Saturday, August 1, 2009

Secret journeys of menessness

It's been more than a week since I last blogged properly. So much has happened in that time, and of course I'm not at liberty to disclose most of the excitement (the CIA made me sign a nondisclosure agreement). Still, Leon Panetta knew that I was a blogger when he asked me to do some work for the company, and I'd be remiss if I didn't share some of the exciting adventures that occurred to me in the last few days. It's your choice whether you want to believe them or not, but let's just say that Michael Jackson's death sure was mysterious, eh?
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It all began last Friday morning, when I received a phone call from the CIA asking me to take part in a classified mission. I didn't find out that the call was from the CIA until later, because I didn't recognize the number and why should I pick up the phone if I don't know who is calling me? Anyway, I figured that they'd leave a message if it was really important, and then I'd call them back. They did in fact leave a message, but I didn't pick it up on Friday morning because there were seven messages preceding it, and I wasn't interested in listening to all of them.

That Saturday night I picked up the message, and recognizing the importance of the call immediately resolved to phone them back. I finished my delicious mustard+mozzarella tostino (thanks sister!), had a quick drink, and dialed the phone number. Within minutes I was preparing my kit for what would prove to be one of the most dangerous and thrilling adventures ever experienced by man or woman. I asked what I should tell my faithful readers, who would of course be wondering where I was and what I was doing. My handlers told me to tell everyone that I was on vacation, and helpfully provided the following picture to demonstrate:
Of course, I was really far away doing exciting things. I left for my secret destination at just past midnight, and arrived a couple hours later, disgusted with the talk radio I was exposed to on the way. Look, I'm all for Solomon Dwek ad nauseum as the rest of you, but why oh why do stupid people have to call in to offer their stupid opinions as well? My new policy is that anyone who calls a talk radio show (and a Jewish one for that matter!) must be a couple french fries short of even the most desultorily depressing meals. So that was that.

So there I was, in the most foreign of countries, awaiting further instruction and eating some ginger crunch. When the call finally came I was ready, and I immediately moved into position behind enemy lines. The lodgings I had stayed in when I first arrived were at once rejected by the firm as being far too opulent for the image they wanted me to maintain, and so I was thrust from a life of comparative pleasure for one of much suffering and great distress: the mattress sagged terribly in the middle. Being a professional often requires one to make these sorts of sacrifices, and the additional factor of its being for my country somewhat mitigated the circumstances surrounding this most disastrous (for my back) development, but even this did not prepare me for the crowning misery that was to be my constant companion in that most foreign of countries: a significant lack of wireless internet. No longer would I be able to indulge in the pleasure that is the largely-ceremonial checking of the email or the mostly-menial drudgery that is the the updating of the blog. Still, as I wrote previously (read a few sentences above if you've forgotten already), I was doing this for King and Country, and knew that I need not fear, for the other King was near.

What exactly did my super-secret mission entail? If I told you that I'd have to shoot you-seriously, what did you expect? The mission was super-secret! All right, I understand, you're dying for a little enlightenment. Basically, the CIA really really really wanted me to do some shtuff here, take care of some of these people, and generally make mayhem appear in the mountains and run down like a righteous stream spreading democracy and other forms of goodness for all men and women under the sun. Oh yeah, they also wanted me to locate Porter J. Gross' lost dry-cleaning, but I didn't have much success in that endeavor.

On Wednesday a secret CIA spy plane dropped me off at the New Jersey Transit station in Morristown, New Jersey, and I waited forty five minutes for a train. I had run out of provisions the previous night, and was therefore subsisting entirely on earth, wind, air, and fire. When the train arrived I boarded (could a more natural progression be affected?), carrying with me a portmanteau filled with quite valuable products that also happened to way more than your average pet parakeet's panoply of potpourri. A few minutes into our journey produced a stoppage of unusual duration at a train station, followed by the news that a tree had fallen down and blocked the path we were to take to the terminus of our journey's purpose and self-same existent purpose, and we commenced to continue our waiting for a time in the future when all branches would be cleared and we could once again commence to continue our self-same journey in the all the comfort provided by useless redundancies and the Comet V. So that was what, forty minutes? Yeah.

Remember, in a few short hours from then I'd be beginning one of the 25 hour fasts Judaism is famous for, and I was still without victuals. Shortly after making it past Short Hills the power went off, and wild jubilation sprung forth. Correction: there was no longer any air conditioning, and we all began to suffer in turn. At this point I really started to be annoyed with my CIA people persons for putting me on this train, and as if by magic there was instantly projected over the on-board speaker system (give or take fifteen minutes) instructions to vacate the current train because there wouldn't be no train to Krenitz that day. In other words, the lack of electricity was terminal, and if we wanted to reach the terminal in New York we'd best lug our way over to the other track, where a rescue train would soon live up to its name.

