"Commercial bandits from the old
USSR have made a base
in Budapest, and I've been told
to send my cleverest agent, Case."
"Equipped with clever equipment, sir?"
"Indeed. We're going the whole hog
for you, Case. Here's the literature:
The Ideal Home Shopping Catalog.
"This wrist blood pressure monitor
shows how you are when things are dire,
and this revolving car seat's for
quick exits when the Saab's on fire.
"While prowling Buda's avenues
or climbing into manholes
massage your reflex points with these
soothing magnetic insoles.
"Any requests?" "Yes sir. My ring,
the one that squirts curare—
I nearly lost the wretched thing
in a night club in Harare."
"No problem, Case. Page 30: Slack
and slipping rings? No more.
Pop on one of our Snuggies. Pack
of ten, $5.94."
Meanwhile in Yelets "Uncle X"
showed hit-woman Olga Braun
the magnifying make-up specs
(Each lens flips up and down)
from the same catalog. He praised
the vitamin cream: Your skin
will look years younger in thirty days.
Olga wore a twisted grin.
"So what's my cover?" "A croupier
at the Bikavér Hotel."
"Me? I not shuffle cards. No way.
You take your job to hell,"
she snapped, sipping her cheap red wine
and fiddling with her muffler.
Sighed X, "Then take, page 39,
the automatic shuffler."
"Okay, and then what?" "Then," said X,
"make Mr Case feel naughty
by showing this DVD, Great Sex
For Couples Over 40,
"and tying him down by any means
convenient to use,
walk on him till he spills the beans
in the lawn aerator shoes."
At home Case turned on in his cellar
his boss's parting gift:
the amazing cordless mole repeller.
His valet up and left.