From the Bunker

(Our serial so far …  Secret agent 001 has infiltrated Pearly Gates Dormitory Retreat and uncovered a hotbed of geriatric sedition. Last time, Chief sprung 001 from Pearly Gates only to throw him out of a speeding car.…)

The spy who went batty

Gotcha! Gotcha, you bastard! Who am I? That’s a laugh. That’s the laugh of the century. You know very well who I am, Chief. 

All right, we’ll do it your way, Chief. It’ll take a little longer but we’ve got all the time in the world, haven’t we? Oh, don’t worry, I know what you’re up to, Chief. Up to one of your old tricks … keep me on the mobile long enough, you think you and your evil henchmen … and henchwomen, I don’t want to be sexist about this … You want to keep me talking as long as you can so you can pin-point exactly where I am. You think you can, but, take it from good old  Agent 001, you won’t be able to. I didn’t spend a lifetime in Top Secret Security without learning a trick or three. Learned a lot of them from you, Chief. So here we go, we’ll do it your way …

It’s called singing, Chief. Yes, I know I’m not Frank Sinatra but what I lose in melody and tone, I make up for in sincerity, don’t you think? You don’t? Well, there’s no need to get petulant, Chief. You know, I’ve spent the best years of my life doing my best for you and my country and all I get in return is your clumsy attempt to assassinate me. Of course, you were trying to kill me, you pushed me out of a speeding limo at 120 Ks an hour. Oh, you don’t like my terminology? Are you a spy or a linguist? Have you turned into some kind of language guru? 

I’m becoming very, very angry here, Chief. What d’yer mean, I’m a nobody. You’re saying, now, let me get this straight, Chief, you’re saying that assassinate, the word assassinate, should only be used in connection with important people, kings, queens, presidents, and such. You know, I’ve worked for you all my adult life and never knew you were such a bleeding ridiculous, pedant, Chief. What’s it matter to a bloke being bundled out of a speeding car, heading for the bitumen, whether you’re trying to assassinate, murder, rub out, eliminate, wipe out or just plain kill him? You’re a nut case, Chief. Now cop this …

Regrets, I’ve had a lot
Yes, a lot that I could mention,
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I did each stupid job
You sent me to, but not in my way
More, much more, alas
I did it
your way

I repeat, I … Did … It … your… way

And, right now, let me get it through your pedantic, bureaucratic, devious, cold-blooded evil-minded skull, I’m not doing it your way anymore, Chief. You can curse and blubber and call me any sort of low dirty mongrel that you like, it won’t get you anywhere. 

No, I’m not going over to the enemy. I’m not a traitor, I love my country. You.re the traitor, mate.

Yes, there were times, more than a few
You gave me jobs that’d make me spew

But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spat it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it
your way

That’s it! You’re the traitor, Chief, not me. And you can take it from me, you’ve got an avalanche of trouble coming your way, I’ll see to that. From now on I’ll be your nemesis. I’ll be Javert to your Jean Valjean and I’ll make your life as miserable as possible. Keep looking over your shoulder, you creep, because somewhere not far away there’ll be Agent 001, correction, ex-Agent 001. Your days are numbered, you worm.  Goodbye! 

Sorry, to bother you again, so soon after my little brain-snap, Chief. But I’m missing my spectacles. They might have slipped out of my pocket when you were pushing me out of the car. Would you be good enough to have someone check out the vehicle? They might be on the floor in the rear. They’re easy to recognize. They’re that pair with the silver reflective lenses. Remember? You helped me choose them. They send people crazy when they can’t see your eyes.   

What’d’yer’mean I’m crazy? Of course, I’m resigning from the Agency. I would have thought we could do it in a civilized manner. You know I’m pretty-well stuffed without those glasses.

No need to be obnoxious, Chief. I suppose you’re docking my last lot of expenses too?

Chief? Chief?

For what is a man, what has he got?

If not himself, then he has naught

To say the things he really feels

And not the words of one who kneels

I hate you, Chief

Now I’ll be brief

I’ll do you my way

Yes, I’ll do you my way. . . .

Yes, this is 001. Who’s calling? Where did you get this number? You’re what! I don’t believe this. You’re doing a survey on nappy rash? Which powder or rub gives the most relief? Listen to me, young lady, are you aware of the absolutely diabolical trouble you’ve got yourself into. You have accessed the A-one top priority, classified hot line of our national spy agency, the espionage outfit which ensures the safety and security of our 25 million citizens. Where did you get hold of this number? You know you can go to jail for a very long time for possession of this number.

Don’t cry, please don’t cry. Shedding tears at a time like this doesn’t help at all.

No, I don’t have a baby.

Yes, I know I must have been a baby in the beginning. I don’t see that that has anything to do with the price of eggs.

No, it’s just an expression.

Well, I suppose my mother must have used something to ease my nappy rash, but you can hardly expect me to know which one at my time of life.

I’m 37.

You’re only 22? 

Well, yes, we could meet and sort this matter out. Yes, I do know Wingham.  In the bat reserve. 

Yes, we both have a problem to sort out. See you there, Wednesday.

© Michael John Barnes. 

The serial also appears on the web on its new site

medium.com/the-curmudgeon-blog

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