Tag Archives: James Bond

Licence To Trill

A Pakistani pigeon accused of being a spy has been captured on the Indian side of the border in Kashmir (Irish Times 06/06/2020)…..

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Fred

Fred had started work in MI6 as a mere courier, a job that required no more skill than the ability to outwit Dastardly and Muttley, but he had always accepted this lowly role, knowing that humans would get the more glamourous work.

Then came facial recognition software. The Double-O’s had been moved to jobs in payroll, and Fred had been promoted.

A pigeon spy has it tougher than a human one. James Bond would be sent into action with a bow-tie that became a boomerang, a biro that became a bazooka and an iPhone that gathered personal information. All Fred would get was a packet of exploding bird-seed and a leg-ring that picked up Radio Luxembourg.

Bond was trained in weaponry and martial arts. Fred was trained to find his way home.

But even so, Fred had been remarkably successful, again due to technology. And fear of it.

Paranoid about planted bugs and tapped phones, conspirators now meet exclusively on park benches. Fred would simply walk around in front of them, head bobbing as if for worms, and listen to every word.

Plus he sometimes got bread thrown to him.

It wasn’t all easy though. The bad guys also hired avian operators, and over the years Fred had had to fight skuas, hawks and falcons, all faster and stronger than him, but all dispatched with ingenuity and a killer pun.

In South Africa he once defeated a Cape Vulture called Bloveldt by suggesting to him that he might appear more menacing if he took to stroking a cat.

Now, though, it seemed his ingenuity had let him down. He was in the Indian part of Kashmir, and had unearthed a plot to flood the world with cashmere sweaters, collapsing the price to allow total market domination. The man who came up with this plan might have made as much money, legally, by investing in IT, but fixation upon a single mad scheme is the true hallmark of the supervillain. To this end he had built an underground base and the world’s largest weaving machine.

The base alone cost five billion dollars, and smelled overwhelmingly of goat.

Hoopoe (from justbirding.com)

It was while leaving this base that Fred had been caught. He had gone undercover as a hoopoe, a native Kashmiri bird, but it is not an easy look to capture and Fred had ended up looking like an extra from Trolls.

He had been quickly rumbled, caught in a net and denounced as a spy – a Pakistani one, since the two nations blame each other for everything. He had been placed in a cage, deep in the underground base, and was now listening to low rumblings, yells of panic, and a disembodied female voice intoning “T Minus three minutes, and counting”.

Because before being caught Fred had filled the weaving-machine motor with exploding bird-seed.

He was stoically keeping his upper lip stiff when he heard a voice say “need a hand?”

Alyona

He looked up. A Siberian Accentor was looking in at him, a smile on her face.

“KGB?” asked Fred.

“There’s no such thing,” said the bird. “MI6?”

“No such thing either,” said Fred.

“Mmm,” said the bird. “Anyway, it seems the two agencies neither of us work for have a common foe here. My name’s Alyona,” she said.

“My name is Fred. Fast Fred.”

“Seriously?” said Alyona.

“It’s a Lancashire name,” sighed Fred. “I come from a long line of racing pigeons.”

“I see,” said Alyona. She tilted her head to one side as the voice said “T minus two minutes, and counting.” “Well, it looks like that might be useful right now.”

She plucked a feather from her tail and picked at the cage lock. The door swung open.

“Let’s go,” she said.

They flew out into a corridor filled with smoke, shouts and running humans. They weaved and swooped around falling beams and sudden bursts of flame. They streaked vertically, wings by their sides, up a lift-shaft, then darted under a massive metal door just as it was closing and found themselves outside, on a heli-pad. The villain was escaping, his helicopter already feet from the ground. Fred and Alyona dive-bombed the rotor, pooing into it over and over until it stuck. the engine stalled, and the helicopter crashed to the concrete and burst into flames.

“Bird strike,” said Fred, feeling it was expected of him.

“T minus five seconds, and counting,” said the voice.

Fred and Alyona fled, but were just two hundred yards away when the base exploded.

The sky caught them, and threw them.

