To the Senior Officials:
Report on Mission 2112 - Operation Tinker Toy
Objective: My mission began with the task of obtaining flight to the hostile territory of Providence, Rhode Island. I was assigned with the mission of gaining information on various topics for the Agency. The three-fold sortie was to supply information in the following topics: 1.) To infiltrate the home base of employer's greatest rival, Hasbro, Inc., and stealing state secrets which can be used to better our manufacturing processes. 2.) Gain insight into the make-up of the subjects that caused the defeat of our Pittsburgh Steelers in the previous year's AFC Championship engagement, the New England Patriots. 3.) To understand the environmental makeup of the state's weather in the hopes of bringing precipitation to our own drought-stricken state, Arizona.
Agent 002 (Me) had thought it best to travel in the company of a beautiful woman to distract would-be counteragents. Contracted Agent 069 (Diane) www.geocities.com/steelcactus/DIANE.html to accompany me under the guise of being my consort. Disembarked the Phoenix Airport in a commercial airliner (Southwest) for 5½-hour journey to said destination. During boarding was informed that assigned seating was not an option. Receiving late placement in boarding procedures caused the breach of disguise of traveling vacationers. Agent 069 was forced to be seated in a different row as the plane was filled with the exception of middle seats. Using this to our advantage we seated between two separate set of would-be counteragents and tried to gain knowledge on destination, tactics, etc. Situated myself between an overly large man who I quickly identified as a past foe from another Steeler skirmish, a Texan and Dallas Cowboy fan. On my right was Natasha the Sleeper. She pretends to sleep in the hopes of gleaning data while you are rambling to non-combatants. I decided to let Natasha keep up her ruse while I tried to gain information from the Texan. He disavowed allegiance to the Dallas Cowboys by stating that he had not followed them since the Landry era. Falling for my persona as a traveling vacationer proceeded to obtain all documentation stored in his Palm Pilot by having him beam me a blackjack game to my Palm Pilot. Deciphering will be the key by our Tech Services group. Info can then be uploaded to Steelers playbook for future campaigns.
During lulls in conversation, eavesdropped on Agent 069 dialogue to see if she had been getting comparable information on mission objectives. Found Agent 069 was breaching protocol by verbalizing on aspects of prior missions! Ascertained that she was speaking to a non-combatant female bartender, they would make the best spies! But to her left was a counteragent! A New York Yankee fan! Since our Arizona Diamondbacks had already defeated them last year, I decided not to intervene and blow our cover. Under the stress of not smoking and no movie while surviving on bread and water for five+ hours, she held up reasonably well. Agent 069 would have to be watched closely and I was just the one to do it.
Made contact with our other roving agents at the Providence Airport. Agent 001 (Diane's Mom) www.rosaliepeters.com from our offices in Asheville, NC, Agent 022 (Sharon), www.geocities.com/steelcactus/SHARON.html who is Agent 069's sister and Baby Marissa (Agent 4 Months) www.geocities.com/marissamulley from our Atlanta office. We discuss what we will be encountering when we arrive at the safe house. There will be three (3) New England Patriots fans and they will have to be handled with kid gloves, as their gloating over the AFC Championship has not subsided. Two children also reside there, Alex and Lauren. They are Russian adoptees and have been brainwashed by western values to the point that the KGB no longer considers them to be reliable. They have a cornucopia of Hasbro toys in store that which can be studied. We have brought Mattel toys with us in the hopes of introducing a new way of play to the youngsters. This will set lifetime habits of truth, justice and the American way. The drive to the safe house is marked by clear sky and temperate temperatures so part three of the mission will have to be investigated later in the mission. We pass Hasbro billboards and displays at the Airport. They have infiltrated every facet of this region. Since Admiral Agent A1 (My Mom) has negated my initial proposal to nuke this territory we will have to spend long years of subterfuge to introduce Mattel products here.
We arrive at the safe house, which has been placed, on the outskirts of Woonsocket, RI. A large Tudor-styled house amongst a non-descript neighborhood with rolling hills, plenty of dogwood and wisteria tree cover and horse farms. As we pull into the driveway we find that have been followed by Agent 008 (Paul). This British Agent, who has replaced Agent 007, has us worried that he may make this mission a failure. Although he has the good looks and the smooth manner of 007, his accent is a dead giveaway and he talks too much. And reportedly he had gotten the other agents lost while on rendezvous mission the previous day. Agent 001 has him on report already for this costly blunder.
Our first encounter with the counteragents involves exchanging pleasantries and the discussion of past missions that we had plotted against each other. The episodes in Florida were fondly remembered for their innocence during apprenticeship. I send Agent 069, Agent 001 and Agent 022 with Baby Marissa to scope the toy situation and develop a relationship with counteragent Jackie and the Russians. Jackie is the female head of the safe house whose word is law. She directs all counteragent's actions and I warn my agents to be wary of her intuitiveness. One slip of their guard could jeopardize our cover. I decide to take Agent 008 under my wing as we will be meeting in the underground facilities (cellar) with our greatest adversary, Marcel. Marcel is a New Englander through and through. He has been purchasing or playing with Hasbro products since infancy. He calls G.I. Joe and Mr. Potatohead friends! He has also been rumored to be the only one who knows Potatohead's first name! Not only is he one of Hasbro's top men he also cheered, loudly, when the Patriots beat the Steelers! He is under the guise of being a Boston Celtic fan at this moment but he can't fool me as he doesn't even get the Celtic games with his world-monitoring device (T.V.).
