Mandarin and Tonic. Never shaken; always stirred. And the Astin Martin thing? Forget it. BMW all the way.
Forget what you’ve seen in the movies (except maybe, for the tuxedo. Never, ever under estimate the power of a tuxedo). There’s a whole lot more to the spy game than hair gel and a British accent, and I’m going to fill you in. But first, a bit of background…
Even as a child, long before I acquired what is without a doubt the single coolest title at Intrepid Media, I had spy aspirations. I watched Johnny Quest, Wild, Wild West, and of course – Bond. James Bond. I had a fascination with telescopes, lock picking, and cool, small, gadgety things. My friend and I practiced speaking with false accents and eavesdropping on my older brother and his friends. I was going places.
Being a fairly quiet child was also to my advantage. I quickly learned the benefits of being less obtrusive; of blending into the background and just listening. Ah, the things one could learn. Add a sincere, approachable demeanor and suddenly I was father confessor to the world. In college this allowed me to move easily within any number of social circles, though if you ask anyone I’m sure they wouldn’t even remember I was there. Yeah, I was that good.
When I landed my first job out of college working for GE Aerospace on classified government contracts, I was sure I had it made. For starters, I had accepted the job after a lengthy interview process which included wining, dining, flying me halfway down the east coast, and a night in a luxurious hotel, but somehow failed to include any clear description of what exactly it was that I’d be doing. I had to wait months for an extensive background investigation to be performed by the FBI before I could begin work, and on the day that I was inducted into this mysterious covert world, I was given my cloak and dagger and sworn to secrecy.
I was on the inside. In the know. Part of something bigger, more important than all my geek friends who graduated with me. I was “Top Secret”. I had a massive steel safe in my cubicle, a regular rainbow of colors on my security badge, and spoke fluently in code words. Yeah, I was living large and loving life. Not that I could tell anyone, mind you.
And just when I didn’t think it could get any better, I was introduced to my first real spy. A counter agent. Someone working for them. I was introduced not in person, but on a large screen in a security briefing room deep within the lead and concrete walls of our building. But whether in person or not, the net result was the same.
I was crushed.
There on the screen in front of me, was a man I can only describe as Leisure Suit Larry. “No!, screamed the voice inside my head. It can’t be true. Spies don’t have 70’s haircuts. Spies don’t hang out in hotel bars trying to get women drunk and chatty. Spies don’t wear polyester!!!. Despite being called “Dimitri” – an excellent and respectable spy name by any standard – this man destroyed my image of what it meant to be a spy.
I left the room disheartened, and although the next year would bring small joys like the obtaining of new security clearances as the result of screw-ups and information leaks by others, my enthusiasm waned. Eventually I left, vowing to take my secrets with me to the grave. No longer a dweller in that magical shadowland, I wandered in and out of geek jobs, my information-gathering skills relegated to mere party tricks.
Until I found Intrepid Media.
Here, was an environment where I could flourish. Here, I could write articles under an assumed name and take photographs of compromising situations, all the while keeping my finger on the pulse of pop culture. A place where my skills were truly useful. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself a couple of questions…
– How does a garage band playing ex-frat boy with a bad haircut and a fascination for sticks sum up the entire Wall Street situation with such precision? Perhaps, he had inside information (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
I’m sure you get the idea.
Of course having a real spy on staff doesn’t mean that we don’t have lounge lizards trying to get get women drunk and chatty in bars, but that’s Matt Morin’s job, not mine. Under my direction we’ve actually managed to turn the tables, and have some very effective agents working for our side. For example, could you say no to Heather?
And so once again I am living large, and life is as hectic behind the curtain as it is in public. Indeed, as I refill my champagne glass I am obligated to say thank you, intrepid media. Thank you for the cars, the drugs, the playboy lifestyle, the exploding watch and laser pen, and for the many, many things that you don’t even know that I do.