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UNIT 8. THE ACCIDENTAL SECRET AGENT

OH HAPPY DAY

Kevin strolled through the park, clutching his tights to stop them falling down, his soppy cape dragging along the ground. He slumped on the nearest bench and put his hat down. A nearby homless man gave Kevin twenty pence. "Buy yourself a cup of tea, mate," he said. Kevin sighed. This was definitely a new low. "I look like a drunk Superman, and a homeless person has just give me his last twenty pence. Life is taking the -" "Pssss!" came a sound from the bushes. Kevin looked round as a man popped up from behind the shrub and sat on the bench next to him. Well, it looked like a man from what Kevin could see, which was not much. He was holding a giant newspaper in front of his face with two holes cut out for eyes, and next to him was a briefcase. Was he talking to Kevin? Should he reply? How does one respond to a "pssss"? Should he "pssss" back? Kevin decided to be assertive and say nothing. 

"I said, "pssss"," the man said again. "I know," whispered Kevin. "I wasn't really sure how to respond. It wasn't that I was ignoring you, it's just-" "Who are you?" - "You can call me Pond. Jake Pond," he said. - "JAMES BOND!" Kevin shrieked. - "No, Jake Pond!" the man said, amking sure he pronounced the words properly. - "Oh, sorry," Kevin said loudly. "I'm Kevin." - "I know who you are," Jake Pond replied, pulling his newspaper down. -"How...how do you know?" Kevin was spooked. - "It's written on your cape," Jake replied. - "Oh yeah... anyway, I have to go. I'm not allowed to talk to strangers." - "You're right, you shouldn't," Jake said. "But there's something you should know." The man pulled the paper down from his face. Kevin gasped. "What!? I don't understand... we look exactly like each ohter!" - "I know. We have the same face, the same build; apart from the fact that I was born forty-five years ago, we could be twins. You couldn't make it up!" - "Are you sure we're not related, long-lost cousins or something?" - "We're not related. I have no family. This is just a coincidence, an amazing coincidence. We're meant to achieve great things together. Kevin, I'm going to say something that may just blow your mind."

The man paused and looked around to make sure they couldn't be overheard before continuing. "I'm a spy. I work as a secret agent. i used to love it, the travelling all over the world, the beautiful girls, the dental cover; it was amazing. There's only one downside. All the running around, the violence. I can't take it any more, Kevin. I need to get away, just long enough to get my head straight. Do the simple things again. Being a school kid seems pretty easy. Maybe I'll try that for a while until I figure a few things out. Hey, I saw your little show in town earlier. I saw you flying through the air. You are brave, fearless. I thought, that's a boy who wouldn't be fazed by the life of a secret agent."

Kevin's face lit up. "I do like to think of myself as an expert. I think I see where you're going with this. Are you poposing... "we switch lives?" Jake suggested. Kevin smiled. "I like it. You get to be a schoolboy, I get to be a secret agent for a bit."

"You get to live in my apartment - it's full of gadgets to play with, there's a huge TV, and a takeaway pizza place round the corner, where I have an expense account. If anyone calls you, just say you're on a case and you need to undercover for a while. You get to be a spy, without actually having to do any work! I get to go to school, play video games, do your homework for a week or three." BEST. DAY. EVER!" Kevin said.

Jake handed him the briefcase. "In here are all the things you need: there's a false beard, some dark sunglasses, naturally, and the latest mobile phone technology. The address to my apartment is in the briefcase, along with the keys. Just remember to keep your head down, Kevin. Don't let them talk you into taking another case and you'll be fine. Give me your address and then we can swap clothes."

Five minutes later they had swapped. Kevin was in a suit while Jake stood there in a cape and tights. "Just give me two or three weeks and I'll be back in the game. If you need me, I'll be at your place. Be careful!" Jake said. 

"OK," Kevin said. "Oh, actually, there's someone you should watch out for: Elle. She's my big sister, and she can be trouble at times". 

"Relax!" Jake said happily. "I've fought some of the world's toughest businessmen, lawyers, and technicians, and taken out some of the meanest villains and politicians. I think I can handle your big sister! Goodbye, Kevin. See you in a week or two and remember... !"

"Keep my head down and stay out of troubke!" Kevin said. "I know. You can rely on me!" 

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