We all know that most waiters and waitresses are out of work actors; well, it’s the same with us black-suited, earpiece-wearing, Ray Ban-adorned secret service agents.
We stand in close proximity to our charges, talking into our cuffs (for no good reason, it turns out), pressing an index finger into an ear (the one with the curly wire dangling out of it), always on the lookout for what concerns us most: glass-fronted buildings. Once we have identified such a building we walk past it slowly, faces impassive, carrying out the most important part of our jobs: checking that we are looking sufficiently secret-service-y in our costumes.
People are happy to buy into the myth of “secret agents”. This is despite the truth that there is no major threat to the Royal Families, Presidents or celeb VIPs of this world. However, such people don’t feel important or special enough unless they live inside a bubble of perpetual paranoia where every crowd has a lone gunman, every smiling well-wisher is a potential assassin, and they, by virtue of their extreme importance, are the target.
“But what about JFK?” I hear you ask. Yes, well, what people don’t know is that he’d eaten a hand-grenade salad for lunch and, instead of exploding harmlessly inside his bomb-proof arse, JFK accidentally sneezed (he was allergic to Texans) sending his Fabergé hand grenade straight up to his cerebellum where it got lodged in a memory about tight dresses, and exploded.
The official coroner’s verdict was “death by hand-grenade salad misadventure”, but all of the actors in the Secret Service Actors Guild thought that it would be much better for business if we pretended that he’d been shot.
Next Week: Confessions of a Sniffer Dog