In that, of late, I have let this sacred place become just a conduit for all the asinine, self-loathing, woe-is-me adolescent crap that gathers in the cobwebby, tricky-to-reach top corners of my brain space. I mean, what is this, MySpace? (Actually, MySpace jokes? What is THIS? 2006?) So, while I arrange for a long line of nuns, businessmen and '70s blaxploitation pimp stereotypes with increasingly alarming weaponry to beat some sense into me, here's a story about me being Secret Agent Man.
So I'm wiling away an afternoon on the District Line, as a cheap and convenient alternative to buying a man-sized oven to bake myself alive in, and something catches my eye. I must record this for posterity, I think, but how to do that without drawing attention to myself? At that moment, the tense Bourne-style background music starts up in my head. DUN-duh-duh-duh-duh DUN DUN dun DUN... My face remains impassive as I shoot glances at my fellow passengers. Sure, they look normal, but I know that the imaginary shadowy Bluth Enterprises has operatives everywhere. Suddenly a man looks sharply up from his paper, directly at me. Dun-duh DUN! I am a picture of studied nonchalance as my heart races. I subtly reach up and touch my hand to my imaginary earpiece, and an imaginary voice from imaginary HQ crackles back at me. "Stay focused. We know they're watching. You've only got three stops before they get suspicious and you've got to capture this intel. We need photographic evidence, and we have to get it without them knowing." Deeeee-deeeeee!
But how? The carriage is quite empty. Any one of these passengers could be a hair's breadth away from blowing my cover and shooting me stone dead. Or worse! (Duh-dun!) I get out my non-imaginary phone out and idly press a few buttons. "What are you doing?!" screeches the imaginary voice in my ear. "Stop pretending you're writing a text! You're underground, not sitting in a pub on your own pretending you're waiting for friends to turn up." Damn it! What a rookie mistake. Cursing inwardly, I set my phone to camera mode and inconspicuously slip it up my sleeve.
The trains slows and draws into another station. I start to inwardly panic. Only one station left. The whole future of the world lies on my shoulders. The imaginative shadowy Bluth Enterprises must not get away with this. Suddenly, a chance! A tourist family clamber on board, pinning me into the corner of the carriage. And in a microsecond, the music in my head ramps up, changes into a major key, and a plan forms in my my mind.
Dun daaaaah dah daaah dahhh! I look over at the man reading the paper. He is engrossed, or appears to be. This is my chance. The tube gains speed through the tunnel, the rattling building and building. I must judge this perfectly. The imaginary voice remains tensely silent. I am on my own. I slowly slide the phone into my hand and aim it at my target. The tube ratchets up to its highest speed. The man looks up at me from his paper. The tube swings round a corner. The rattling reaches a crescendo. I pretend to stumble into into the children standing in front of me. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry!" I trill, masking the giveaway clicking sound my phone makes as I take a picture, as I appear on an imaginary film screen in a three-way split screen, all different angles of my phone taking a picture. Job done. Mission accomplished. Dun dahh dahhh... The imaginary men at the imaginary HQ slump back in their chairs with relief and high-five each other. One reaches back for the intercom and the imaginary voice in my ear says, "You've got it. Now get out of there!" The tube rolls into Piccadilly Circus, and I run through the station away from imaginary pursuers, until I emerge into daylight, and melt away into the crowds.
All this actually happened. To get this:
BA Executive Class, eh? The boy's done good since the old days.