Unless you are one of those lucky rich kids you probably had a summer job this year.
Some pushed double-mocha-latte-fudge CappaRamaDingDongs at Starbucks, others fetched that drink for their bosses at an internship, and a few spent the summer learning how to infiltrate the Colombian embassy, kill all the guards with a paper clip and steal the original coffee recipe.
Think I am making that last one up? Think again. The CIA has summer internship program. I came across it on the CIA’s Web site when I was using their world factbook to research annual Canadian Bacon production (459,980,347 kilograms, or, uh, something else in pounds).
This isn’t your average make photocopies and take the boss’ calls while he is “working” at the bar internship. According to the Web site, if you do well in the Professional Trainee program, you can apply to the Clandestine Service Trainee program.
Translation: While you were volunteering for the Kerry campaign this summer, someone you know may have been in Paris, sipping champagne in Versailles by day and sabotaging French cheese production by night.
Talk about job pressure. What if you screw up as a spy intern? Something tells me it’s worse than when you forgot to turn off the fryer and set fire to the Hamburgler.
The Web site says that “based on the results of the program interviews and your performance during the internship, a job offer may be extended to you for employment upon graduation. Or we may shoot you with a gun made out of a carrot.”
I thought some of the program requirements were a bit excessive. Interns are required to move to Washington, D.C. No big deal. But you must also be willing to “lie on a routine basis, undergo frequent plastic surgery and kill your pet dachshund, Zippy, to prove your loyalty.”
Wait, that sounds like a reality show on Fox.
With all the interest in terrorism these days, it isn’t surprising that the CIA is looking for new recruits. But they need to improve their image a bit if they want to attract candidates.
A catchy slogan. (Screw the Army. The CIA is the real Army of One, with gadgets!) Celebrity fashion endorsements. (P-Diddy and a new line of “Spy or Die!” T-shirts.) And, for the kids, a movie. (Featuring Vin Diesel as an extreme-sports spy called XX… oh, wait. That movie sucked.)
Applicants to the intern program have to undergo thorough medical, psychological and background checks. That means if you did spend the summer working for the Kerry campaign, you might not want to apply. Unless Kerry wins next week. In that case, brush up on your drawl, because we’re gonna be invading Texas. Infiltrating rodeos and do-it-yourself execution chambers will be a key to victory.
I wonder if they’ll need people with detailed knowledge of Canadian Bacon production.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.