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shoephoneHideous little fact, but if you torture somebody long enough, they’ll
eventually tell you whatever they think you want to hear. Eventually
they’ll start confessing to things they haven’t even done. Spy-factoid.

In the face of internet spy accusations, I used to launch a rather pathetic
wail, “but I’m a real person!” Forget all that, from now on I’m just going
to run with it, embrace the idea. So, I confess, I’m a spy, like Agent 99 on
Get Smart. Sometimes they even let me use the shoe phone.

In truth, on the internet being accused of being a spy, an agent provocateur,
a subversive, a troll, a government agent, is a pretty routine thing. People can’t
see you and until they know you, they tend to perceive you as a threat. (Once they
know you, they REALLY perceive you as a threat, but I digress.) To make the whole
thing more complicated, there really are spies on the internet, and then there are the
silly games and power plays that ordinary people engage in.

Let me pause and give a special shout-out to Christians Anonymous and thank them for
all their ping backs. You guys have so totally outed me and blown my cover. I’m a….
Christian. Dang, now the whole world knows. You know how the “right hand never knows
what the left is doing?” That’s comes from my spy book, the Bible. Lots of top secret
info in that book. You should try to break the code.

I happen to live in Liberal Utopia, also known as Paranoia-ville. It is not uncommon
for people to accuse you of being an undercover agent, a member of the CIA, or one of
the Men in Black. I don’t mind so much, I just wish people would be a bit smarter about
it, perhaps engage the clutch now and then.

Last week while blogging in the parking lot, these two guys I know came up to the car
and asked me if I worked for the government. Why yes, I do, that’s why I have an Edward
Snowden bumper sticker and I’m sitting under a security camera accessing public wi fi.
It’s part of my deep cover. Kind of a double agent thing. Look around this parking lot,
who is the least likely to be a secret undercover agent? Yep, you caught me. Busted again!

Did I mention that I sort of know these guys? This is a really small town, you can’t help
but know everyone. Besides, I’m a spy, it’s my job to know. Apparently however, they didn’t
know me.

I wish that was the end of the story, but I’m afraid not. One guy is huge, like I was
staring at his belt buckle, with a Jesus fish on it, pondering whether he was a member of
the Body of Christ or the mental health community. Don’t get me wrong, you can
belong to both, I just like to ascertain which one you favor more, especially if you’re
bigger than me. Suddenly his partner announces, “There seems to be a whole lot of strange
people down here on laptops and smart phones!”

Now, I may not be the smartest spy in the network, but I deducted that it had something to
with the fact that this is one of the few wi/fi hotspots in our area. As to being “strange”
well yeah, we’re all a bit strange around here. So he asks me, “Do you think any of these
people are working for the government?” I just couldn’t help myself. “Yes,” I replied, “that
strange looking young guy over there. Look at his white shoes.” (Don’t ask me to explain the
shoes, it’s just a well known fact around here that people who wear white shoes are undercover
agents, usually from the Liquor Control Board.)

“Nah,” they said. “Not that guy, he’s too clean cut.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it wasn’t really his shoes that gave the guy away, but
rather the fact that he had silver letters softly embossed down his grey vehicle that spelled out
the word s-h-e-r-i-f-f.

There is no delicate way to put this. If those two represent the resistance, we’re all going to die.

The Spy Who Loved Me, Carly Simon

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