Thursday, September 14, 2006

Never mind Armitage...

What I want to know is, why did a bunch of Big Government Honchos, who undoubtedly had nice big offices and excellent alaries and pretty much knew everything, (they're spies, aren't they?) send an employee's husband so casually on a trip to Niger? Is that how decisions are made in the Big Bad Spy Agency?

"We suspect something is going down in the Dry Tortugas. I need someone to go there and investigate."

"Great idea. Why not send Fred?"


"Yeah, you know Fred. The guy that runs the copy machine--he's an excellent collator and stapler."

"Wow! What a great suggestion. I wish I'd thought of that."

It all seems very much like an incident which happened in the library, back when I was throwing my weight around as a library director. Our Board had become quite concerned about the state of libraries in Resumespeedistan. This was a small Third World country, where the natives spoke Elvish, due to their great respect and admiration for Elvish Presley.

Now I felt that Mr Charm could do with a change of scene, and the weather was lovely in Resumespeedistan at that time of year. Besides, all expenses would be paid. So I suggested him for the job, and the Board enthusiastically agreed.

Mr Charm duly went. He flew to South Africa, switched to a propeller driven plane left over from World War II, and then proceeded by camel to Resumespeedistan. In three weeks, he concluded his investigations and returned home.

Mr Charm regaled us with the details of his trip. The natives were friendly, and he drank lots of mint tea and smoked a bit of hashish, went to the beach, and had a few of those sweet drinks with cherries and little umbrellas in them. He attested to the fact that there were libraries there, quite a few of them for such a small place. We eagerly inquired about the state of these institutions, and he replied, "That's hard to say. I don't speak Elvish."

However, he had a nice tan. So I guess the trip was a success.

The moral of the story is this: don't send a husband to do a spy's job.

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