Neighborhood Spies

July 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby 19 July 2010

THE FRONT YARD – Here comes my neighbor, Billy George Kudzu, who likes to talk about international affairs. “Billy George, did you see those news stories about the Russian spies living in suburban neighborhoods? Had jobs, kids, AA membership, and all the time they were trying to infiltrate our most sensitive operations? They give a whole new meaning to the term, ‘illegal aliens.’”
He scowls. “Cannot believe press. Capitalist corporations draining the blood from proletariat, da?”
“The capitalist press says they all worked for the KGB.”
“Show how inaccurate they are and proofs my punt. It’s SVR Hasn’t been KGB since before glorious liberation war in Afghanistan.”
“They’ve been undercover for seven years.”
You seem to know a lot about them,” I say.
“Just hold blank letters from cousin over candle, and listen to radio in basement. But I come over maybe say goodbye. Perhaps me, Nelda Jane and our kids, Muffy and Chip, have to leave suddenly. Very suddenly. Company may send back to home office.”
“Where’s that?”
“Oh, that explains the accent.”
Late at work the next day, after everyone else had gone, I noticed our secretary, K-56, in the supply room making copies of some papers. K-56 (which I always thought was an odd name) was startled by my entrance, but said she was copying her dog’s kennel papers. When I noted they were was entitled, “Boeing Contract for F-25 Super Secret Belch Fire Missile,” she patiently explained that pedigreed show dogs have strange names like last year’s winner for that breed, Sniper Scope for Marine Platoon.
The next week I ran into another neighbor, Twitchy Plotter, at a local Tea Party lynching. “We’ve got to be vigilant,” he whispered. “They could be anyone.”
“Who are they?”
“Rooski spies. Soviet agents, KGB moles. There is a guy who goes through our neighborhood almost every day. He knows everybody’s name, where they live, what they read.”
“He’s called a ‘postman.’”
“I say it’s the Kremlin at work. Word is they have taken over the White House by posing as Kenyans. And why did the mainstream media suppress news of the new Arizona immigration law?”
“Then how did you know about it?”
“I read it on the front page of The New York Times.”
“Twitchy, you’re not paranoid, are you?”
“No, I’m Presbyterian. Did you know that global warming is a hoax, just like the moon landings and the EPA? I’m not sure there really is a Gulf oil spill. It’s the Soviet Union that worries me. All that propaganda about it breaking up. How do we know that Stalin is dead and Joe Biden is alive? Fox News is looking into it.”
A few days later in the grocery store I bumped into a neighbor, Boris Khrushchev, who claims to be a Russian spy but I happen to know he’s a sous-chef de cuisine down at the Dairy Queen. Still, he always wears a trench coat, a gray Fedora and a false beard, so he may know how spies slip into our society. “Hi, Boris.”
He glanced around. “Have we met?”
“Of course. Over the last seven years – or maybe 12. You live down the block in the house with an unlisted address, a big radio tower and surrounded by concertina wire.”
“The cake has no frosting.”
“Here to buy a cake, are you?”
“Jenny has two noses.”
Only when I gave Boris the secret handshake we learned in Indian Guides did I say, “It doesn’t make any sense that the Russian intelligence agency would send people to hide in out-of-the-way places.” Boris said the best places for secret agents to hide were in backwater, obscure dumps where the CIA would never look. “Gad,” I gasped, “that means they could be right here in Running Rats Acres.”
“They could be right here in Running Rats Acres,” said the man at my front door late that night. He had knocked quietly and had thrust out a badge. “I’m Agent Orange. CIA Counter-Terrorism Department and Organ Donor Scams. But I’m not really here. We’re checking into reports that there are Russian undercover operatives in the neighborhood. They have infiltrated the Ladies Who Lunch Club, the VFW – that’s Veterinarians From Wisconsin — and are attempting to learn Victoria’s Secret.”
“How did you get suspicious?”
“Our first tip came when the cipher-breakers in our top-secret Ode-Cay Oom-Ray intercepted a pamphlet advertising for baby sitting and lawn cutting by neighborhood teenagers. That’s a well-known cover for espionage activities.”
“What should I look for?” I asked. Agent Orange explained that certain tell-tale clues were Smirnoff drinkers, fans of the Cincinnati Reds and anyone who shops at Lenin ‘n Things. “Also, they know we’re getting close and may need to destroy documents. Tell us if, here in the heat of a Texas summer, you see smoke coming out of any chimney.”
“You mean the spies of Texas are upon us?”
“Of course. This is the Lone Czar State.”
That night I noticed smoke coming out of Twitchy Plotter’s chimney.

Ashby spies at

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