The CIA has a secret museum, which by definition of a museum, houses objects of historical–or some other kind–significance.
This museum is “secret” in the sense that only a zillion people who work for the CIA, their families, visitors to the agency and their families know about it, and now the Smithsonian magazine does too, which is where I found out about it and immediately started plotting to get inside.
Inside this museum are all kinds of cool things that you and I should get to see, but, as we know, CIA stands for Can’t Inform Americans and they are very selfish. It makes me so mad, I am going send my electronically enhanced cockroach into the building.
All I have to do is let him loose in a field near headquarters, and he can follow the scent of electronically enhanced donuts which are in the Spy Break Room. Or he can ask some Commies, who are still lurking about outside the windows trying to hear what’s going on. Spying is no fun unless someone is trying to learn your secrets.
My EEC will send me back pictures and video of everything in the museum, covered with doughnut powder, no doubt. He’s such a nerd.
The Smithsonian article says that the first Cold War double agent was an older man, a former Soviet military intelligence officer posing as a retired railroad worker in East Germany.
He came shuffling out of the shadows one dark winter’s night on the streets of Rostock, and met up with another East German man who had materialized out of some other East German shadows, and they, get this, showed each other their secret cuff links!
They both wore identical gold cuff links embossed with the helmet of the Greek goddess Athena and a small sword.
Athena is the goddess of War and Secret Cuff Links, although she preferred gold to any other metals.
She was discouraged from wearing them by the other gods, because shirts with holes in the cuffs had not been invented yet, and togas had no sleeves at all.
So, Athena gave the originals to her father, Zeus, whose head was still aching from being busted open by Hephaestus, the blacksmith, so Zeus could give birth to Athena. She stepped out of his head fully grown, dressed in armor.
Talk about helicopter parents! Babies nowadays are born only in Haz Mat suits.
After his experience, Zeus decreed that only women would give birth henceforth. Men are such wussies.
To a disinterested observer of these two men in East Germany, of whom there may have been legions lurking about in other shadows, showing each other their cuff links couldn’t possibly have looked suspicious.
“Look here, Bob!” one of the men would say. ‘”Look, look at these cuff links! Aren’t they cool?”
“Yes, indeed’, the other would reply in well-rehearsed code, pretending to scratch his head, then shooting his cuff, and looking at his watch, “I’m wearing some just like them!”
After exchanging vital, secret documents that the second man later gave to a CIA courier, they both shuffled off in different directions, melting into the East German shadows once again.
These documents were embossed with the likeness of Poseidon’s trident. Poseidon was the god of Chewing Gum and Secret Document Exchanging.
Poseidon was soon retired as the god of Secret Document Exchanging, because the documents kept getting wet, and no one could read them. He was replaced by the messenger god Mercury, who was also the god of Thermometers and Getting to Stay Home From School.
The CIA courier who accepted the documents was really Mercury in disguise, and he passed the documents and the secret cuff links to a CIA case worker in West Germany, who showed only a passing interest in the wings sprouting from this guy’s sneakers.
Mercury’s winged sneakers really help when secret documents are exchanged from a great distance, say, from Cleveland to Los Angeles. When he isn’t doing that, he cools fevered brows by doing little demi-plie jumps over the heads of sick school children.
Nike, the ancient god of basketball, invented these shoes, and they get Mercury to the TV quicker when you want to change channels and watch The Flintstones (we watched this show ten million years ago, when cavemen still existed) while you are stuck in bed until three o’clock, when it will be time to go out and play with your friends who have been in school all day.
Back in East Germany, the first document-exchanging man, whose last name was Popov, became a Soviet mole, and began to dig his way out of the Soviet Union. He drank a lot of vodka, which is why they named the company after him.
He needed vodka, because let’s face it, digging your way out of an entire continent is not easy.
The CIA museum now houses the cuff links, along with a Hi-Standard .22 assassinatin’ gun, equipped with a silencer. This gun is said to be so quiet President Roosevelt didn’t hear it when it was fired right in the Oval Office.
The bullet kept going through the ceiling and accidentally shot Popov, the CIA’s first double agent, who had finally managed to dig his way to America and was soaking in the Oval Hot Tub upstairs.
The gun really wasn’t all that quiet, it’s just that Roosevelt was quite deaf, which is why he was president for three hundred years. He didn’t hear the rule about term limits when they mentioned it in the first Continental Congress.
The CIA kept insisting it was a very quiet gun, but the agents who used it were getting caught right and left. This could have been because their stingy brim hats were not fashionable.
The gun was named the Liberator, because it was meant to liberate better weapons from the enemy. It fired just one .45-caliber bullet, which wobbled off course when it went more than 25 feet. Enemy agents would do the ‘Neener, Neener’ dance at 26 feet, and laugh uproariously at the frustrated look on American agents’ faces.
‘The only thing you can liberate with that thing is yo’ mama’s booty!’ they would hoot, erroneously thinking Yo’ Mama Jokes were funny.
The early electronic bugs on display in the museum were essential to the Cold War, because a spy couldn’t depend on just picking up an extension in the embassy and hearing nuclear secrets. So the Soviets asked for permission to build the American embassy in Russia, and in a stunning display of trust, the Americans said yes.
The Soviets, in a stunning display of trustworthiness, embedded listening devices right in the bricks.
Midway through construction, Americans noticed that Mercury seemed to be much busier than usual, carrying messages back and forth between embassies, and started listening to the bricks. They soon discovered the Soviets’ perfidy, and told the Soviets to just listen in on the extensions so that the building would be up to code.
No collection of gadgets would be complete without secret spy cameras. One CIA spy camera was the size of a quarter, and could capture 11 pictures that would fit on the period at the end of this sentence.
If you could see them on that tiny dot, you would see dirty pictures of Zeus fooling around with nymphs and then giving birth out of his head.
Hera is the goddess of Spy Cameras, which she invented after hearing that Zeus kept getting pregnant by a bunch of nymphs he found bathing in a river.
Mercury would fly down from Mt. Olympus, after making sure The Flintstones was on TV, take pictures of Zeus and the girls, and then upload them to YouTube.
As of this writing, he has had 14 trillion hits.
There are many other objects in this spy museum, which is disguised as a Starbucks, but I cannot reveal them to you. If I did, Zeus would have to strike you down with a thunderbolt.
He will be disguised, of course, as a nymph.