The Weekend Australian - Review

THE LAST WORD

- ROBERT CRAMPTON

I’m delighted that intelligen­ce services are seeking to recruit part-time spies. Mi6 has already scrapped its upper age limit of 55, and now it’s also encouragin­g applicants who want to fit in a little light espionage around other duties, I reckon I’m as good as in.

The adverts say you should enjoy travel, which I do, within reason of course. Nowhere too cold. Unless the skiing is good. And then I want one of those big parachutes in case things go wrong. Naturally, I also want a licence to kill, and Tuesdays are completely off because I like to chill on Tuesdays.

Mind you, full disclosure, I am absolutely terrible at keeping a secret, which I can see might pose a problem. On the other hand, I have very few moral impediment­s to doing whatever it takes to get a job done, so that sort of cancels out being a big mouth, I would have thought.

The campaign should do well. After all, it’s pitched at people wanting to “spice up their otherwise dull life”. Which is just about everybody at the moment.

Meanwhile, a vital new scientific study has revealed that good-looking youngsters are more likely to break the law than ugly ones.

Researcher­s at Bowling Green State University in Ohio had thought mingers of both sexes would be more likely to turn to crime after “a life of rejection and frustratio­n”. But no, turns out those less favoured physically stick to the straight and narrow, while those upon whom nature has smiled say “ta very much” and then decide they want more of the good things of life, not necessaril­y by paying for them.

My own youthful experience of crime bears this out. I was middling in terms of looks as a teenager, while also proving a mediocre criminal. Some shopliftin­g, some minor vandalism, forays into under-age drinking – no angel, but not exactly Brink’s-Mat either. Funnily enough, all these years later, I’ve been thinking of taking up illegality again – because I’m bored out of my mind. You know how some sociologis­ts claim underprivi­leged kids turn to crime because of a lack of other leisure options? I reckon there’s something in that.

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