Agent 008 engages him in inane banter as I search for weaknesses. We have met in past travels but I introduce myself again to him, "Rush, Daniel Rush." He meets my handshake with an arched eyebrow. "It is good to see you again, ahem...Mr. Rush." I can tell by his firm handshake, his boyish good looks and furtive glances that I have a worthy nemesis on this mission. He offers me one of the local alcoholic beverages that are said to be refreshing. "Daniel, would you care for a Samuel Adams?" He has tried for the familiarity tack. I reply, "Yes, iced, not refrigerated." This obviously annoys him. Agent 008 jumps into to conversation trying to defuse the tension. "Have you Governors ever seen the bin liners in my flat?" Huh? Marcel pipes in his Bostonian drawl, "No, but I've pahked my cah neah a Stahbucks." Huh? Are they speaking in some kind of code that is not in my spy manual? I break out my best Pittsburgh accent, "If yinz don't red up this room of gumbans, I won't git you a Primanti's!" Ha! Who is scratching their heads now?
As all communication has broken down and the female agents have covered all aspects of toddler agent training, we decide to go meet...da, da, daaaa...The Grandfather. The Grandfather heads the operations of his organization with a firm hand from his hideaway in the depths of Nowhere, Florida. Although legally married to Agent 001, he doesn't let that dissuade him from outwardly singing the praises of Hasbro and the Patriots. He uses the occasion of his 70th birthday to call all the players together for a meeting to, he hopes, end the conflict. I've had many memorable encounters with The Grandfather, or as his is known around the world, Ernie. We've traded many adventures around the country, North Carolina, Florida, the Keys, Atlanta, just to name a few. The Grandfather and I didn't always root for the same team but we had a mutual respect and he tolerates me. We keep the brickbats under cover for the sake of the young agents who haven't chosen sides yet. The tension is palpable but we make nice and discuss the Steelers losing to New England in a way that sickens me inside. Hasbro toys are strewn about the carpet in an obvious attempt to intimidate me. I see Agent 069 has introduced the Mattel Barbie and Hot Wheels into the play area but the children have not yet taken to them. These kids have been brainwashed! We will have to introduce more Mattel products to them on special occasions. We have bugged the Barbie with our latest gadgetry and listening devices. This will be the source of our future espionage, as long as they speak into Barbie's boobs. After re-nourishment we make an exit and promise to continue to negotiate again tomorrow.
Agent 001 has had the foresight to book us in a hotel outside the sphere of Hasbro's influence, Massachusetts. After a ten-minute drive we have left the tiny state of Rhode Island, which is not even an island! Another attempt at disguising themselves! We checked into a small but clean room near the border. We compared notes and then I played spy games while she was in the bathroom.
The next morning we decided a meeting of the top agents, and Paul, was required to re-evaluate our tactics. We had not learned any new manufacturing processes or had any allegiances change. Plus, there was still no sight of the rain that was said to be so plentiful here. We had to get out of earshot of the counteragents. Knowing that The Grandfathers Lincoln Continental could be bugged we decided to rent a van to run all of our operations out of. We acquired a non-descript Ford Van at an exorbitant rate from a local dealer. Agents 001, 008, 022, 069, Baby Marissa and I trek out to Lincoln Woods to soak up the local atmosphere in the open air where we will have to be careful not be recognized by the local citizenry. All of who probably work for Hasbro in some capacity and are fervent Patriots fans. We all don sunglasses and continue to pass as tourists. We have brought our high-tech photographic equipment and use Baby Marissa to attract unsuspecting women who may buy Hasbro products. Baby Marissa has been giving orders since I have arrived but other than the perfunctory diaper changes and burping she has been ignored, cute as she is. Oh sure, there is a lot of gooing and cooing going on but she kept screaming "Teletubbies!" and not once did it end up on the world monitoring device. But other than many photos of the landscape not much was accomplished. After the British Agent 008 was almost castrated by a wild goose we decided to cut our losses and return to the den of traitors.
With the spirit of cooperation fading it was put forth that we have a group photo taken for posterity. The Grandfather insisted. With the real chance of the escalation of hostilities about to take place it would be our last shining moment together as friend and foe. So we all dressed in our dress blues and headed out to a local photographer for this exclusive shot. This level of cooperation had not been seen since Lafayette help turn the American Revolution. I became leery of The Grandfather's intentions when he reinforced his cabal with outside agents loyal to his cause. He assured me that the ceasefire was in place for today in celebration of his birthday. I took him at face value as he brought in a horde of local agents. His right-hand man had come out of the shadows for the momentous occasion. He was Ernie, Jr. www.geocities.com/livxox Heir apparent to the wide-ranging family ventures, he could consider himself a prince. Tall and handsome, he commanded a room with the geniality of a Sultan. His comely wife, Livia, brought their children, Nicole and the newly born, Zachary. There was still hope for the children in the Mattel world but they would have to be absconded to neutral ground to save them from the hands of the Patriots. The Grandfather's daughter, Monique, played the part of a princess convincingly. Robed in a designer dress and wielding the power she possesses she managed to dictate seating arrangements. She brought her stunningly beautiful daughters, Ashley and Allyssa to the affair to make all of us look old. But it was her son, Kyle, who stole the show with his wisecracking and wit. He will be a real handful when he grows older for our Agency. We should invest in neutralization now before he becomes a power later.
