My “Bondness” flourished as I entered my later teens. My favorite part of my junior prom was that I treated Roger’s Wedding Rentals like it was a tailor’s shop on Saville Row and got to wear a tuxedo like 007. I flatly refused to wear a peach colored tie and cummerbund that matched my date’s dress, and opted for the classic black against white shirt because that’s what Bond wore when we first meet him at La Circle Club in “Dr. No.”
A good portion of prom night for me was spent reenacting the gun barrel sequence from the movies where I, trying to look like Bond, walked, turned, and then pretended to shoot.
My bond with my grandpa was reminiscent of the relationship that Bond had with Q, the quartermaster of gadgetry for the British Secret Service. I spent many afternoons shining a flashlight over the engine of my first car while Grandpa, whom I adored, operated on the Chevy’s innards. I grew bored holding ratchets and wrenches, and like how Q acted with Bond, Grandpa often grew annoyed by my seemingly playful lack of respect to his gadgets.
“Stop fiddling,” he’d pipe as I touched parts of the exposed engine I wasn’t supposed to. When we finally did get that car on the road, the famous Vic Flick guitar riff from the jazzy James Bond theme played in my head whenever I made a quick turn or swiftly changed lanes. If someone tailgated, I pressed the button for windshield fluid and sprayed the car behind me, like Bond did with oil slick in Goldfinger.
My fantasy life in the Bond world continued into my twenties. Any attractive office secretary (as long as I was single at the time) got what I called “the Moneypenny treatment” and whenever a boss spoke to me in his office, it was like M was briefing Bond.
I came down into the lobby of my hotel in Berlin one morning and was suddenly hit with a Bond epiphany. I was going to start my day like 007, I thought. In my best Connery voice, I asked if there were any messages for me. (I was backpacking through Germany and the only people who knew I was staying at that hotel…were the people working at that hotel.) The clerk turned, peered into an empty pigeonhole, and looked at me.
“Nein, mein Herr. Es ist nichts für Sie da,” he said with a shrug.
I feigned surprise, cautiously looked to either side, and then, still in my Connery voice, quietly informed the clerk that I was expecting a very important message from headquarters and I was to be contacted immediately when it arrived. The clerk’s eyes suddenly grew to the size of half dollars and he assured me that he’d be on top of it. I nodded and the Vic Flick electric guitar riff echoed in my head as I exited the building.