(The set consists of a single lamp post with a dim overhead light shining down from above. If you desire, fog may enhance the mood. A man in a tan overcoat walks up to the post suspiciously looking all around him. He stops at the post, leans against it. He is Mr. “X”)

X: (Silent. He takes out a small crumpled up paper; reads it, and then pops it into his mouth and chews it. He does not swallow. He chews throughout the sketch)

Man: (Also exactly dressed, walks by and stops at the post suspiciously) I say; would you have the EXACT time?

X: (He speaks distinctly although the paper is still in his mouth) Ten thirty three.

Man: Thank you so much. (He passes by)

Man 2: (Also dressed alike, passes by and stops at the post) Excuse me sir. Could you tell me; how do you like your coffee?

X: Black. Why?

Man 2: (Upset. He snaps his fingers in disappointment. He moves on. X watches in amazement)

Man 3: (Dressed similarly) Hey! Did you know that Australia is a PINK colour when it is shown on an atlas map?

X: No.

Man 3: Are you quite sure? I said “a PINK colour.”

X: Yes, I’m sure. I actually would have guessed yellow.

Man 3: NO! PINK!!! Aren’t you 57?

X: No, I think you have me confused with the secret agent on the post across the street.

Man 3: Oh. Sorry. Thank you. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

X: Quite all right. No problem. It’s a common mistake. Say, who are you working for?

Man 3: Mr Big. Who are you with?

X: Ralph Smedly.

Man 3 Oh yeah? I used to work for Ralph too, but his pension plan was lousy, and Mr Big offered me a great deal.

X: Really?

Man 3: Oh yeah, but the vacation time isn’t too good. I guess you have to take the good with the bad. If everything was perfect, everyone would probably be in the spy business.

X: I thought everyone was.

Man 3: Right. (They laugh)

X: Hey listen, you see that agent over there? (Points)

Man 3: You mean the one by the mailbox?

X: No, the next one. He’s one of Tiny’s boys. He gets treated like an animal. I’m sure glad I don’t work for Tiny. He is REAL mean. I’ve heard he doesn’t even let his spies take a lunch break.

Man 3: My cousin used to work for Tiny. When he tried to leave, they shot his nose off.

X: That stinks! They shouldn’t have guys like that around anymore. I thought the spy business was beyond all that.

Man 3: Well, that’s one of the risks of being a secret agent. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be so much fun.

X: I guess you’re right. That’s one of the reasons I became a spy: The challenge.

Man 3: Ya. Well, listen, I’ll see you later, eh? I’d better get to my contact, or he’ll be upset. It’s not a great idea to upset a spy.

X: Okay, its been nice talking to you anyway. Maybe I’ll meet you again sometime eh? Where is your next contact?

Man 3: In Hawaii. I think it’s at Ed’s burger palace. Where is yours?

X: Mine’s up north.

Man 3: Where abouts?

X: Santa’s Village.

Man 3: Oh yeah? I had a meet there once. It’s cold. You’d better dress warm. Say, you’re not using the “HO HO HO” password are you?

X: Yeah. How did you know?

Man 3: Are you kidding, EVERYBODY uses that at Santa’s Village. It’s become more of a cliché than the PINK FLAMINGO or the BLUE MOON. I hope you have a back up system.

X: Of course I do. I’ll be wearing a Santa suit, and of course, my SPY CLUB ring.

Man 3: So was I.

X: Oh well, I’ll worry about that later. By the way, have you by any chance seen my contact around? He’s was supposed to be by about an hour ago. He’s a big tall man.

Man 3: What is he wearing.

X: A trench coat and a hat.

Man 3: Right! Hmm. (Sarcastically) Let me think, have I seen anyone that fits that description…

X: I guess it was silly of me wasn’t it? These suits are so unoriginal aren’t they?

Man 3: Yeah, but you know the unions. It sure beats having to buy our own clothes. Anyway, what code are you waiting for?

X: He’s going to ask me if I now the way to SAN JOSE.

Man 3: Oh, You’re with Bernie. He’s used that code ever since I met him about 5 years ago. I met him about twenty lamp posts back. He should be here pretty soon. Unless he got caught talking with ‘32.

X: I can see how that could happen. Anyway, see you around.

Man 3: For sure. (Leaves)

X: (He waits for a few minutes more and then violently spits out the paper he has been chewing on since the start)

(BLACKOUT)

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