Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Three Men in a Fortress

As the world reels from the sudden resignations of Citi's Vikram Pandit and John Havens, as well as Ontario's Dalton McGuinty, a shadowy cabal of figures climbs the rocky steps to a solitary lair.

"Were you followed?" Havens asked McGuinty.

"No," McGuinty said. "No one outside of Ontario really noticed I was missing. You neither, huh? Looks like all the headlines are about Vikram."

"I wouldn't say that," Havens replied, stiffly.


"It's okay. Did you get the documents?"

"Yeah! It was great, it was totally like 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' especially since everyone at headquarters is exceptionally white and similar-looking and doesn't have name-tags and wears dark blue or navy variations on the same suit."


"So, what's the plan?"

"Haven't you been paying attention?"

"With all my heart, but, again, MUCH LIKE 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' that doesn't necessarily translate into understanding, unless you're simultaneously reading the Wikipedia plot summary. Who was Karla, anyway? Man? Woman? A Soviet acronym for a counter-intelligence unit?"

"Karla was a man. We have all quit our jobs in anticipation of Canada drastically increasing her arable acreage due to global warming. We have purchased massive tracts of land north of the 49th parallel, and we're going to sit on it. You have provided us with information on secret long-term forecasts, we have the capital."

"That's a pretty good plan."

"It is."

"Can I...can I ask one more question?"

"Is is about the plan, or is it about 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'? Wait, did you JUST watch it? I thought you said you'd watched it a year ago."

"I lied. I wanted to fit in. I assumed I would like it because of Benedict Cumberbatch."


"I liked it because of Benedict Cumberbatch, and I am 94% certain the good guys won."



"We can take it from here."


17 Comments / Post A Comment


"Haven't you been paying attention?"

"With all my heart, but, again, MUCH LIKE 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' that doesn't necessarily translate into understanding"

That's the most perfect assessment of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.


it's so perfect@j


I don't think most of us inside Ontario realized he was missing either.


TTSS and The Constant Gardner were good. Tailor of Panama... less good, despite a really terrific cast.

Kaitlyn Kochany@twitter

I identify with everyone here except the three actual men.


In terms of plot inscrutability, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has nothing on A Perfect Spy. Both, however, are perfect.


@cuminafterall If you want to fix someone's preconceptions of 'genre literature', A Perfect Spy is the book to do it with.

Judith Slutler

But seriously, Smiley was actually the mole, right?

Gen. SmedleyT.Butler

Hahahaha Canada. Wait, was that picture taken in Ontario? What a beautiful capitol city...


@Gen. SmedleyT.Butler Nope, I think that might be Halifax? It's definitely not Ottawa.


I want to see Benedict Cumberbatch star in an Engelbert Humperdinck biopic. Because I love names.

Gen. SmedleyT.Butler

@Amphora Engelbert Humperdinck Biopic is opening for Grizzly Bear at The Beacon on Friday. Its a new supergroup I started 2 minutes ago, featuring members of Das Racist and The National.


@Gen. SmedleyT.Butler Benedict Cumberbatch Engelbert Humperdinck Biopic. Quintuple dactyl alert!

My 11th-grade English teacher would be so proud.

Gen. SmedleyT.Butler

@cuminafterall Awesome --Thanks! So much better read aloud, now.

I smell burnt toast

I'm really happy to hear other people (well, Dalton McGuinty) say that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is hard to understand. For a long time I thought it was just me, and it brought me secret shame.

Hiroine Protagonist

Bless the CanCon on here, but you're feeding my ego about Tinker Tailor. Mind you, if you've read the other Smiley books you have a much better shot at following the plot.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

The Fonz enters stage right, walks to jukebox, kicks it over and says, "Ayyyyyyyy!!! SIT ON IT!"

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