They cut through the air faster than either ever had before, tumbling over and over at the bow of the wave of fire. Their wings touched, and held, each supporting the other.

Gradually they slowed, then hovered, resting on the sky. They were both panting from relief, from exhilaration, from the sheer joy of being alive. Their feathers were singed, their faces were blackened, and neither had ever seen anything as beautiful as the other. They grinned, then realised at the same time that they were still holding wings. Neither moved to let go.

“Fancy joining the mile-high club?” said Alyona. “I’ve suddenly become a pigeon-fancier.”

“Coo,” said Fred.

 

 

 

 

Licence To Drive

Aston Martin have released their first-ever SUV ….

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They were gaining on him.

A hail of bullets bounced off the back of Bond’s car. One came in through the rear windscreen, causing the air freshener to spin like a hypnotist’s watch as it flicked past it on the way out the front. Bond frantically operated the in-car communication system.

In other words, he held his mobile up to his ear.

“Ah, there you are, Bond,” said Q. “How goes it with it new car?”

“How it goes,” said Bond, “is at 50 miles an hour. How do I get it to go faster?”

“Faster?” said Q. “No-one’s ever driven an SUV faster than that.”

“Well, what about its weapons?” asked Bond. “Rear guns, tyre-tacks, oil-slicks?”

“It doesn’t have any of that stuff,” said Q. “It does have a pressure washer for hosing down muddy dogs.”

“Well, that’s no help,” said Bond. “Ok, there’s a sunglasses sign flashing on the dashboard. Does that mean I can operate some sort of laser beam?”

Danger, uncool alert

“No,” said Q, “it’s telling you you’ve forgotten to put your sunglasses on the top of your head.”

The car behind launched a grenade, which bounced off the tail-fin of Bond’s car and into a garden, where it exploded in a shower of shrapnel, earth and decapitated garden-gnomes.

“Bloody hell,” said Bond, “Time to get out of here. How do I get it to fly?”

“Er, fly?” said Q, and his tone caused Bond’s heart to sink.

“You told me,” said Bond, through gritted teeth, “that it was an off-road vehicle. I thought that meant it could fly.”

“No,” said Q, “what that meant was that you have to park it half on the footpath.”

Well,” said Bond, “that’s just -”

“Destination reached,” said the Sat Nav suddenly. Bond looked around in amazement as the car drew itself to a halt, half on the footpath, outside a school.

Where Blofeld was standing waiting for him.

The car that had been chasing Bond pulled in behind him, and another car parked in front, facing him. Bond hung up his phone as Blofeld pulled open the passenger door. There was a brief delay while the arch-villain tried to pull himself up onto the seat with a gun in one hand and a cat in the other. Eventually he settled himself.

“We meet again, Mister Bond,” he said.

“How did you know I’d be here?” asked Bond.

“It was either the school or the Dundrum Shopping Centre,” said Blofeld. “They’re the only two places in the Sat Nav.” He looked around him. “Nice car,” he said.

“I suppose you expect me to give you the keys?” asked Bond.

“No, Mister Bond,” said Blofeld, “I expect you to die.”

He raised his gun. Bond stabbed frantically at all of the buttons on the dashboard. The sound system started to play Michael Bublé. The seat beneath him began to warm up. The clock changed to New York Weekend Away Time.

And a coffee-cup holder popped out of the dashboard, startling Blofeld’s cat, which leapt back, scratching Blofeld’s face. He raised his hands, momentarily pointing the gun away, so Bond pushed him and he fell out of the passenger door, dropping four feet onto his head.

Bond started the car. The villains in front of him started theirs too, but Bond simply drove over them. The car behind him began to follow, but Bond pressed another button and two jets of water shot way over his own windscreen and onto that of his pursuers, causing the driver to crash into the “Caution: Children Crossing” sign.

Bond sped, relatively speaking, away. His phone rang.

“If you’ve not happy with the car, Bond,” said Q, “we can replace it.”

Bond took his sunglasses from his jacket pocket and put them on the top of his head.

