand-legger crawling through the drawer. I shut it fast and raced out of his room to the safety of my own.
But my thirst for mystery was unquenched.
I searched for more places to discover secrets. My youth pastor would pick me up and carry me out of his office when he found me wandering around opening drawers and looking through his mail. He told me I’d get in trouble one day if I kept snooping but I, of course, ignored him. What did he know of spies? Not much, that’s what.
Once, I got onto his iPad before youth group and started a video recording. The youth room had a few people in it that stayed there while everyone else went to play the group game. The video ran for approximately 45 minutes and picked up some sensitive content about someone’s discussion about their bowel movements. Pastor Mike wasn’t too pleased with my discovery.
Although I am a much more dignified and astute spy now, being over two decades old, sometimes my lack of any form of observational skills gets me into trouble. I’d like to argue that it is due to the absence of any formal training. It isn’t my fault that the secret organizations watching me believe I am too good to go to The Academy.
Unfortunately, my skills can get a bit rusty.
For instance, I picked up a job on my college campus that deals with delivering documents. As an ambassador for the administration of correspondence, I travel far and wide across my campus delivering packages and letters. That can mean dragging huge packages of what feels like rocks up three flights of stairs or getting lost in buildings I don’t attend classes in. Because of my tireless work ethic, I feel it is my right to treat myself to whatever candy the secretaries leave on their desks.
Most of the time it’s stale gummies, chocolates that have developed a white film, or worst of all; lifesavers. The best place I’ve found to raid is our Admissions Office. They have a minifridge stocked with Coke products for visiting students. I never leave without a Sprite.
Across from our Admissions Office is I.A. You might be thinking: “huh, they flipped it. Artificial Intelligence is A.I. but you’d be wrong. It is I.A. which stands for something called Institutional Advancement which I think is fancy talk for “We Have All Your Money”. The second time I delivered mail to them, I realized they had a minifridge too.
I dropped their mail onto the secretary’s desk (she’s almost never there) and walked over to the black fridge. It is completely identical to the one in Admissions. Hoping, they might have Pepsi products, I walked over to it. I didn’t even hesitate. Didn’t listen for footsteps. Didn’t look around. Didn’t even come up with a pretense to look inside. Just popped it open and saw a handful of lunches marked with different names.
I didn’t even have a moment to process my disappointment before someone coughed from beside me.
I slammed the fridge shut, most likely causing someone’s lunch to fall off the door into someone else’s and turned towards the voice.
The woman was pursing her lips and frowning at the same time. I was ready to die on the spot.
“So did we have any mail?”
I shook my head, my voice caught in my throat. I couldn’t panic. I didn’t do anything wrong. I just peeked. Why was she glaring?
The woman wasn’t going anywhere, and had crossed her arms over her chest. Probably in case I decided I wanted her egg salad.
I swallowed my tongue and tried to play innocent.
“Where’s your outgoing mail?”
Her eyes said: “Not in the damn fridge” but she said in a sickly sweet voice: “Down the hall on your right.”
I nodded and speed-walked away, thankful to escape. I had kept my cool, despite being caught red-handed.
Maybe I am a spy after all.
To the secret organization reading this: I’m ready and waiting on your signal.