The Very Secret Meeting

There he is, sat just where he is supposed to be and exactly outfitted as he was described to me; A Caucasian male in his forties, dressed inconspicuously donning a beige trench coat, reading a newspaper on the third bench by the duck pond. Yep, he fits the description perfectly, along with all the other attire stereotypes you’d associate with being an undercover spy: trilby hat, sunglasses, shiny polished black shoes, someone who could easily blend into a crowd without being noticed. Although, in this day and age, wearing something like that definitely would get you noticed. However, as this is my first rendezvous mission, who am I to say what is appropriate spy gear or not. I mean, this clothing could be associated so much with being a spy that the people walking by wouldn’t look twice at him because he couldn’t possibly be a spy, that’d be far too obvious in that get-up.
Anyway, here it goes, let’s go and make contact. I trip on something as I walk over to the bench, I look back briefly partly to see what I stumbled over and partly to see if anyone saw me flail like a hooked fish as I did so. I plonk myself down on the bench next to my informant, making sure not to make eye contact or draw any attention to myself; this is rule number one in the spy handbook, according to Dave who prepared me this morning. I clear my throat and say the secret sentence, “I like to feed seagulls toast on days like today”. I say the code words and wait for the exact reply before continuing on with the debriefing, we cannot continue until the correct communication is made (rule number two). Although, his reply isn’t coming as quickly as I was made aware it should do. He should have said ‘I enjoy eating asparagus on a Thursday’ by now. Maybe he didn’t hear me, I can’t look at him either to see if he did or not, that’s against procedure. I’ll say it again just in case: “I LIKE TO FEED SEAGULLS TOAST ON DAYS LIKE TODAY” I say in more of a shout this time, which startled a couple walking passed at that exact moment. I hope they didn’t think I was weird…judging by the look they gave me however, I think I can safely say they did. Silence still though, no reply from my informant. This is slightly worrying, I need to know if he has acknowledged me, do I break protocol and look…I think I have to. I first try and look with my eyes only, looking as far to my left as I can without moving my head. I slowly turn my bonce to get a proper look at my bench sharer, who is still just head down reading his newspaper. I clear my throat loudly to get his attention, he looks up at me after the third *Huh Hum* throat clear. I lean in close and whisper “I like to feed seagulls toast on days like today”. He looks at me quizzically before replying,
“That’s good, well done…umm, I like to feed ducks bread usually. But apparently it’s bad for them, it’s like junk food to um I heard. Never fed a seagull though, well not intentionally anyway”.
…CRAP! This is not my informant, abort, abort! I smile back at newspaper man and pull my coat together before standing up, saying my goodbyes and walking away. As I am slowly jogging away I hear a snigger from behind me, the man must think I’m a madman who feeds the most hated bird in Britain. And toast as well, why would I feed them toast! The effort involved to do so would be far beyond what a seagull deserves.
“Hey, James Bond, come back” the man said through his tittering laughter. “Come back and sit down you plonker, who told you to say that? Was it Dave? You feed seagulls toast, classic”.
I rotate back to bench man as he is beckoning me to come sit back down. I take a while to look around, does he know I am a spy?
“I know you’re a spy” he proclaims, well at least that answered my question. I slowly and cautiously walk back to the bench and sit back down to his right. “First rule of spying is don’t trust anyone, especially not Dave. He was pulling your leg with the seagulls code word thing, spies haven’t done that in years” he said smiling.
“But, I thought the first rule was not to look at anyone?”
“If you don’t look at anyone how can you communicate properly?” he said matter of factly, “I told you, don’t trust Dave”.
“But, what if anyone hears us?” I say like a wounded kitten, I can’t believe I trusted Dave.
“No one will care, even if they do hear us. The only people that would care are other spies and this place has been combed for them already. Now come on, let’s get this debriefing done and go do something a bit more fun. Maybe seagull feeding? Oh but where would we find any toast at this time” he says with a look which implies he is very proud of that joke.
“Ha-ha. Very funny” I snort as we begin our very secret meeting.

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