A federal agent came calling yesterday. She introduced herself and flopped open her ID, just like they do in the movies. She was conducting a background check on my neighbor, who has applied for some sort of security clearance, she explained. "Do you mind if I come in?"
We sat down, all formal-like, and she explained the process: She would ask the questions, I would provide the answers to the best of my ability. It sounded like we were going to be all business, until my dog sauntered into the room, whereupon The Fed melted. Really. She lost it. I have mentioned before in this space how impossibly cute he is. (For examples, look at this, this, this, and this, where I let him speak for himself. This is not at all to be encouraged, but still.) This woman was what is called a total sucka. She lost her focus. "Has your neighbor abused illegal drugs? And LOOK at those EYES!" she said. "What's his name?" She told me about the cocker spaniels she had while growing up, and how this dog was even cuter than those AND her children combined.
But there was an interview to conduct. Between sighs, The Fed pressed on: "Does she own land in a foreign country? Is she close with any foreign nationals? Do you have to brush him often?"
By this point, we were getting perhaps too comfortable with each other: "Is she planning to"--barely holding herself together--"overthrow the government?" she asked with a huge guffaw. "I thought that maybe this time I'd get that question out without laughing, but I blew it!" And so we went, laughing about how likely it is that my neighbor hacks into government databases, hangs with shady characters, or operates under false names. Serious business, this.
*Thank you for pointing out this misspelling. It saddens me that you don't watch enough of "The Office" to recognize a Gareth Keenan reference. Get thee to a DVD player. Stat.