Friday, November 7, 2008

It's Not Personal

I have a picture to show you and it will probably make some of you jealous, but that is not my intention here. I'm not trying to rub this in anyone's face and I certainly don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. There was a contest a few weeks back. Three very lucky people won it and I was not one of them. Still, after a grueling wait while Canada Post and the US Postal Service shipped my parcel to every last corner of this continent, I also got a prize. And what a prize. It's like Donna Karan knit me a sweater, or Alexander McQueen made me a pair of jeans. JBG, Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear, straight from Milan (Utah) to my door.

Like I said, the intention is not to brag, it's an explanation of sorts. Steenky Bee and I go way back, back before kids and marriage, internet fame and a near unattainable line of hip t-shirts. I mean way back to the Cold War when I was a brand new operative of an agency my government will deny ever having existed and she was a deep cover killing machine of the United States government.

The first time we met was Czechoslovakia in '88. Those were dangerous days back then. The Soviet Union was reeling, but hadn't dropped yet. Reagan had them up against the ropes and they were scared. Control of the Eastern Bloc was slipping through their fingers and they couldn't keep up with the Arms Race, they didn't have the money. Change was in the air and the KGB didn't like it. Whether their masters would admit it or not, their days were numbered and they knew it. They wanted blood.

I was in Prague as part of a joint operation whose efforts would result in the Velvet Revolution the following year. I'm proud to have been a part of that. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was young and inexperienced and full of myself in every way. I'd rolled into town like I was James Bond. I was to make contact with the KGB's station chief in the city posing as a French computer designer looking to sell some new Nato hardware to Moscow.

I'd met my contact in Wenceslas Square earlier in the evening and had arranged to meet him in his apartment near the university a few blocks away. Once I arrived in the small top floor apartment I knew I had been made. I didn't even have a chance to draw my weapon.

That was when the window shattered and she exploded into the room, a cloud of glass, hair and the promise of death. Even back then she had the hair. She was very young for an agent, still in high school. She'd shown a certain...aptitude early on though and they'd brought her in. School during the day, training at night. The Reds were terrified of her and this one was no different. He watched her roll across the room and into the kitchen, the distraction enough for me to draw my pistol and fire. He'd caught the movement and pivoted at the last moment. My shot caught him in the shoulder and he dropped his gun.

I froze then. I knew I had to kill him, my cover was blown, but I'd never taken a life before. We stared at each other over the barrel of my gun until Jen grew tired of my hesitance. The police would be coming soon. She walked over to me, wrapped her hand around my gun hand and pulled my trigger finger. Then she went to the side table and poured me a shot of vodka. After I drank it she punched me in the arm and told me to 'bitch up.'

We ran into each other many times in the years after. Berlin, Ankara, Tehran. And Buenos Aires! Remember Buenos Aires, Jen? That will always be my favourite scar. It's amazing seeing the transformation from cold hearted assassin to loving mother and wife, but if anyone could pull it off, it's Jen.

I love family life, wouldn't change it for the world, but some days I miss the Cold War. Sure an old enemy will show up from time to time looking to settle an old score, but they're few and far between these days. Now it's all pre-school and Wii's. I miss the enemies too. Back then you knew who they were. They were big and in your face and honest about their quest for world domination. There were rules. Today it's shadowy terrorist organizations, messy wars fought in the wrong countries and the only communists left are better at capitalism than we are.

So. That's why today I'm sporting a JBG original. Again, don't feel bad that I have one and you don't. Or if you do, keep it to yourself. Jen or I could change a diaper and kill you at the same time without breaking a sweat. We're friends and we're morally flexible.

*Because of some scheduling issues, mainly that Mama Dawg's unexpected guest post was so similar to this post that I'd started last week, I decided to push it back a day which in turn has pushed back the Friday Pics. I'll have the Halloween Pics up tomorrow so if you'd still like to send in a costume picture, feel free.


  1. ha First!
    oh and By the way
    YOUR A FREAK!!!!

  2. that was brilliant. You had me at "shot of vodka".

  3. Wow. You might have whined as much as me to get her to make you a shirt too. I LOVE MINE!! I feel so safe knowing you were protecting us back then. But I'm glad you chose to be a SAHD and blogger over being an operative. Just sayin.

  4. You totally rock. That is a fact, not an exclamation, hence the lack of an exclamation mark.
    I will make myself a sticky note to send in that Halloween costume pic. If it's on the sticky, I won't forget.
    Love to Steenky and the Bee!

  5. Gosh if that is what is takes to get a T-shirt I will never get one-

  6. Amazing story had no idea you both had just a wild past. ;)
    I am so wishing I had a shirt and contemplating boycotting you blog until i get one, just kidding.

  7. The boys in my class are fond of a series of books with a protagonist named Alex Rider, a middle-school aged CIA operative. I used to think it was impossible, but you (and Jen) have just given hope to dozens of 11-year-old boys that the magic call will come soon.

  8. Cool - I was in Italy back then and I am certain I was safer because of your covert ops.
    Missing that wild past

  9. Cover Blown! This post brought back such memories. International travel and intrigue. And in case you're all wondering, yes, the hair was there and it was even bigger than it is now. Even the Captain had hair. After I poured him that drink I permed his hair and the rest is history. Brilliant post. Even more brilliant friend!!

  10. Moral flexibility is something I look for in my friends. The next time I need help hiding a body I know who to call.

  11. Oh, forgeot to mention that this post is AWESOME!

  12. great post, and nice T shirt :)

  13. Great shirt. Awesome story, I was holding back my coffee monitor snort until the 'bitch up' line. I need to wrap my monitor in a condom.

    [THAT would be funny, right? A 'monitor condom' award? Heh.]

  14. Did you whimper when Stenky Bee pulled the trigger?

  15. Lucky SOB ;)

    I need one of those shirts. Need, not want.

    "That's what she said"

  16. I have a Steenky original too. I'm telling you...they'll be priceless in no time.

    Now we know why Jen is such a good stalker.

  17. Jen gave me that yellow bathing one piece suit you saw me sporting for halloween last week. I think the rest of it got lost in the mail.

  18. does it not worry you guys that Jen has your address?? scary stuff.

  19. I knew there was something dark and mysterious about the two of you. And the shirt? RAWKS!!!!

  20. Nice shirt. I bet it has a hidden camera and a knife in the collar line.

  21. I'm drinking Smirnoff.
    That is all.

  22. Ah, I'm SO jealous, the T shirt
    rocks. Think there should be a
    Cpt Dumbass' Mother shirt. Steenky
    Bee, you are cool. But, i would never have guessed you were a world famous spy! Of course, I knew about 002 1/2 Super Spy.
    His cover story here was a little
    different, ah as the memories fade.
    Cpt. DA, next time u get called for a secret mission abroad, be
    good and ask your mother along for the trip...


    She's a spy.

    Totally explains the hair.

  24. Seriously....pot is legal up there right?


Come on, sailor. I love you long time.