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Expose’ — The Secret Gig Of A Wi-Fi Mercenary

May 23rd, 2012 · Tags:Satire

Always on the go, sometimes it feels like a vacation when I get to sleep in my own bed … or when I blog on my own Wi-Fi hotspot and have coffee on the balcony under the pecan tree … or fire up the barbecue grill overlooking the two other residences in my little compound.

I was communicating ribs to the neighborhood the other day, via smoke signals, when my neighbors got the message. They are great neighbor and they complimented me on the BBQ aroma. They are very conversational too. Always so nice … polite … and always so complimentary. I am so lucky. (I am a pretty good neighbor myself, since I am gone months at a time …)

The BBQ chit chat continued and proved to be a perfect segue for an interesting conversation.

My neighbors — get this — are convinced I am a spy … or an assassin … or whatever is worse.


“Kent — man of international mystery,” they called me, sort of laughing.

Ha … they said they have a pool or a lottery or some contest regarding my real story.

Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a place or two for a minute and I have had some tall tales, but I have also scrubbed my share of greasy, grimy, slime fests along the way. In truth, it is far from glamourous at times. I have told the neighbors all about my “Dirty Gig” as I call it — the disaster recovery job that keeps me globetrotting and blogging. But they are convinced it is a ruse.

“Kent … I mean … you get picked up by a black limousine.”

Ha … I told them the black helicopter is too showy.

Well, actually of late it has been a black, beat up Crown Vic providing car services to the airport, but to their point, the previous car service had sweet Lincoln Town Cars.

Ha … For one of my old PR jobs, the company’s owner — for image or appearances — insisted that her people were always picked up and dropped off at the airport in limousines. That impressed me, until the day I was picked up in New York by a limousine that overheated. I had to pull my bags from the trunk as the car started to burn. Picture me standing on the side of the road on a busy turnpike, bags beside me … car torched. Hmmm … I bet I could tell the neighbors it was some failed assassination payback plot.

So, the neighbors went on, they had all kinds of little stories they tell their friends when they entertain.

“Hey we don’t know what Kent does, but he left in a black limousine in the middle of the night … and he had lots of baggage.”

Or … “We can’t tell you what Kent does, or he’d have to kill you.”

Recently, I returned to my place after a motorcycle ride, when I found the drive way was filled with my car, the neighbor’s two cars, and another. This was fine, except there wasn’t much room for me to squeeze through and park the bike.

I idled for a second. Sized up the hole, revved the motor and eased the Triumph on through. Just as the motorcycle peeked around some shrubs, this guy came scurrying over.

“Kent … Sorry man! I am so sorry … Didn’t mean to block you. So sorry about that … won’t let it happen again.”

Chill dude … What have the neighbors told this poor guy?

Oh what was it? … Something they said about a perfect disguise … What was it? Oh .. I reasoned with them, “How do you explain I only travel when there has been a major disaster … an earthquake, or a flood, or a fire?”

“See that’s perfect!” the group chimed in.

So I started thinking about it … Hmmm, while I was in Winston-Salem, a leader of a worldwide motorcycle club was assassinated. Hmmm … while in Christchurch I had a private audience with The Wizard of New Zealand, but no warlocks lost their lives.  Oh … and while I was in Korea, on my way to Thailand, the leader was not Kim Jong il … he was Kim Jong dead! … Coincidental heart attack? Or was it?


I mean look at me … although that could fall under the “good cover” category too, with the middle-age-crazy long hair and sideburns, and motorcycle … (Wait, didn’t the bad guys in “Die Hard” have ponytails? …. I digress …)

“Then there is your photo on the Web site,” the neighbors added, as if they were not giving up on this. “Total James Bond/Men In Black thing … total.”

Ah that’s an easy one. My first blog had a photo of me in a black leather jacket, a black ski cap (because it was about 20 degrees for the photo shoot when my brother Steve took the shot), sunglasses (is this helping my cause?) … and for the PingWi-Fi blog I wanted the site to be an upgrade. So I wore my tux in the photo … and the sunglasses, because it was bright on the patio that day.

“Kent … not buying this …”

Oh we had a good laugh. Hmmm …interesting … I have noticed they all laugh at all of my jokes …

I assure you that this Kent is the mild-mannered type, 24/7. But I met an assassin once … or a professional overseas weapons expert as it was put to me. Ha … took him and two mutual friends to hear a band play once, or something like that. The two guys wore black slacks, black shirts and matching floor-length leather overcoats among the college crowd. I always thought they tried to blend in a little better … oh well.

Then there was this other … shall we say, “specialist.” The story passed on to me, and I believe it is that the friend had been in college, was drafted, and then turned into  a killing machine in wartime … Then he came back to college. As the story went, he was first “Black Opp. Special Forces” and then later a POW (thats prisoner of war for the younger readers). The legend of this friend continues … that he killed several guards with his bare hands to escape from the prison camp. I never questioned him on it.

But I will say this … I heard several college friends in a bar laughing and cajoling the friend one night, long ago … egging him on. Finally, after some encouragement, this war hero said, “Okay, okay …” and he slammed down his drink. I thought “all this commotion to get him to take a shot of booze!?!”

Just wait …

The friend slammed down the drink. Smiled. Put the glass up to his lips … and bit a large chunk out of the glass. He then chewed it, crunching, and swallowed it. I am not lying. i was there. This is true. I did not question him on it. He was a mountain of a man … trained in more disciplines of martial arts than I knew existed. I never saw anyone cross him.

Just the other day, I saw that he is on Facebook. To friend or not to friend?

So … anywho, my friends and neighbors. “I know people” … but me … not so much.

Know what I sayin?