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Tell Me About Your Childhood, Mr. Bond
by Bayard Russell

"As you see, Mr. Bond, you have no hope of escape. These leather straps are far too strong for you to break, and soon this laser cutter will... hey, are you even listening?"

Bond stared listlessly ahead, not even bothering to struggle. Even when Dr. Mann turned on his menacing-sounding laser-cutting device, he continued to look off into the emptiness.

"Um, excuse me? Earth to Bond? I'm not going to bother telling you my diabolical plans for world domination if you keep ignoring me like this."

Bond blinked a couple times and turned his head towards The Doctor. "I'm dreadfully sorry. I'm just a little distracted. Go on, I'm listening now."

Dr. Mann ordered his assistant to shut down the laser. "James, is something the matter? Is it my costume? Is my underground secret lair not to your liking? Did one of my guards say something to upset you?"

"No, it's nothing. Please, continue telling me about your evil plans. I'm all right now."

"This isn't like you, James. What's wrong? This isn't the brash, confident British spy I was looking forward to killing. Is there something you'd like to talk about? Maybe I could help."

Bond looked down sullenly. "No, I don't think you could. This is something I have to deal with on my own."

"Nonsense. Look, I'm not just an evil genius, I'm also a licensed therapist. You're already strapped to my table, and we've got a few hours before my scheduled launch of nuclear missles at major population centers around the globe." Dr. Mann pulled up a chair and sat down next to the table, notebook in hand. "So what's up?"

Bond looked up quizzically. "Is this some kind of trick?"

"Well, it's no fun having you just lying there waiting to die. Yes, I want you dead, but not with all these unresolved issues. Come on, let's talk. I assure you, everything you tell me will be strictly confidential."

After a pause, Bond nodded to himself and began speaking. "It's just that lately I've been really confused about my purpose in life. I get captured by an evil genius, I escape, I thwart his plans for world domination, and then around the corner there's another evil genius waiting to capture me so we can do the whole damn thing again. It's getting repetitive and I don't see how I'm making a difference in the grand scheme of things. I mean, look at this! The laser cutter, the nuclear missles, the evil midget assistant, it's all been done before and some other schmuck will do it again long after we're gone. No insult intended, mind you."

"None taken."

"Thanks. So I don't know if i can keep doing this. I don't know whether this is a life worth living anymore. I'm pushing sixty now, for god sakes! To be honest, I've been seriously contemplating letting myself die this time around."

"OK, I'll admit that my diabolical plans are pretty commonplace. But I like to think of them as universal. You need to understand, James, that you're not here to save the world. You're here to take part in the circle of life. I try to destroy the world, you try to save it, and the process starts all over again. When we're gone, other people will be there to take our place."

"Then what's the point? It doesn't get anywhere, we're just moving around in circles!"

"It's not supposed to go anywhere, James! It's not the end that's important, it's the process! You fit into the natural cycle of espionage and global intrigue, and your role is just as essential as mine. You need to stop worrying about whether you're necessary or not and just appreciate the beauty and the interconnectiveness of your own existence."

Bond thought about it a minute, and a smile spread across his face. "You know, you're right! I've gotten so focused on the end result that I never bothered to appreciate the little things that make my life so special. This cold metallic table, that car chase in the Porsche, the sound of that guard's neck crunching when I kicked it, all these experiences are what make my life worthwhile. Wow, I'd never thought of it that way."

"Do you feel better now, James?"

"Yes, I really do. Thank you, Doctor, you've really given me a new lease on life!"

"Excellent! Assistant, turn on the laser cutter."



 Go back to the Index, Mr. Bond.