Be a spy for a day

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

It’s been a very hectic few weeks here in Suffolk from a page designer’s standpoint. Between Relay for Life, Homearama, Signature Holes of Golf, graduation, and not to mention the newspaper itself, it’s easy to start getting that assembly-line feeling. Everything is a blur, and you never quite get to savor all the good things going on around you. At times like this, you really feel like you can lose your identity in the sea of things to do and places to be.

But last Sunday I learned that sometimes the best way to help regain your own identity is to assume another one. And I got the chance to do that when I took a road trip to Washington, D.C., to see some sights, relax a bit and visit the International Spy Museum.

For those of you who’ve watched every Bond film from Casino Royale (the original) to Quantum of Solace, you will appreciate the experience visiting the Spy Museum affords you.

First, and I’ll choose my words carefully so as not to ruin the experience for anyone interested in checking it out, you’re taken up in an elevator to a little room where you are told to forget who you are and assume a new identity. Done and done.

In my mind’s eye, the new identity I picked from the wall of choices was a teacher from Canada with a full head of hair, a non-food-stained shirt sense of style, and, in fact, not a type 2 diabetic.

I figured that would be best, since, if captured and held for torture, my one weakness should not be something as simple as a Snickers bar from the local 7-Eleven. I’d like my captors to have to be a bit more creative in getting information out of me than just waiting me out until the next time my blood sugar drops.

After assuming your new identity and being debriefed in an actual debriefing room, complete with giant screen projector and a real life crying baby in the corner, sneezing out something that resembled Fudgsicle juice (no doubt some sort of chemical warfare at work), you’re set loose in the museum to check out some of the coolest stuff ever created by man, from spy gadgets to ninja uniforms.

And for the sake of secrecy, and so as not to ruin the experience, that’s all I am allowed to say about that.

Once the experience was over, though, and I was returned to my regular identity — an admittedly pudgy, bald, somewhat mild-mannered page designer on no particular mission save preventing his own demise at the hands of the dreaded menace diabetes — I felt refreshed and renewed. Maybe it was the spy museum or just the change in scenery for a day, but I returned to civilian life so much better off.

Be a spy for a day, Suffolkians. It’s a good and fun way to sharpen the blur.