"Yes, I know my name is Alex, and I know I go to a church that was founded by Russian immigrants. But I'm not Russian and I don't speak a word of Russian, except for 'Gospodi, pomilui.'"
The president looked up at the tall man whom some call Agent Mousethief, but he did not smile. "What does 'Gospodi, pomilui' mean?"
"'Lord have mercy,'" said Agent Mouse.
"Perfect," said the president. "Because you'll need a lot of that where you're going. You do own a parachute, right?"
"No, I don't own no stupid parachute. I'm a computer programmer at Boeing Spares. I help sell airplane parts. I don't jump out of the damned things."
"There's time to learn, agent, time to learn. From 30,000 feet, at 30 feet per second per second. You do the math."
Within hours, Agent Mousethief was on the aging Aeroflot plane, whining and lurching over the North Pacific, headed for Moscow. "Well, I've always wanted to go to Russia," he mused to himself, "but rather as a pilgrim than a spy."
"Shpy now, peelgreem laytair," said his interpreter, a short man named Boris with a waxed mustache out of which small bits of borsch kept falling.
Suddenly the plane lurched violently to the left, or port, if you're facing foreward, but it's on your right if you're facing aft, and that's why we use words like "port" and "starboard" and not "left" and "right" so everyone knows which side of the ship -- or in this case plane -- you're talking about. Agent Mousethief sadly thought about what his instructor in English 181 back at the University of Washington told him about too many explanatory parentheticals in his prose. But that was a long time ago, and didn't seem to apply to the deadly situation he found himself in. The door to the cockpit was jarred open by the violence of the plane's motion, and banged against the bulkhead, revealing ... empty seats. The cockpit was empty. The pilot had bailed out over Newfoundland.
"I've never flown a plane before," admitted Agent MT.
"Me too," said Boris.
"Do you own a parachute?" the veteran spy asked.
"Da," said Boris, lapsing back into his native tongue. Three beet cubes and a bit of stringy carrot fell onto it, and he sucked it back into his mouth.
"Then now's the time to use it," yelled Agent Mousethief, as he kicked the door open and jumped into the blackness of the night.
"On second thought, I have flown a plane before, and I hate parachuting," said Boris in flawless English, as he closed the cabin door and casually strode up to the cockpit.
Meanwhile, