Wednesday, February 6, 2013

International Intrigue

Every morning, my clock radio goes off and classical music wakes me up—which is fine if it’s Debussy, but not so great if they’re playing Wellington’s Victory. (I think it reflects a perverse sense of humor to be playing something like that at 7am.) In any case, this morning the music dutifully began playing. Then, something else happened.

In the midst of the music and an NPR report, a series of beeps began. They had rhythm. There were breaks, which were followed by more beeps. My husband rolled over and said, “What’s that?”  I said, “Uh, I think it’s Morse Code.” Or some variation because it wasn’t exactly Morse Code.

So we began speculating which of our neighbors is actually a sleeper agent for the North Koreans. Could it be the young woman next door, who talks with a nervous wheeze? Maybe she’s nervous because she’s afraid we’ll discover her secret. On the other hand, a spy would probably have better training than that. It could be our other neighbor, the one who never does any weeding and her weeds migrate in our yard and flower beds when they go to seed. But I think spies learn not to draw attention to themselves—and weed problems are a definite attention getter, at least for me.

Of course, the cold reality of the situation finally cooled my writer’s imagination. We live in Chattanooga, not exactly a hot bed of international intrigue. The Morse Code was probably just some kid trying out his skills…at 7am…not likely.

Hmm. Maybe Chattanooga is the new hot bed of espionage—it’s our uberfast internet service (actually made the national news as fastest in the nation). And now Chattanooga is the home base for clandestine messages. It makes sense, and it explains the dozen Homeland Security officers that I saw at Starbucks.

Now I just have to figure out which of my neighbors is involved.


  1. Your classical station's DJ must have a similar sense of humor to ours--they'd always play bombastic stuff when you'd really prefer they simmer down and lazy things when you needed an energy boost (like at 3 pm before your afternoon coffee has finished brewing!)

    And I heart Hitchcock :)

  2. Sounds like there could be something afoot in your area.

    And waking up to Debussy would be nice . . .

  3. Almost makes you wish we were still in the midst of the Cold War. Things were so exciting then, spy-wise.