Dull
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I am dull. My hair is dull and my shoes are dull. My personality is dull, too. If my life were a knife, it wouldn't cut gravy.

I am an agent for a secret branch of the government. My training class just graduated, in fact, and I was dullest in my class. After receiving our certificates, we were asked if anyone cared to volunteer for a dangerous assignment. My hand was up first, but I was overlooked because I was so dull. What the job called for, though, was a very covert operator, someone who would blend in and be ignored, and everyone else in my class was too vital and interesting. My supervisor said, "There must be someone," and went through the class one-by-one. I was the last one looked at, even though my name was first alphabetically. I got the job easily after that; in fact no one could believe I was in the agency.

  
 
The assignment was to be a bodyguard to a visiting prince. The prince wanted a bodyguard for status reasons, but at the same time, didn't want anyone hanging around him. He wanted to be alone but not alone, particularly when he flossed his teeth, was the way he phrased it. I told my supervisor I would be dull, and that he wouldn't know I was there. My supervisor said, "Uh-huh," and looked uninterested. But I had my first mission.

I shadowed the prince to a tractor pull exhibition he wanted to see, and it was a good thing I did. Two guys with guns and false beards tried to abduct him at the beer stand, but when they saw me step out of the crowd with my badge out, they froze in boredom and I arrested them easily. Instead of thanking me, the prince paid for his 12-ounce and returned to his seat, yawning. But that was all the thanks I needed.

The way I got promoted to agent first class, despite my dullness, makes a dull story. My problem was that I could never rise in my career since no one noticed me. I was so dull I was invisible. So when the agent first class job became available, I started a rumor that I already had the position locked up. The other applicants heard the rumor and lost all interest in the job, in me, in everything. The mere mention of my name was enough to narcotize the most energetic and self-promoting of them. So I got the promotion, and now when other agents pass me in the hall they call me sir, if they notice me at all. To get them to at least look at me, I explode firecrackers in my breast pocket and wave a handkerchief wildly. This helps but is no guarantee.

Further details of my life and exploits would only be duller than what I have already related. I could make daring behind-the-lines rescue operations and thrilling assassination attempts sound as dull as making a sandwich or buying a bus ticket. Stories I have that, if properly told, should curl your hair or turn it gray, would in my telling seem as soporific as an opera or the endless pitch of a life insurance salesman. So I'll sign off here, though even that is dullness itself.

The End

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