Cash-strapped MoD sells off its spies’ luxury watches – and thousands of other items – to plug £36bn ‘black hole’ Daily Mail
James Bond sipped his drink and looked at his wristwatch again. The digital dispay read 10:25. He got to his feet, pushing aside the polystyrene box that held the last few crumbs of his Big Mac. Carrying his large 7-Up, he went to the door of the restaurant and looked out.
It was still raining. His imitation Converse would be soaked through long before he reached the Premier Inn where he had left his Timpson suitcase. If only M would let him take a minicab on expenses.
Turning up the collar of his Burton jacket, Bond stepped out into the street and walked the ten yards to the Silver Dollar Amusement Arcade. Two girls in the doorway made way for him to pass; a hint of Burberry Touch lingered in the air where they had been standing.
Bond selected a slot machine and started to feed in 50p coins. He was gambling with his own money now; M had been very firm about allowances. One of the girls from the door had followed him and now stood beside the machine, watching him. He looked up and caught her eye.
"Gum?" she said, offering a packet of Wrigleys Extra.
"Don't mind if I do." Bond took a piece. "What's your name?"
She leaned closer to him and giggled, her Elizabeth Duke earrings chiming in sympathy. Her breath was warm on his neck and smelt of Bacardi Breezers.
"It's Lauren, but my friends call me Chardonnay," she said.
"Chardonnay? I like it. Smooth, and with a touch of oak. Tell me, Chardonnay, where would you like to wake up tomorrow morning?"
The girl looked up at him from under eyelashes heavy with Rimmel Volume mascara.
"Dunno, really," she said, "'S long as I get to school in time. I've got Food Tech first thing and it's the only GCSE I'm goin' to get, innit."
"B***er!" said Bond. Turning on his heel, he walked outside onto the pavement and lit a Lambert & Butler.
Since the Ministry cuts, the job just wasn't the same, somehow.
Update: After I had written this, the Urchin drew my attention to this take on a similar theme...