Thought Catalog
July 5, 2012

So Your Friend Needs Top Secret Clearance

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As you get into your early 20s, some of your friends might go to work for the government, and some of those government jobs require top secret clearance. Why? Maybe your friend’s a Treadstone assassin, an IMF operative, a SHIELD agent, an MIB, or an IT guy for the navy; I don’t know. Regardless, he will soon have access to dangerous secrets about terrifying government activities that, if you knew about them, would make you gasp, then cry, then throw up on yourself. The government has to know your friend won’t blog about these secrets on the Wikileaks or the Twitter, so they’ll interview all his/her friends to make sure your friend’s not a blabbermouth tattletale whistleblower type. If you get a call from a shadowy military organization like, say, the navy to arrange an interview, here are some things you should know:

First of all, don’t tell them your friend smoked pot in college — which he/she did and probably still does. I know you’re thinking, ‘I’m just going to say words and hope those words aren’t “He/she smoked pot in college,”’ because you’re lying to yourself; your mouth will expel all sorts of seedy details unbidden if you don’t rigorously monitor its function. Then when she asks about your relationship with your friend, recall if the story you’re about to tell involved marijuana and be sure to excise this detail from the story. If your memory of this time’s shoddy, don’t say, “I can’t remember much because we were high all the time,” or if you can’t help yourself, add something about being on a mountain or airplane. She will ask how you two met, but don’t say, “Through our drug dealer.” Even if you and your friend have never smoked pot, you’ll feel a constant powerful impulse to give these answers, but you have to resist the urge. I don’t smoke pot at all, but anytime I’m confronted with an authority figure, I must always force myself not to suddenly claim I smoke pot, rape people, or murder dogs because it’s always funny for a split second and then all further results nosedive into tragedy. (I also involuntarily giggle when confronted by angry authority figures, which is probably why I spent so much time in ISS in high school.)

Before the government lady arrives, be sure to go over the timetable of your relationship because during the interrogation, you’ll discover your memory of the past several years is actually a vague blur of indistinct details — the same way you think you remember what the United States looks like until someone asks you to draw and label all 50 states. At this point, you’ll realize the memories of your whole life are shockingly hazy, a vague synopsis composed of impressions, presumptions, hallucinations, and made-up gobbledygook. You’ll realize memory is about as historically accurate as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; that you invented a narrative about yourself to to placate your ego. No, no, it’s better if you just consult Facebook in advance so you don’t need to experience any troubling epiphanies.

If you know a woman from the government is coming to your apartment that day, but your apartment lacks AC, and it’s a hot day, and your body’s dripping fluid, and sweat’s pooling ominously in the groin area, and you took off your pants for comfort, and you stopped wearing pants for days, and you forgot people even wear pants under normal circumstances, and you felt strangely spiritually connected to your environment in a way indefinable to people who constantly wear pants — remember to put pants on before answering the door for the important government lady. You can’t throw out the social contract every time there’s a hot day. My dear, you absolutely require pants to conduct official business with important government ladies.

Do you have an unlicensed handgun on the coffee table in your apartment? Multiple guns? Drug paraphernalia? Bloodstains? Semen? Bloodstained semen? Put your guns in a drawer, hide the paraphernalia in a cabinet, and wipe up the mess. If you look like an unreliable character reference, your friend might not get his job at the Counter Terrorism Unit.

As the interview drags on, you might think, ‘Why am I being punished for having known this person two years ago?’ You might wonder, ‘Will I feel better about myself as a human being if I help my friend get a job in the government?’ Or better yet, ‘Why did this person I haven’t talked to for two years list me as a reference?’ You can’t address these thoughts without compromising the interview’s positive spin though, because, upon self-examination, you’ll realize you don’t care at all and transition into lush Joseph Conrad style descriptions of how your friend murders dogs professionally and puts the severed dog heads on spikes outside his home as a warning to other dogs. To validate your sense of moral obligation, ignore your rapidly growing apathy for each passing moment of conversation with the government lady and continue to compliment your friend’s fictionalized decency and honor.

Sure, it feels like the government is acting like a nosy girlfriend, calling up ex-girlfriends to dig up dirt, but with these tips, you can make that boyfriend seem so hot, she’ll bang him for sure, metaphorically speaking. Metaphorically speaking, this government job will f-ck your friend for a long time. TC mark

 

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