THE CHRONICLES COME IN FROM THE COLD…
Brother Furthermore, my strategically paranoid pet raven brother, and I were recently in the wicked city of Washington, where strategic paranoia is all the fashion. I’m here on the legitimate occasions of my employer. I have no idea why the bird is here, except, perhaps, the fact I have the key to gin storage bunker in my pocket. This point of view was underscored a moment ago when the bird launched an all-out attack on my in-room mini-bar. He didn’t even give the gin 48-hours to come out!
I’m also taking advantage of the fact my daughter lives in Washington, where she is cleverly disguised as an American University graduate student, complete with sweatshirt, funky hat and a sign that reads, “I’m smarter than Bush.”
She arrived at my hotel room to have one of those indepth father-daughter discussions. By the way, she and Brother Furthermore don’t believe in each other, so this sort of confrontation is always fun to watch. Of course, I don’t put much stock in Melanie’s objections. After all, she claims to be in literate discourse with a bat named Everafter, so how much faith can you have in her observations, I ask you?
Upon arrival, she announced that we were going to visit the International Spy Museum. I agreed and Brother Furthermore promptly showed up wearing a black trench coat and floppy hat. Where does he get that stuff, do you suppose?!
The first step in visiting the recently opened Spy Museum is to find it. So we did what any good spies would do. We hailed the first cab we spotted and told the cabby to take us to the International Spy Museum. Pretty sharp, huh? Three minutes later, he deposited us about a block and a half away in front of a building covered with super spy graphics and stainless steel letters 12 feet high proclaiming that this was the International Spy Museum. Okay. So we probably could have found it on our own if we had tried. Big deal.
The museum is really something and well worth your time and the $11 they soaked me to get in. We tried to evade the ticket seller but our spy skills, apparently, are still lacking. Although, to give us our due, he was really good.
The museum contains not only examples of the trade craft of spying—all those secret tools, bombs, guns, bugs, etc.—that you see on James Bond, but it was also a history of spying, going back to biblical times when God told Moses to send men to spy out in Canaan. The history behind history was the general theme and it ran up through several wars to modern atomic spying. Very revealing. I’d tell you more but then I’d have to kill you.
The thing that really sets this museum apart is the interactive aspect of it. The entire building is bugged with mikes and cameras. In one room, you can actually spy on the people in the front room and listen to their silly conversations. Or you can crawl through the ceiling ductwork and look down on the crowds. You can monitor broadcasts, review super secret spy plane photos, try your hand at code breaking and, in general, practice all your spy skills. It was just great!
Melanie ventured the opinion as we had a late lunch later on that the museum was not really a museum at all. It was a recruiting center for the CIA. This made perfect sense to me and I turned to Brother Furthermore to consult on his opinion. He wasn’t there. This usually bothers me because you just never know what the old bird is up to, you know?
Fast forward a bit now. I flew to Kansas City on personal business. It was raining like mad and the sky was slate gray and ugly.
Now, however, my immediate concern is Brother Furthermore. I haven’t seen him since we left the Spy Museum. Either they finally got him….or they’ve recruited him. I’d be a lot more worried, except for this fact. There was an entire section at the Spy Museum on disguises. At this moment, peering in my window is a rather scruffy looking, very wet pigeon. It’s wearing a black trench coat. What can I say? I’ll just see how long it takes him to come in from the cold.