The one thing that fascinated me when I was a kid, was movies.
I think I saw my first moving picture relatively late, when some of my peers were already familiar with this wonderful phenomenon.
I ascribe my late introduction to movies to growing up in the village.
By the time I came to town, the clever boys were already movie buffs. That is why I will never return to the village.
When you are in the village, life goes past you and unless you are a fast learner, you will forever be trying to catch up by the time you come to town.
I looked the fool when all the town boys were discussing movies, with no contribution on my part. Eventually I did catch up. The moment I caught up I became a movie aficionado.
My initial preference was kung fu flicks. Surprisingly, for a lad just arrived from the village, the kung fu movies were easy to follow. There seemed to be only one plot line.
The main actor, or what we called the starring, would arrive from somewhere and find harm had befallen his family. He would go in search of the villains. Until the end of the movie he would be unleashing the best kung fu combinations.
The starring could deliver a lethal flying kick. I never saw any of the villains flying through the air to deliver a devastating kick. We loved the starring so much we would whistle and shout to alert him when he seemed in danger of walking into an ambush. The starring would hear us and react quickly.
After he dispatched the villain with a flurry of flying kicks, we would hoot and cheer our hero. Back then we could cheer, jeer and whistle in the cinema. After the movie we would all go home and try to enact our starring’s kung fu moves the following day in the school playground.
When I became bored with kung fu flicks, I discovered westerns. These were movies starring tough lonely men always on horseback gifted with a quick draw. Similar to kung fu heroes, starrings in western movies were always on the side of good. They fought the baddies and restored the nice, but weak sheriff whose town was held hostage by bandits. Often they rode off with the daughter of the sheriff.
Even at that age, I had fairly liberal views and didn’t think it too much of a problem when the gunfighter rode off into the sunset with a pretty damsel for a job well done. I spent years doing the circuit of kung fu and western flicks.
As I became older, I discovered another movie genre. I fell in love with spy movies. In particular, I discovered a man called James Bond. He was a smooth operator and drove the latest cars. He also had the pretty girls.
Unlike the weather-beaten starrings in the westerns, he did not ride a horse. He bathed and was a snazzy dresser. He was also smart.
Mr Bond was a spy.
I loved him and vowed that when I grew up I would become a spy just like him. What I loved about the profession was that a spy had all the gadgets to do all manner of things.
A spy like James Bond could eavesdrop on conversations. He could place people under surveillance and take pictures with a hidden camera. When bored, James Bond could even watch cheating couples engaged in intimacy and use the pictures to blackmail them when either of them became cheeky.
My hero also never seemed to run out of cash. Anyway, I was determined to be a spy because then I would have money and date pretty damsels just like Mr Bond.
I never became a spy because life dealt me a raw deal.
I am reminded of spying because there is so much being said about it in this country lately. Depending on who you listen to, it seems the local spies are not exactly the flavour of the month. They are accused of all sorts of things. I don’t know what to believe. But secretly I think I am on the side of the spies. I think my love for James Bond is responsible for this attitude.
It’s not a good time in this country to proclaim a love for the spy agency. Granted, they seem to fumble a lot and commit so many elementary blunders.
I mean, why not show them a couple of James Bond movies as part of their training?
That said, I love the profession. However at the rate things are going I think our local spies need to spruce up their image. Spies must enjoy public goodwill, just like James Bond. They must be heroes and heroines.
They must make the profession attractive so that youngsters will grow up aspiring to be spies. They must not be accused of unsavory things such as executing a man with a strange and long name.
James Bond never executed anybody. He left the dirty job to thugs.
I am sad that our spies are being criticized so much. As you know, I always offer free advice to anyone who finds themselves in a jam and don’t know how to extricate themselves.
Finally, after all these years since I discovered James Bond, I want to work with the spy agency. I want to be their consultant on public image. By way of showing them my good intentions, I want the local spy network to focus on some good deeds in order to regain the confidence of the public.
So what do I suggest?
Well, many of you are aware of the drive by the authorities to circumcise all chaps who escaped the snip when they were kids. Apparently the snip is good for health reasons. For obvious reasons, blokes are reluctant to come forward.
That is where the spy network should come in. When we are dressed no one knows whether we are circumcised or not. From what I hear the authorities want to subject every man to the snip. This is an absolutely brilliant idea.
I, therefore, want the spy agency to work with the health authorities.
This is how they should do it. Every night the boys at the agency must use their gadgets to zoom into every bedroom to find out who is engaging in intimacy. I am sure they have the tools.
I mean, James Bond had the stuff all those years ago.
They must then file a report to the health people that so and so is not circumcised. They must provide the house number and other details about where the offending bloke works.
The next day the health people must call the guy and invite him to the clinic where he will be told about the benefits of the snip.
I can bet you, blokes will see the light and undergo the procedure. The result is that every man will be healthy. So will be their partners. For engaging in good causes, the spy agency will enjoy public goodwill and everyone will live happily ever after.
To the spy agency I say: Blokes, I know you like my idea. You know where to find your consultant.
Get in touch so that we get the show rolling and create a healthier society!