Direction impairment – I once drove around a butterfly flyover in Koramangala, Bangalore for half an hour trying to find an exit. I need a good view of the sun’s position and ten minutes of mental calculation to understand the cardinal directions. Imagine an emergency situation where a building is on fire and someone yells at me to “proceed out the east exit and then go half a block south immediately“ ; I am likely to sit down where I am and try to get my head around things. Contrast this with super spy films, where the hero, often wounded and carrying a hostage, speed reads an entire city map within seconds and then manages to find the right shortcuts, all the while negotiating rush hour traffic.
Inability to withstand torture – I find this the most disturbing of super spy requirements. Any 12 year old worth his salt (read, who has seen all episodes of ‘24’) knows that eventually, everyone breaks. So what’s the use of withstanding all the pain and embarrassment in the first place? If I am captured and questioned, I am most likely to volunteer any and all information, including the low down on the Kennedy assassination.
Blind trust in good looking women – I mean, in the lost unlikely scenario that a good looking dame who is in the honey trapping business takes it upon herself to recruit me in order to pick my brain, who am I to disabuse her of her illusion? If she asks me to proceed out the east exit, I might actually go to the trouble of asking someone else for directions, so as to impress her. If that doesn’t tell her the amount of brains I have to be picked, she deserves what’s coming her way.
Zero knowledge in poker, rummy or baccarat – Self-explanatory. All spies, irrespective of age, race or gender, play poker and win all the games. I can’t differentiate between a straight flush and a manually operated one.
I do my own laundry– Riddle me this. Why haven’t you ever seen James Bond washing his tightie whities? Or Bahadur (yes, he is an old Indian spy) doing his dhotis? I don’t know the reason too. And until I can figure that out, I am one step further away from being captured and tortured.