Assignment

So I’m on stage in front of a bunch of lightly tipsy pianists at their summer event and I am giving a dazzling display of accountancy, drawing much applause.  ‘But how did that happen?’ you ask.  ‘I thought you wanted to be a spy?’  Let me explain.
After graduating with a 2:1 in secret agent studies I hurled myself into the job market only to find that competition for jobs in the espionage industry was fierce.  There had been a huge surge of interest in my chosen profession and now so many people wanted to be a spy that other sectors were struggling to recruit.  I joined an espionage agency, hoping that they would give me a chance to launch my spy career and just days after joining I had my first assignment – I was to go undercover as an accountant in a large firm.  I would receive full training as they would be grateful to have someone who didn’t want to be a spy and then once I was in I would use my position to compile a dossier of sensitive information about certain clients.   I threw myself wholeheartedly into undercover accountancy, learning quickly and remembering to make notes.  I enjoyed the daily challenges of accountancy and over the next three years my brain grew sharper and sharper as I progressed through the ranks all the way to concert level.  I began performing for crowds, presenting my numerical artistry with flourishing strokes of marker pen on my whiteboard canvas.  My portfolio of evidence was by now bulging and I still made the occasional addition but the agency were curiously quiet, emailing every few months to tell me that I was doing a good job and to keep going.  It didn’t really matter – I didn’t feel like a spy any more, I felt like an accountant.
‘So you’re onstage?’  It’s such a buzz.  The applause as they see the sums I’m working out… This is really tough maths, the kind of maths to quickly blunt an ordinary mind, like a disposable razor working a month’s worth of beard.  Luckily I have a gleaming cut throat razor now.

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