I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m doing something active and exciting, I hear the James Bond theme song playing in my head. You know, like when I’m downhill skiing, the familiar John Barry movie score reverberates in my noggin, so I tuck and race towards the fellow in the one-piece yellow ski suit, ready to bong him with my ski pole. Surely, dressed like that, he must work for Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
When I’m driving down the winding road to the cottage, I suddenly imagine that my dodge truck is actually an Aston Martin. I push down the pedal and make squealing tire noises with my mouth as we fish-tale around curves. My wife, recognizing the signs, wallops me with the rolled up magazine she is reading, and the music inexplicitly stops.
I’m touring up the lake in our boat at a reasonably leisurely pace, when suddenly the music starts, and I push the throttle down, weaving erratically between islands and shoals. Then, when I’m skiing behind the boat, the same common ditty invades my brain and I slice my one ski sharply through a plume of spray and bear down on a nearby fishing boat, ready to pull my Walther PPK out of my swim trunks. I’m not fooled, the fellow fishing is undoubtedly an evil agent of Spectre.
I often hear the tune when I’m snorkelling off the point, and it makes me keep a keen eye for Largo and his henchmen, and then I hear it again when I’m looking down at the water from the knoll at swim rock, timid to jump while my kids heckle my indecision – suddenly the music starts in my head, and I launch myself into a graceful swan dive.
What can I say? I remember seeing my first Bond flick as an impressionable youngster when my family was camping at Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron, and my parents took us to see Thunderball at the drive-in theatre near Grand Bend. For weeks afterward, my siblings and I ran through the sandy dunes pretending to be secret agents. We had to take turns being Bond, even though the character seemed to fit me best. In fact, I took to introducing myself as Ross, James Ross, and to having my orange Kool-Aid shaken, not stirred.
My older brother didn’t mind being the evil maniac who wanted to take over the world. My sister wanted to be Moneypenny, but we thought she was better suited as Klebb, the Russian agent with the stiletto sticking out of her shoe. (Though we did get in trouble for the taped on bread knife). My kid brother was perfect as Oddjob, because he was younger and shorter, and has always been, well, odd. Now, as I sit relaxing on the dock at our cottage, I see my kids playing the same secret agent game, and I wonder if they, too, hear the musical score.
Some of you might think me crazy – hearing theme music in my head. Others will simply recognize that I am a Bond afficionado. I’ve seen every Bond film a number of times, read all of Ian Flemings novels as a teenager sitting on the cabin’s front porch, and have, many times, got into the debate over the best Bond actor. Have I told you that my son is named Sean?
My kids are finished their imaginary Bond game and are off doing something else. My darling wife is floating around on an air mattress in our little bay, the sun on her back, a good book in her hands. Unfortunately for her, the James Bond music starts playing in my head. I slip silently into the water off the end of the dock, and stealthily swim towards her. I see her as the evil Electra King, here to destroy the serenity of cottage country. I dive quietly below the surface, and then drive up hard, capsizing her into the lake. I have rescued the world yet again!
My angry spouse doesn’t seem to appreciate my bravery, however, and the Bond theme is replaced by a certain ringing in my ears. I had saved the world, now who was going to save me?