At this point I noticed a chassidishe woman (I was unable to see her socks, and therefore could not ascertain which brand of Bobov she pledged her allegiances to) on the train with me, and I thought that perhaps she'd have some cholent and kishke with her, or at least a few rice cakes. Before I had a chance to confront her/beg for food I was faced with the insurmountable challenge of getting to her position, and my heavy case filled with valuable products of a most holy nature proved no match for her three shopping bags. In short, she left me in the dust. Fortunately for her (for who knows what I would have done in my food-fueled rage against the machine?) another train soon appeared on the horizon, and once we arrived in Manhattan I fully expected the inhabitants of the last three hours of my universe to break into spontaneous dance and shower the conducting crew with accolades more deserving of those who wear pink shirts in Oshkosh than of a bunch of overweight white guys just trying to do their jobs and get home in time for supper. I soon learned that this was not to be, and my disappointment was only rescued by a not-so-chance-filled-but-certainly-well-hyphenated encounter of a third kind with a very special blogger in the station that rejoiced in its Pennness.

And thus was Tisha B'Av won.

28 comments:

sarabonne said...

CIA eh? I'm good friends with their boss, the one no one knows about...

Mushkie said...

Very satisfying post. Did you get to eat before the fast?

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: And I'm friends with his boss...

Mushkie: Yes, thank the one above, I managed to shtuff myself before (and have a massive stomachache that night).

e said...

well written.

The Real Shliach said...

Thanks.

e said...

What's "menessness"? Is that like "manliness"?

The Real Shliach said...

Well, I wanted to say something about its being my journey, but I also wanted it to be nonstandard, but then I realized that some people might think it was unintentional (and therefore cast aspersion on my intelligence), so I made it obvious that I know what I'm know when I write "Secret journeys of me (nessness)."

Anonymous said...

genius.

The Real Shliach said...

Finally someone appreciates it!

Altie said...

cool story. reminds me of one of those things online where u fill in the blanks, and they produce a whacky story with the words u filled in. i.e. u dont actually write it.

but u wrote this one, in all ur whackiness. good job.

The Real Shliach said...

http://www.madlibs.com/

Yes I did. And even crazier, it actually all happened.

Altie said...

thanks for the link.

I'm inclined to disbelieve you. You mean to tell me that you, TRS, was seriously involved with the CIA? I'd be crazy to believe it. Something tells me it just might have happerned, only cuz its you, but then again, I value my sanity and normalness.

The Real Shliach said...

Let's just say that one day, when a lot of info is declassified, you'll be surprised...

Altie said...

i probably wont be around to hear abt it. and ive learnt not to be surprised by anything anymore.

all i can say is, cool 4 u. now you'll have stories to tell your grandkids.

le7 said...

Hey don't forget the rice crackers I provided on the train...

the picture of the Japanese family you provided is the cast of Happiness of the Katakuris.

Hilarious death-filled musical.

Also, where did you get such a picture of yourself?

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: or they could just read TRS

le7: oh yes, those were yummy. Maybe I'll make an addendum tonight.

Normally "hilarious" and "death-filled" don't appear in the same sentence-can you provide some more info.

I have my sources... (you like it?)

le7 said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Happiness_of_the_Katakuris

Where was it taken?

The Real Shliach said...

(whistle...)

http://bit.ly/1IESp

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Nice. I'm looking forward to a nonsense-free version for comparison.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Nice. I'm looking forward to a nonsense-free version for comparison.

The Real Shliach said...

Nonsense? You call my genius nonsense? Humph.

jewpublic club said...

Original, you should try writing more comedy. And those links you've provided is the signature of your sense of smart humor. Unless ... CIA will testify otherwise.

The Real Shliach said...

The truth will come out!

And thanks...

Sebastion said...

Well i am absolutely delighted!

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
I didn't realize that public disinformation was part of your portfolio. (Although remember there's always a bed and a cup of soup for you in Langley ...) LdT.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Extremely well written and entertaining nonsense, but yes.

The Real Shliach said...

Sebastion: Excellence.

LdT: Or at Uluru...

Modeh: Truthful too.

Qtap said...

Those CIA folk are a crafty bunch, but in the end it was worth it it seems.

An interesting and exciting adventure indeed, had you.