Poison lipstick. Handbag mirrors loaded with bacteriological weapons, to be used “by female agents against highly-placed persons in Allied occupied territory.” Poison disguised as Bayer aspirins, capable of killing within 10 minutes. Cigarettes that caused headaches, so the infiltrated agent could first offer a smoke and, after the headache kicked in, offer the killing aspirin. Poisonous glass powder that would be sprayed over door handles and desks, designed to cause death if swallowed but not by inhalation. Except:
At the height of World War II, a team of German saboteurs landed by U-boat near New York with a plan to unleash terror in America by blowing up factories, Jewish-owned businesses, dams, roads, and railways.
Instead of changing the course of the war, it ended in farce: the U-boat ran aground, one of the saboteurs got drunk in a bar and “told everyone he was a secret agent”, and another tried to surrender to the FBI but was dismissed as a crackpot.
A second sabotage team landed in Florida, but in a scene no comedy film-maker would dare to invent, they “appeared to think that the caps alone would be sufficient to ensure prisoner of war treatment and therefore landed dressed only in bathing trunks and army forage caps.” — The Australian
Heh. Their kingdom for an envelope of anthrax. How reliable is this report? I call my buddy Gunther Smegma, a history buff back in Jersey with a WWII fetish.
“It’s all documented,” he says, crisply. “The only thing new here is that these files were British. The FBI has owned this information for years. I guess it caught your eye because of the Florida connection, huh.”
Yup. I guess even the Nazis figured Florida would be a good place to stir up trouble. Everybody else does.
“Well, what struck me about that aspect of it is, maybe the saboteurs weren’t as dumb as they appear. Seems to me that maybe at least some found their way in, went undercover, and are just now appearing.”
Gunther, you smoking hops? Where do get that idea?
“I’m reading about your Legislature,” he says. “They’re about to undo every environmental regulation on your drinking water — that’s better than poison aspirin tablets! — and they’re talking about changes to the educational system that will cripple it for decades. And speaking of cripples, they wanna de-fund all services for disabled people.” (Gunther is disabled: he follows these issues.)
You think Nazis are behind this? Really?
“What would YOU call them? How about cutting off unemployment checks, zeroing out cultural arts, and letting the insurance and electric companies raise their rates as high as they want to? They’re crushing the middle class! Meanwhile, they want to fire thousands of workers, farm out the prison system to one of your Governor Dickwithears’ good buddies, and let his new health insurance company take over Medicaid! It’s fascism!”
I never thought of it that way. I figured it was just garden variety class warfare. Republicans enjoy that.
“Nazis, I ‘m telling you. Look at the proposal to cut property tax AND the corporate tax rate. This is government working hand in hand with the state’s biggest industries and employers, giving them a iron grip on workers’ lives. Fascism 101. More effective than the stupid gimmicks they tried 60 years ago, believe me.”
You think it’ll work, or will they screw it up again like in the War?
“Beats me, pal. Are you any smarter down there in Florida than you were back then?” He rings off.
Hours later, that last question still bothers me. A lot.