Monday, July 13, 2009

Spy Games

We've been watching a new show of late: here in Canada it's called MI-5. In the UK, where it originated, it was called Spooks. Either way, it's an impressively gripping series about spies and super powers and Bad Men and and Plots To Dominate The World. Right up my alley. In fact, it's so up my alley that I have decided to change the way we live here at the Chronicles.

Yes, you heard me right.

I'm tired of this casual earthy child-dominated lifestyle of mine. It's the Spy Life for me from now on. No longer will this house feature sepia tones, neutral walls, lots of reference tomes, butterfly aquariums, crafts, and woodsy furniture; oh no, no, no, now our house will be re-organized thusly:Cool blues, grays, and off-white colours only. No identifying wall decor. Gone are the ancient photographs magnetted to the fridge (identifies my Weak Points - aka the children - to the Enemy). Gone are the Far Side cartoons stuck on the wall (which show me as a Real Person). Ditto the Strange Ethnic Art on the fireplace (no real reason but I never see stuff like this in spy shows so might as well get rid of it). And to hell with the houseplants (who has time to water the plants when there's a bomb to defuse or a hitman to take out?).

Nope, from now on there's going to be a Security Foyer in the, err, foyer. Computer terminals everywhere - high-tech computer terminals: voice recognition software, face identification programs, and some of those programs that can make people appear in photographs where they never were before. Swirly chairs in which I can suddenly lean back when EXHAUSTED from my Deeply Intense Internet Searches. And long, clean pressboard desks for when I need to flop forward on my hands and rub my face intently. Plus, the kids'll still need something to do their schoolwork on.

Speaking of the kids, I'm wondering if I need to get them clip-on name tags or not. Might be a useful ruse to keep them out of the living room ("Security ID please! Where is your nametag? Sorry, I'm afraid you aren't authorized for this area. Go back downstairs or I'll have to alert Security").

We'll have to find someone to be the Resident Computer Geek, because this one, Colin, is no longer on the show. He had his file 'closed' recently. This totally complicates things because a) he was a whiz with gadgets and computers, and b) he was very witty and easy-going, just what I need in a Resident Computer Geek (I'm sure I'll tend to be a little on the demanding side). Plus, I'm a bit lazy when it comes to researching Personnel. I'd rather just use all the people on the show than look for real people around me.

Which brings me to my friends.

I'll have to change all my friends, because none of my friends will want to do this:
Pose with me all the time (when I'm not off on Serious Matters of State). Stand several steps behind me...then somewhat sideways...then look slightly irritable. Wear long black coats that hide their awkward body parts. Cross their arms over tight black jackets. Stand nonchalantly with their hands in their pockets. Get their hair cut every few weeks so it continues to stick up in the air, even when running desperately down a dark alley with Evil Men in Furious Pursuit. Learn to apply tourniquets if I am bleeding to death. Let me stand in the middle taking all the glory. Because I will be the Lead Spook.

I'll have to coach them on Photo Op Protocol, too, where I will look sullenly yet provocatively at the camera lens while someone else looks intelligently off in the opposite direction, while yet another of us stands behind me and looks protectively out from under my deeply wise and clever wing. Gosh, I can see a lot of complications. Most of my current friends are all so darn individualistic and unmalleable. I wonder if I'll get a personal assistant to help me with the, err, training?

Ah well, if they give me too much grief I know what to do with them.

Off with your heads! Ha ha.

I will have to do something with Richard, because I notice that no one in this show seems to have a Meaningful Personal Relationship. Or if they do one of them gets killed off, leaving the other to pine mournfully and dangerously, affecting the safety of their co-workers in Intensely Critical Moments. My inclination is to use this fellow, the devastatingly handsome Zaph, because a) he resembles Richard, and b) he already knows how to behave in terms of Photo Op Protocol. He's also amazing at kicking people in the throat when they walk through the door with a gun in their hands. Perhaps he could be my Personal Assistant. Show me how to kick people who walk through my door with guns in their hands. Train my recalcitrant friends. We could share Intimate Moments during Tense Decisions. Drink a lot and feel sad with the burdens of the future.
I could also pinch some of his wardrobe for Richard. Richard could really use a long black coat like this one. That might mollify him for having to sit the season out.

Someone has to watch the children.

As Lead Spook, with my dead good looking Trusty Personal Assistant at my side, we will only ever let ourselves be photographed like this: back to back. I will have to learn how to scrape my hair severely off my face, because I want to be Roz. She's the best at kicking people in the throat when they walk through doors. She hardly ever misjudges her target. She walks really fast. And acts really tough. Don't know about the gray suit though...gray washes me out a bit.

