When I was little, I thought I might like to be a spy when I grew up.
The Mata Hari kind, with mystery and intrigue and cigarette holders and fabulous outfits, of course. Maybe a pillbox hat with a small veil. Not the actual kind that wears unremarkable clothing and has a lot of paperwork and what-have-you.
This didn't happen, as you know, although I still think about it occasionally. Because one, I am small and rather innocuous, and two, nobody ever suspects me of anything.
I once had a tangerine in my bag when I arrived in Miami from South America. I'd meant to eat it on the plane and had forgotten, and when they asked if I had anything on their list of stuff you weren't supposed to have, I said no, and they were all, OK, welcome to the U.S.
And then as I was walking away I realized I had this tangerine and I turned around and said, "Oh! But I do! I have a piece of fruit!"
I handed it to the woman and she glared at me and said with the tone that your parents use when you've let them down, "And you look so innocent!"
So then I was thinking, hell, I should've smuggled some heroin in my anus, you know?
Except that I'm never going use, much less sell, drugs and I'm not inclined to put anything in my anus. Plus, I don't know about you, but that movie Midnight Express made quite an impression on me as a child.
So there's all that.
But back to the spy business.
Everyone once in a while I get a reminder that I would totally and completely super suck at anything requiring duplicity. Because I have no poker face.
Last weekend I was at my friend Rachel's son's birthday party. There was a well-known children's entertainer there, one I've seen perform at her children's prior birthday parties.
So at some point during his performance, while the kids were howling with laughter, I was standing with Rachel and a woman I didn't know. We were talking about the guy's act, and how much the kids were enjoying it.
Rachel said, "He's not charging me for this show. He's doing it as a favor. So I'm trying to figure out what I should give him as a thank you. What do you think?"
I almost blurted out, "How about a nice blow job?"
Almost! But somehow, uncharacteristically, I didn't!
I said nothing. I just stood there quietly, as if considering the question. Inside, however, the words "blow" and "job" were flapping about, dying to escape.
And Rachel, she knew. She raised her eyebrows and pointed at me, smiling. "I see what you are thinking, and I acknowledge it. And I commend you for not saying it out loud in a room full of children. I was thinking more along the lines of cash."
The other mother said, "Fifty bucks?"
Rachel said, "That's probably about right."