“It’s fine, Q,” he said. “This is the most dangerous thing I’ve ever driven.”

 

 

Marked Man

MI5 bars applicants with visible tattoos (BBC’s 10 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week)…

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Bond woke in a hotel in Marrakesh to find himself naked and tied to a bed. It took him a couple of seconds to realise that this was not a good thing.

There was a swivel chair beside the bed, facing away from him. It turned and he found himself face to face with Blofeld who, and this is not a euphemism, was stroking his cat.

“We meet again, Mr Bond,” said Blofeld.

“Blofeld,” said Bond in disgust. “How did you find me?”

“Bug in your jacket pocket,” said Blofeld. “Though the fact that you’ve said ‘my name is Bond. James Bond’ to absolutely everyone you’ve met since you got here also helped.”

Bond looked away from him, and at the slim rifle-like object on a flexible arm at the end of the bed. “What’s this?” he asked. “A laser?”

“No, Mr Bond,” said Blofeld. “It’s a tattoo gun.”

“Er, what?”

“I’ve discovered that MI5 won’t employ you if you have a tattoo,” said Blofeld. “So I intend to give you one. I’m basically going to write you a P45 in very, very permanent ink.”

“Wouldn’t it be simpler just to shoot me?” said Bond.

“Yes, but then you wouldn’t be able to witness me achieving world domination,” said Blofeld. “It’s going to be so much more fun having you around to watch.”

“It’s going to be so much less fun having me around to stop you,” said Bond. “Don’t think that I won’t continue to hunt you down just because I’ve suddenly got a dolphin on my butt.”

“Will you really, Bond? Without the Secret Service paying all your bills? Without Q there to provide a ready supply of helicopters disguised as wheelie-bins? Without a pension to look forward to?”

Blofeld was right, Bond realised. He had worked for them for years, he had abided by their stupid rules – aside from the tattoo ban, there was also the embargo on drinking anything but cocktails, the mandatory use of bad puns and the compulsory wearing of formal dress when grappling underwater with sharks – but one black mark, literally, and they would simply cast him adrift. Why should he bother?

“Can I pick the tattoo?” he asked.

Blofeld smiled. “Why, of course. What are you thinking of? A scorpion? An anchor? A symbol that looks Chinese, but was actually just the tattoo-artist clearing the ink out of his gun?”

Bond knew that there was only one option, the person who had always held him dear, no matter how often he had refused to hold her at all. “I want it to say ‘Moneypenny’,” he said.

“In your dreams,” snorted Blofeld. “Where I plan to put it there’s no way that’ll fit. You should just go for ‘Mum’.”

“Then your plan has a fatal flow, Blofeld,” said Bond. “I’ll only be fired if I have a visible tattoo.”

“Yes, an interesting rule,” said Blofeld. “Sometimes I wonder why MI5 have the word ‘Intelligence’ in their title. Who is to decide whether a tattoo is visible or not?”

“Who indeed,” said Bond.

“Well, the dictionary for one, and this is where your lifestyle catches up with you. One definition is ‘often in the public view’ so I reckon that, as at the end of all your missions, you’re screwed.”

You Only Live Nince

BlofeldBlofeld settled himself in front of the camera. His collar was buttoned firmly to his chin, his chair had been raised to make him look taller, and his head had been polished like a bowling ball.

“How do I look?” he asked.

“Good,” said his assistant, Oddjob. Blofeld glared at him.

“Er, I mean bad,” said Oddjob. “Really evil.”

Blofeld smiled in satisfaction. “Very well,” he said. “Turn on the camera.”

The light at the top of the camera turned red, and Blofeld began his message. Once he was finished the transmission would be beamed simultaneously to the CIA, to the KGB, to MI6 and, due to some computer bug that his IT people couldn’t fix, to The Happy Bean Coffee Shop in Clonakilty, County Cork.

“My name is Blofeld,” he said. “I have nuclear warheads pointed at -”

His cat leapt into his lap.

“Halt the recording,” snapped Blofeld. He looked down at the cat. “Seriously, Fluffy,” he said. “This is not a good time.”

