Bad cliche meets reality

For the one or two of you haven’t heard the outrage, about a dozen secret service agents got sent back to the US from Columbia after they were busted having a party: booze and hookers.

Now to me, if it were just that I’d be looking askance at the moral tightwads. Yes, there are problems with prostitution, dealing with women’s rights and trafficing and a host of other issues. But since a bunch of you are writers and most of the rest read a lot, let’s put this into context.

It’s your story. And you decide that to get the bad guys in place they’re going to get the security team tied up in a booze and girls party right before the hit — the night before the McGuffin for which this team is providing security is due to arrive. Why? Oh, I dunno, are you stealing the codes or copying keys and schedules or planning to hide a stay-behind or…?

Now, depending on the security you might get away with this. But the secret service? One of the gold standards for professional security?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my reason for outrage. The gold standard fell with one of the cliche ‘tricks’ used on mediocre to amateur security teams. It might not have been a trick. They might really have been so stupid as to hold a party less than 24 hours before the president was due to arrive, starting at one of the expensive clubs and moving to the hotel at which the security team (and allegedly the president once he arrived) was staying.

If I put it in a novel the readers would be throwing it against the wall over the stupidity.

Always remember, your novel’s inhabitants can be neither stupider or more absurd than reality. Even trying to match it will have your book disbelieved and left sitting unpurchased on the shelves.

By the same token, always remember that in reality “they can’t be that stupid, can they?” should be met with “oh yes they can.”


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