I'd need a Right Hand Man, too. I could use this fellow...oh, wait, I already went through this, didn't I? He's just so, err, photogenic. The more I freeze-frame his scenes watch this show the more I notice that he favours his left side when having his Moments of Great Gravitas. Richard makes fun of him, referencing Ben Stiller's "Blue Steel" look from the movie Zoolander but I think he's just jealous. Not all of us can manage that thoughtful, serious, sympathetic, yet deeply intense look while contemplating a case. Another reason Richard will have to go, I think. Can't have him mocking my Torrid Romance Interests. Because as Lead Spook I will have to have at least one serious Romance each episode.

Mixing up my real life with television life? No, I don't think I am. Why do you ask?

From what I've seen, Roz doesn't seem to have a best side. She does a lot of head shots. Close ups. She also wears a lot of face make-up. I wonder if I'd need to wear face make-up in my new life, because I don't really like wearing face-makeup.

But she has a killer wardrobe so perhaps I could overlook the makeup. She has a black jacket I quite covet. She wears the black jacket and glares and scares the pants off all the men. I am excellent at glaring. Ask my kids. Well, the children who used to live here. The ones with the wonky Security Tags who live in the basement. Under the stairs. With the husband.

I will also need to change all the lighting in the house, because I've noticed that everyone on this show is lit from below. This could be tricky. Might mean a trip to IKEA to get some cheap industrial lighting. Might also mean that my double chin will be, err, enhanced. Not good for those Torrid Romance scenes.

Almost forgot that I would need to have a Toffee-Nosed Friend to make Rude Remarks about people. Someone like this fellow, who says things like

"Ahhh, I see you've brought Terrier Tom! Well, now, I thought it might be rather jolly if we walked about a bit. It always gives one a bit of a frisson, don't you find, going amongst the plebs talking of high state secrets?"

He could be exceedingly rude, alienate everyone, yet still maintain the humour ratings for me. (did you know that Emma Thompson once described him this way: "He's very likeably oily - sort of like a well-hung eel.")

I'm going to have to think about cameos, I guess. Get some Influential People making Guest Appearances at my house periodically. The only person I know who might qualify in this regard is someone who knows someone who works for Stephane Dion, but Stephane Dion is so, umm, dull. I can't see him making witty rejoindures. Looking unctuous. Flirty yet evil.


I will have to think about this bit some more.

Finally, I will have to have someone with which I could Spar Sexily With At The Office. You know, fight about which mission we go on next and stuff. Whether we're Losing Perspective At Critical Junctures. Whether we should trust our source. If we should go rogue or not. When to pull out of the mission. Who gets to kick who in the throat when we burst into buildings full of Bad People. Who gets the bullet proof vest. And for that I choose this fellow. He has buckets of gravitas, looks great while running down a dark alley, likes to drink scotch, and he can wear the heck out of a black turtle neck. Plus, he's friends with Zaph, so the two of them won't fight constantly over me.

My Life As A Spy. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

In an act of solidarity I'm staring off into middle distance, talking into the microphone discreetly taped into the cuff of my freshly pressed Egyptian cotton shirt. For you see: I too am a spy. Or perhaps a double agent. Using Rupert Penry-Jones for my own pleasure, and to further the cause of spreading the cult of distributed learning through out the entire Commonwealth. But mostly for my pleasure, because it takes a real man to carry off the name Rupert Penry-Jones.

On a side note: glad some one had idea to rename it MI-5. 'Spooks' has whole different (aka bad) connotation on this side of the pond.

Samantha said...

I would love to pose with you Sheila. You had me at long black coats (to hide my awkward body parts - do that make a jacket that big? ;-) And my hair constantly sticks up at weird angles. Oh, and I just watched Charlie's Angels, so I've got some new moves I'd like to try out. Where can I audition for a role?

Could you switch the grey coat for the purple coat you love so much? Could you still kick people in the purple coast?

Rebecca said...

I can see the appeal. Mrs. Emma Peel. Bring on the black leather cat suit and I'm in.

sheila said...

Subspace, it's a good thing I am a spy, because I had, at my mere fingertips, the means with which to discover what other connotations the word "spook" has. If I wasn't so cold and ruthless I would have been surprised. I did not know.
Did you know that Rupert can iron? He can keep our shirts freshly pressed. When he's not doing other things, of course.

