This weird Russian espionage thing that's gripping New Jersey and the Nation is just...so...weird. But what’s even weirder is the news coverage. Since there is no real information on the purpose of the “deep cover” exercise, reporters are focusing on the “spies” themselves – personalities, jobs, lifestyles, that sort of thing.
In a particularly hilarious LA Times article titled “Spy suspects led average American lives,” which reads like something out of The Onion, reporters offer examples aplenty as to how these folks were super-duper superficially American – and thus were able to throw neighbors and friends off their collective trail. When not transmitting code over radio (really? radio?), the suspects haggled over mortgages, occasionally forgot their computer passwords, and used social media. One even drove a green Honda Civic.
While I admit I too would be fooled by these outward displays of mediocrity, there was one itty-bitty detail that tripped my suspicion meter. Big time. And it’s all summed up in this one sentence describing a neighbor’s account of the actions of alleged communist spy Cynthia Murphy:
“Once she saw her walking home with a bunch of daffodils and a French baguette.”
Now, if you’ve seen any television at all, you know that there is nothing that says “average American” better than a brown paper bag with flowers and a loaf of French bread sticking out of it. Especially in commercials. We see independent women loading ‘em into their CR-Vs; we witness men clumsily clutching ‘em as head-turners wink at them on city streets. And the children! We see those all-American kids hungrily grabbing at ‘em as mom returns from a shopping trip that has brought her unprecedented Wal-Mart savings.
Do you see where I am going with this? The bouquet plus the baguette was just too staged. It was a sloppy disguise move equivalent to donning a Groucho-style glasses/nose/mustache combo. Seems like a pretty comedic act for calculating communists to make after years of intense training on how to avoid detection.
Maybe they mixed up their Marxes.