Saturday, May 24, 2008


     I have come to the conclusion that we are a nation of spies.  I know, that sounds ridiculous.  Because we are not all like James Bond.  In fact, it you were like James Bond, running around in a tuxedo all the time with jet-powered cufflinks and lasers shooting out of your shoes, you'd be what we call a social outcast.  And don't even get me started on Inspector Gadget.  If you were like him, with a helicopter coming out of your head and a little computer built into your arm, well you should probably seek medical help because you very obviously have survived an explosion at a helicopter factory or something.  You should get that helicopter part and your go-go-Gadget arms removed.  Because that's not normal.  But what is normal is for all of us to be spies; always scouting, looking, and constantly attempting to glean information about everyone and anything else.  
     You might not be driving around in a souped up Aston Martin through the arctic shooting KGB agents, but I bet you are spying while driving your '92 Ford Escort four-door hatchback with aftermarket tape player and "If you can read this you are driving too close" bumper sticker through the drive-thru at McDonalds.  First thing is first, you are sizing up the car in front of you from the moment you pull into the driveway.  Is it a car or a truck?  What kind of bumper stickers are there?  I am sure you are checking out the inside too.  Counting heads above the seat backs.  Looking for a carseat maybe.  Because you want to know every single thing about them that you can figure out.  We all cream ourselves as we crane our necks to hear what is going on in the car in front of us when they make the half turn around the corner to order their three double cheeseburgers and McFlurry shake.  You want to hear what radio station they are listening to, what the two high school girls in the back seat are squealing about, and you want to hear what they are ordering.  Be honest.  And it's okay if you don't hear what they order.  Because you are going to burn rubber to make it up to the little display screen and confirm what they've ordered.  So you can see it with your own eyes.  Humans are visual animals after all.  You don't realize it but you've just spied on those people in front of you, just like the guy behind you is doing to you.  And it's not the only place.
     Dewey is a spy.  He lives across the street from me, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a telescope pointed right through my living room window.  And it's okay.  I have one pointed through Hot High School Girl's window too (don't get yourself in an uproar, she's in college now and is only home in the summer).  But the point is that we are always spying on our neighbors.  Have you ever looked at the house next door to see what lights are on so you can speculate what's going on inside?  I have.  Have you ever gone and jumped up to look behind the fence across the street?  I did it at Foxy Roxy's house last week.  The point is that we are always checking out our neighbors.  Peering out at them as they load the trunk of the car.  Pick through their things at their rummage sale not so much to buy something but just to see what they have.  Peeking at if they have a recycling bin put out and just how many beer bottles there are in it.  We've all done it.  So don't deny it.  It's no big deal.  
     We've all eavesdropped too.  You are sitting in a restaurant, maybe the break room at work, waiting your turn to tee off on the first hole, and you just listen to what the people around you are saying.  The girl in the next booth talking about her one night stand.  The guy from accounts receivable making plans to his daughter's graduation party, the man in the cart in front of you talking about the taxes on his Roth IRA.  This is all information that you don't need.  But your ears suck it up greedily and you file it way, just in case later that girl is your sister-in-law, or you see that guy and his Roth IRA in court.  Because you never know.  And you want to know.  You want every little bit of information you can.  We all do.  We all have little satellite antennas rotating around and around inside out ears hearing everything that's going on around us.  Whether we want to admit it or not.  And we listen while we look through out telescopes.
     The consequences of our spying are all around us.  Think about the library.  In the library they used to have tables for people to sit at.  But now everyone has to sit in these little cubbies because we can't keep out eyes on our own papers.  Us boys know that it's happening in the bathroom too.  I don't know if you know this, but back in the day there just used to be troughs at stadiums and bars and wherever.  Now there are separate urinals because Johnny couldn't stop peeking at Ralph and Terry to see what he could see.  Because we are always spying.  Always looking at what's going on next door, across the street, in the next town over, etc. etc.  Yet many times we don't know what is going on with ourselves.  So keep your eyes to yourself, take care of your own business, and only get into others if they ask you to.  It's easy.  And quit being such a spy.  Unless of course you really are James Bond.  Or James Bond Jr.  


KingBobb said...

You know, I know, most of the listening public knows: You've jumped many a time on the street side of that fence to spy INTO Foxy Roxy's backyard. Next time bring a box and stand on it. Hi, Foxy Roxy!

Roxy said...