In an attempt to mollify a public convinced their every trip to the toilet is being recorded, every attempt to pull a stubborn nose hair logged, and every pow-pow with finger-guns at one’s self in the mirror being snickered at by a room full of crew cut men in dark suits, the CIA has launched an outreach program meant to reconnect the embattled agency with their favourite marks: the American people at large.
“I was printing another hundred ‘missing cat’ flyers, after I cried all over the first fifty just thinking about my poor Senator Kennedy out there in the cold without anyone to sear his tuna; when a man appeared at the kitchen window,” Gracie Peterson, resident of Albany, NY and committed cat lover says as she strokes her recently returned feline. “I’m not sure why he didn’t just come to the front door. And he looked like that Agent Smith from The Matrix movies, same sunglasses and everything. But he was trying to smile, even though it looked like it hurt. And he was holding my furry Senator!”
While a seemingly odd way to reassure a spooked public, the CIA is gambling that most Americans will forgive unwarranted intrusions into their daily lives, so long as there are concrete, easily identifiable benefits. “Such as finding all the cats,” says Agent Austin, head of telling the public what their perception is. “Or your car keys. Or alerting you via text message whenever your spouse looks up one-way bus tickets out of town.”
“No one likes being watched. But what people do like is knowing things that can only be learned via labourious, methodical, unlicensed, surreptitious, downright creepy, spying.”
Ms. Peterson agrees, at least partially. “I don’t mind. If they want to see this old cadaver rolling around the living room on Saturday morning doing naked Bikram yoga, just tell me where the camera is so I can give them the best angles. As long as every time Senator Kennedy decides he wants to throw an all-night filibuster with his other cat friends, those agents bring him home in time for his bubble bath.”