The photos are taken and the memory will stay with me forever. The collection of first-class agents here is dazzling. The Agency will never be able to convince future generations of agents that we had sat together for this moment in our lives. They will insist that it must have been trick of Adobe PhotoShop. No way could we have had these people in the same room. But, I'm here to tell you that it did in fact happen.
Getting into the spirit of the celebration, they convince my agents and I to join them for a party at the historic Cocke and Clever Restaurant, in the heart of their domain. I feared it might have been a ploy to get us inebriated and then get rid of us in some ghastly manner. But the more I thought about it, they seemed to be doing what we were sent here to do. Get us to change our loyalties and become traitors to all that is right in this world, Barbies and Steelers! Believing in the loyalty of my cohorts I accepted the invitation with reluctance.
I am commissioned by our Chief-of-Staff to pen a quatrain poem for the occasion as she sees it as an opportunity to strengthen relations between our two factions. I don't see the fruitfulness of this endeavor being apparent but I write with a fervor that at one time was unimaginable. Here is the text of the poem, which we have printed, dated and framed as a gift to our archenemy, The Grandfather, Ernie, Sr.:
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST
By Daniel Rush
Born in the throes of the Great Depression,
His Mother exclaims, "My son, our greatest possession!"
His childhood years are full of want and need,
But the lessons learned are part of his creed.
At the age of ten, the World War rages,
The precocious boy earns a nickel a day wages.
He learns of the evil that can be part of this earth,
And that death doesn't always buy what it is worth.
Now a young man of twenty,
He has come to know the world of plenty.
Living in the shadow of the A-Bomb,
He now has memorized the 23rd Psalm.
A gentleman of thirty years,
He sees man touch the sky and wash away all of our fears.
Within the decade of our "Summers of Love,"
Bring Monique, Ernie, Jr. and Marcel, the blessings from above.
Now he has reached his forth decade,
Vietnam and Watergate has made innocence fade.
But he feels no need to rock the boat,
Even if he did give Nixon his vote.
In his golden jubilee of fifty,
He's glad disco has died and it is okay to once again feel "nifty."
He has reached his financial goals and decides to retire,
And meets a hottie, Rosalie, who brings back the fire.
Sixty years have now come and gone,
He has seen so much, but now he wakes up at dawn.
He has a blue plate special waiting for him somewhere,
"Computers be damned, give me my discount, I don't care!"
Now after the beginning of a new millennium and seventy short years,
He wonders where this world is heading to.
The Internet, clones, and fake body parts are the latest craze,
He wants to know, before the Viagra kicks in,
what happened to the 'good 'ol days?"
In the next decade it will seem as if there is no stopping the clocks,
But maybe he'll finally see a championship for his beloved BoSox.
And with his grandchildren bouncing on his reconstructed knee,
He'll teach them the wisdom that only so many years gives thee.
HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY ERNIE!
The Grandfather was touched by our sentiment. We had made a real breakthrough. Maybe the angst and hostilities could end today. Maybe he will see the error of his ways and join the growing multitudes of the Steelers Nation! Then he could chuck his Mr. Potatohead and become a Barbie worshipper like the rest of the freedom-loving Americans loyal to Mattel! We ate like kings, danced like sugarplums and sang like a barbershop. We were drunk on power and drunk like sailors. Well, okay, it was me who was the power sailor.
The next day we thought it best to gather our momentum of the moment and get The Grandfather away from his troops. We had him on the ropes and it was time to hit below the belt. We pulled the non-descript van close to the house and laid in wait. While searching for milk for his bran flakes we bagged and gagged the subject and took him for a ride he would not soon forget. Hightailing it through the streets of the bucolic countryside, we meander our way to Rockport, RI. All of my agents are on board as we try the mind numbing techniques of pretending we are lost, being lost, hoping to get lost. The Grandfather can take no more! He insists that we find a bathroom now! I oblige him, even though I know he is just trying to find respite from the grilling. We stop at a convenience store where he tries to escape through the window. He gives up when his trick knee lets him down.
It has become plain that The Grandfather will not ever come to his senses. Our mission has failed! The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl. The Steelers still have Kordell Stewart, Hasbro has sold 1.2 million units of Mr. Potatohead and rain is still started by clouds. And worse yet, I have found that all of my agents are really double agents for the Dallas Cowboys! In the face of this colossal failure, I tender my resignation.
Rush, Daniel Rush