The cat simply snuggled deeper into his lap, and purred softly. Blofeld lifted her off and placed her on the floor.

“Start the camera again,” said Blofeld The light came back on and he stared again into the lens. “Er, as I was saying, I have nuclear warheads pointed at Moscow, Peking and New York. Unless I receive twenty million dollars in gold bullion, I will eeeek!”

While he was talking Fluffy had leapt back into his lap. Blofeld had tried surreptitiously to lift her off, but Fluffy had just dug her claws in, and when a cat does that while sitting in your lap it’s not a pleasant experience.

“Stop the tape,” he gasped again. Oddjob sighed and turned the camera off.

“Did I sound a bit girly there?” asked Blofeld.

“Not at all,” lied Oddjob. “You sounded just like an arch-villain – shrieking to show the world that you mean business.”

“Yes, but how am I going to get rid of her?” asked Blofeld, looking down at Fluffy.

“You could leave her on your lap,” said Oddjob. “We could keep her just below the shot.”

They began recording again. In order to pacify the cat Blofeld stroked her gently as he told of the devastation, the blame-game, the inevitable world war that would follow if his demands were not –

“Cut,” said Oddjob.

“Oh, for God’s sake,” said Blofeld. “ What’s wrong now?”

“It turns out that leaving the cat out of shot wasn’t a great idea,” said Oddjob. “You don’t want me to tell you what it looks like you’re doing.”

“So what’ll we do?” asked Blofeld.

“We’ll just have to show her on your lap,” said Oddjob. “It can be your Thing, like Indiana Jones’s hat, or Doctor Who’s bow-tie, or Goldfinger’s, um, gold finger.”

“The scar on my cheek was supposed to be my Thing,” said Blofeld. “It was supposed to create the image of a man who likes duelling. Instead my Thing is going to make me look like a spinster sitting in front of a telly until it‘s time to get ready for Bingo.”

“Yeah, well your Thing was a fraud anyway,” said Oddjob, “since the scar is actually the result of the time you tried to get Fluffy to wear a collar with a bell on it.”

Blofeld decided to ignore that. “Get her some cat-food,” he said.

Oddjob went off and returned with a bowl of what looked like the stuff you scrape off football boots after a match on a wet day. It was a brand of cat-food that claimed that eight out of ten cats preferred it, though without specifying what they preferred it to. Lasagne, perhaps – it can’t be easy getting that out of your whiskers.

In any case, it seemed that Fluffy was not one of the eight. She gave the bowl a look of haughty disdain and, to Oddjob’s horror, headed out through the cat-flap.

Oddjob had tried telling Blofeld that a cat-flap was a bad idea if your secret headquarters was underwater, but Blofeld hadn’t listened.

He certainly listened now, to the sound of gallons of water pouring in, to the sound of the equipment around him beginning to spark and then explode, to the sound of nuclear missiles toppling sideways from their gantries, to the sound of a female voice intoning “T minus thirty seconds, and counting”.

When James Bond arrived two hours later he was surprised to find only wreckage on the surface of the ocean, with Oddjob clinging to a plank and Blofeld wearing a toilet-seat as a life-belt. Fluffy, determined not to get wet, was sitting in Oddjob’s upturned bowler hat.

Bond looked at Blofeld, who shrugged.

“We meet again, Mr Bond,” he said. “Do you want to buy a cat?”

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The image is from bondmovies.com.
Oh, and I know Oddjob didn’t work for Blofeld, he just seemed to fit into the story…

The World Isnae Enough

“Fergie Denies Plot to Remove Agent” (headline in Evening Herald).

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The phone rang in the Manchester United Players’ Lounge. Agent 11, Ryan Giggs, picked it up, listened and then handed it to Agent 10. “It’s for you,” he said.

“Cheers”, said Agent 10, “put the phone on scramble”.

“Don’t need to”, said Agent 11, “it’s Fergie”.