Samantha, we can be spies together!!!! Yippeee! (oops, MUST NOT show emotion -must be cold, calculating, ruthless, with steely glints in my eyes)
Can you diffuse a bomb? Check out google, will you? One of us should know how, I think.

Miss Peel, I mean - Rebecca, get that cat suit ready. I sense Critical World Issues out there, just itching to have us kick them in the throats. Repeat, get cat suit ready.

signed, Alpha Bravo One

Samantha said...

Sheila, darling... I can diffuse a bomb with my icy glare alone. Although if cat suits are going to be involved, I must put in more minutes on my bike. I had thought the large coat look had some appeal. Hmm, maybe it's just Rebecca in the cat suit.

Cool spy name! I guess I need to think of one as well.

sheila said...

Oooh, very cool. I am impressed, in spite of my cold, ruthless exterior.

Don't fret, I think Rebecca in a cat suit will be about all we can handle. We'll attract too much attention otherwise. You can wear the long black coat, I will have my long purple coat, and we will keep Rupert and Zaph hidden in our pockets for when we have a few spare minutes.

And contrary to what Richard thinks, we are NOT objectifying men. At all.

Samantha said...

Objectifying men? Us? I'm utterly shocked that he would think that! He's got it all wrong.

I have yet to see MI-5, so I have to ask if they have guests come on the show. I'm pulling for Ewan McGregor (although he would be welcome for a full time role as well).

Also, will I need to run in heels? Or even walk in heels come to think of it...

Just some important spy questions I was curious about.

sheila said...

Well, they have had a lot of guest roles (Martine McCutcheon, Hugh Laurie) but no one that could eclipse Zaph, Tom, and Adam. As Richard once pointed out, the male options are quite a bit better than the female ones.

Distressingly, heels do seem to come with the territory. We will need to suck back the champagne too. And wear pearls and little black dresses at the odd diplomatic reception. And carry little cases with lock-picking devices in them, which we will have to be prepared to ditch at a second's notice, say, when foreign terrorists invade the reception we're at. We might also have to sleep with people. And don't forget those high kicks to the throat. We must, above all, be VERY flexible.

Samantha said...

Hmm, my walking in heels is comparable to a newborn deer taking it's first steps, only less graceful. Maybe the champagne will help. As for the high kicks to the throat, I think I'll have to start my kicks below the belt and work my way up ;-)

The things we do for... our Country? The world?

sheila said...

Samantha, my dear, if Tom Cruise can walk around in high heels, so can we. We'll scale them down a little, but they really do elongate the leg when one is wearing a long black coat and black trousers.

And yes, champagne ALWAYS helps. Helps anything and everything. We will drink it before every mission. And every debriefing too. We may not get much done but gosh, we'll be cool AND noble.

About the kicks: below the belt is best for the dead good-looking ones. The ones who piss us off get the karate chop to the throat. And we will be ruthless. Hard. Assassins. (gosh, I might need my own autograph this is so cool)

shaun said...

Hmm, I am willing to be sexy and spy-like with you. But you have to get rid of the snakes first.

Samantha said...

Excellent Sheila, excellent!

Here is our first lesson:

Watch out evil baddies of the world!!!

sheila said...

Shaun! Consider the snakes GONE. Gone, I tell you. I will karate chop them into infinity. We have a couple of long black coats left, as well as one cat suit. What's your preference?

Ooh, Samantha. Serious lessons already! You are a relentless taskmistress. Nevertheless, I'm there. Watch out evil baddies indeed. We are fierce. Fierce I tell you! (even if my thighs aren't)

Samantha said...

Oh Sheila! I love your spirit!

I think I'll watch another Charlie's Angels this weekend for a few new moves.

p.s. thanks for still allowing me to comment ;-)

sheila said...

You can be my Guest Host anytime, Samantha. Besides, this is fun. Who can resist fun?

Rebecca said...

Oh, I missed it all.

However, I'm glad to see Cat Suits accepted.

Give me a year and a Cat Suit and I'm in.


Samantha said...

Oh yes, I am all about the fun!!!

I'll need a year to master walking in heels as well. Don't forget to practice this weeks 'Spy Move' Rebecca. Y'all are so lucky to have husbands to practice on ;-)

shaun said...

I think I'd better go black coat -- I'm sure I would stand out more than sneak in a cat suit!

alaina said...

Are you still a spy now that the champagne has worn off?



sheila said...

You're assuming that we take breaks from our champagne drinking? Oh no, no, no! It's one endless round of diplomatic events and sexy dinners with Foreign Spies here, Alaina. One ENDLESS round. I hear Richard is getting bored with babysitting, though...