The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Do you find yourself receiving service that falls short of your expectations? It may be the bored bank teller who performs her duties with the speed of a tai-chi expert. It could be that disaffected youth behind the counter at Starbucks who rolls his eyes in a manner you haven't seen since you left Junior High. It might be the shop clerk who can't understand a thing you say, reducing you to gesturing like a thrashing squid. Some days it seems as though there must be some sort of covert operation to make your life a living hell. If you have ever found yourself feeling this way -- close, but no cigar.

You're probably not aware that the secret service budgets of the world's nations have been rising steadily since the end of the cold war. Spy agencies are being used like the National Conservation Corps during the Great Depression: nations hurting in our global economic slump are employing their jobless with money from their secret service budget. In Tonga, for example, all persons not employed by the nation's gutsy domain name sales program are employed by the Tonganese Secret Service. With thousands of new spies swelling the ranks in recent years new assignments must be found for them.

Suddenly foreign nations are monitoring things they never would have bothered with a decade ago. They gather intelligence on personalized license plates, per capita spinach consumption, and the revolutionary science of coffee ground disposal using their network of spies all around you.

So the next time your meal takes 45 minutes to reach your table or the paperboy skips your house, it's not incompetence, it's an undercover agent on an important mission. Cut them some slack. Their job is international espionage, their training is minimal, and being courteous to you is just their cover.

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