*originally posted on myspace on 10/15/2008*
Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a secret agent. Someone apart of something bigger, whose actions would determine the fate of the world. First, I was James Bond. As much of a badass womanizer a nine-year-old could be, I would type up fake Mission Briefings to mail to myself. I was a lonely child.
Eventually though, my need to differentiate myself became clear. I didn’t want to be Bond, I wanted to be someone better. So I made someone up. I was Jake Flagger, my crimefighting equal was Milo Stone (known to you regular people as Sam Hooson), and rounding out the group was drug-addled, gambling-addicted helicopter pilot Roger LaPorte (played perfectly by Andrew Letson). Roger didn’t often survive our missions though, and Sam and I inevitably spent more time looking for him in casinos than fighting our archnemesis, French military commander Colonel LaPorte (Roger’s cruel father, who mimicked the unlikable qualities of Andrew’s cruel father). We were equipped with guns, grenades, treephones, and anything else our imaginational arsenal could stockpile. We were the best at what we did, mainly because we were the only ones doing it. But also because in our heads being a secret agent meant doing something great and looking cool doing it.
Either we got played out with the whole secret agent schtick or we realized that we needed to aim a little lower, Sam, Andrew, and I then became detectives. Real detectives. With laminated ID cards and everything, thanks to my dad. We were C.I.A., Critical Intelligence Agency. Our business was clear: solve mysteries and save the world. Andrew was first investigator, I was second, and Sam was demolitions and records. We had a metal briefcase with the letters “CIA” crookedly emblazoned on the side, full of notepads, disposable cameras, an old tape recorder, and anything else we could get our hands on. In 5th grade, we solved the mystery of who had been defacing Skyview trading cards. CIA 1, Mysteries 0. We were convinced that given the right amount of evidence, we could’ve solved Jon-Benet Ramsey’s murder no problem.
As I’ve grown up, not much has changed. If it were still socially-acceptable I would tape record random conversations and try to piece together what people were talking about. I would still insist my friends call me “Maverick” because I had just watched Top Gun. I would still team up with Ben to fight Andrew and Sam in my backyard with plastic swords and cardboard shields, defending the Man/Elf alliance and preserving the sanctity of my back deck.
I still want to do something great and look good doing it, the options are just a lot less fun these days.
Cheers to your childhoods, and here’s hoping they weren’t too sheltered.