Agent 10 took the phone and listened to the dulcet (*) tones of the head of MI6, Sir Alex “Fergie” Ferguson. “Seeyoujummy hootshoots muttermuttermcmumble absolooly gityerfuckenarse up here noo”, he heard. (*Dulcet, by the way, is an old Scottish word meaning “sounding like a cat being passed through a bin lorry”).

“I think he wants to see me,” said Agent 10, and headed out the door to the “Manager’s Office”, as Fergie’s room was known.

It was now over 30 years since MI6 gave up its cover as trading company Universal Exports and assumed the guise of a leading football club instead. The new cover was far more beneficial. As Manchester United, MI6 could sign Agents of many nationalities without having to explain themselves. They always had an excuse for travelling abroad in large numbers. And the income from the sale of  United shirts was so large that it entirely financed the Gadgetry Department.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

It also meant that they no longer had to have female Agents, which was an advantage since they spent most of their time on missions falling in love with their opposite number and going around in revealing attire.

They had not expected that the team would actually prove so successful, but in hindsight this was not totally surprising. After all, expertise in moving about quietly and unnoticed made their forwards very hard to mark, while the fact that the defenders knew six different ways to silently disable an opponent meant that they weren’t troubled whenever an opposing corner-kick was swung into their penalty area. Not after the first corner, anyway.

Now MI6 had a problem. An independent foreign Agent, Kia Joorabchian, had taken total control of one of MI6’s Agent, Carlos Tevez, using a mind-control technique (he offered him 32 million pounds). The men at the top had decided not to pay this man, and had directed Fergie to get rid of him. They had told him to send his top man.

His top man was busy, however, so in a moment of weakness he had sent Agent 10.

Agent 10

Agent 10

Agent 10 gave the secret knock and entered Fergie’s room. He took off his baseball cap and threw it towards the hatstand, and they both watched as it bounced off the wall and spun on the floor on its crown, like the centrepiece in a game of ‘Spin the Tortoise’. “Allright, boss,” said Agent 10,  “the name’s Rooney. Wayne, er…” he stopped, took a card from his pocket and looked at it. “…Rooney”, he finished.

Fergie sighed. Wayne Rooney was a Special Agent. There is more than one possible meaning to that sentence.

Now Fergie had to hear his mission report. He was dreading it. He had not forgotten one of Agent 10’s earlier missions, where he had been sent to interrogate a granny in Liverpool and “find out everything she knows”. And by God he had. Some of the stuff the granny turned out to know still caused Fergie to wake up sweating in the middle of the night.

“Sit doon, Agent Rooney, I need to ken hoo ye got on wi’ tha’ mission I gave ye.”

“Well, boss,” said Rooney, wondering vaguely who Ken was, “I think I did really well this time. First of all I got some equipment from Um.”

“You mean M?”

“No, Um. That’s what I call the Serb bloke we have playing at centre-back. I can’t pronounce his real name.”

“Nemanja Vidic?”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“What sort of stuff did you get from him?”

“Well, hair gel, Lynx deodorant, stuff like that”.

Fergie started to feel a sinking sensation. “Agent 10, what exactly was your mission?”

“Well, you told me to find Kia Joorabchian…”

“Yes…”

“… and you explained that that wasn’t a Korean car…”

“Yes…”

“… you explained that it was this Agent who was messing our Carlos about…”

“Yes…”

“…. and you said you wanted him taken out.”

“And?”

“Well, I took him out. We went for a few beers and then went trying to pull biihds.” (I’m sorry, you try writing “birds” in a Liverpool accent).

“Och, mon,” said Fergie, “that wasnae what I meant. When I say I want somone taken oot I mean I want them did. Though, o’ course, if ye were caught I’d have to disavoo any kenness o’ your actions.”

Agent 10 hung his head. “Sorry boss, I didn’t understand.” Then he brightened. “Hang on, though, there’s a chance he might have caught that swine flu”.

Fergie looked at him excitedly. That would be perfect – topical, with no known cure, and completely untraceable back to MI6. “Really? How did ye manage to give him that?”

“Well, at the end of the night we went for a Mexican.”