Dear Agent ‘X’: Joe Bell ex-tolls 4 U

     Midnight at X-Lax Int’l Airport. The flight from Teh-ran’s got a delay and ‘Teh-Runs’ have got Joe Bell. Terminal food always spelled the end of his digestive ex-tract, but no, he can’t afford to leave; somebody has to ex-tend his place in line.

A girl, she may be The One, finally strolls aloofly into Receptions. Joey gazes at her ex-pert features; he’s such a sucker for ex-ample breasts. Ex-tradition dies hard. They ex-change looks, and then glance at each other. And as she passes by she whispers, nonchalantly: “You know ‘The Graverobber’s Lament?”
The blood rushes back to Joe’s thinking head. “What an odd question to ex-pose?” is his first thought. “Yes? No?” He knows he has only one chance, no reprieve. You could cut the ex-tension in the hall with an ex-act…oh… knife.
The Agent (?)  finds an excuse to dawdle, and Joe, already dreaming of holding her in his ex-tender arms finally comes out with it:
“No, but ex-hume a few bars and I’ll probably recognize it.”
She smiles cautiously, hints for him to follow her. Out of  earshot she allows a quick, quiet “Glad to see this ex-pand out.” They walk on anonymously.
“We’re in the right ex-ile for the luggage ex-claim?” she asks him, loudly, for public consumption.
“Yes Ma’am. Can I ex-hale you a cab?” Joe inquires, a bit too breathlessly.
“That’d be sweet” ‘X’ smiles, eyes like honey.
In the taxi, after asking the driver to turn on the radio, they relax a bit.
“Look, this isn’t about getting into my ex-panse.” she joked, ex-pressing her face against his, just for a second, after looking in the rear-view.
Joey Bell feels happy all over. His stomach also. ‘X’  too.
“So glad it’s someone like you this time,” ‘X’ uded. “Last mission was some shitty ex-Crete ex-pat.  He was a chemist and a priest. Didn’t trust a soul. I had to ex-pound on the Periodic Table for an hour until he bought me.”
“Jeezuz. Sounds like a failure to ex-communicate!” Joey laughed.
Feeling brave, he turned to her:
“X, will you be my ex-wife?”
“Shhh. The naugahyde has ears.” her finger at her lips, “We’ll get ex-cited for mixing spooks and pleasure…Wait, wasn’t that our ex-it?!” she looked out the window into the speeding darkness.
“Yep, that was it.” Joey gulped. “Guess it’s time to drop this silly “ex” thing and get serious.”
“Easy for you to say” ‘X’ smiled.

The End

Wu: That’s a pretty preposterous I-spy code-language. Hope the future of the sane world doesn’t hang on it.
Me: You were ex-pecting the Real Thing? “Those who tell don’t know..” And its converse.
Wu: And the chick? That’s pretty much a day-to-day thing with you-uns guys?
Oh sure. Gotta ‘bond’, ya know…


22 thoughts on “Dear Agent ‘X’: Joe Bell ex-tolls 4 U

  1. Roadkill_Spatula

    Perfect. I would make no exchanges at all. One excise fits all. In the next episode you can throw in the ex-Terminator (the exgovernator needs employment) in an extent full of exoskeletons. If inspiration dries up you can extal for time by having the ex, uh, cute girl talk with ex, uh, Jesus on her excel phone.

  2. HappierHeathen

    Ex elan! And that’s about as far as I’m going to go, being not so very creative and just barely qualified to buy a ticket to watch those in your league play in practice games. I hope it was as much fun to create as it was to read.

  3. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Thanks, esp from a versatile critic. You mention some good candidates. I was pretty scrupulous at insisting on a dual meaning (w/ and w/ the ex) Couldn’t get an ex-tent into the airport, even after claiming it was for ex-port.

  4. jsolberg

    @HappierHeathen – It actually took surprising long, a couple hours, since the leit-motif is a secret-agent meta-language conveying two things at once, but comically easy to de-crypt. Certain parts of their world may be a bit familiar to me, ‘cept for the “meet cute” stuff. Only in the funny pages.

  5. jsolberg

    @DEISENBERG – dunno, D. It’s hand-crafted to make sense with or without the ‘ex’s. That is if it makes sense at all. There’s a trick I could do, to print the ex’s in the same colour as the background, then only by selecting the text could you see ’em. Little trick we used in Isfahan. Until just now(!

  6. miss_order

    I like it! You make my brain work and I think that’s a good thing, although sometimes it (I can’t quite resist) exhausts me. (not quite it, I know, but true! (-:)

  7. jsolberg

    @miss_order – Thank you! I tried ‘ex-haust’ but just couldn’t get it to serve double-time like the rest. The story seriously might be useful as a vocab exercise for kids or ESL, ‘cept for the mushy parts.

  8. MelFamy

    The self-aggrandizing poet, Ezra,(ex-pound for Pound), ex-planed that ships were his favorite mode of travel. Being a railroad buff, I was taken somewhat aback by his ex-train-eous confession.

  9. jsolberg

    @Lovegrove – I’ll add that to his sins; the guy’s about a pound short of a kilo.And I confess, I got all giddy inventing ‘ex-pound on the Periodic Table.’ Scared to Google that one; too precious to me, y’know.

  10. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 – Thanks from da heart. I sat in an empty chair (harder than it sounds) an’ listed every ex word with possibilities. Found myself musing on our mutual love of zingers. Then just loaded up the damn story to the gills. Took 4 hours this time. Worth it? Who the hell knows?


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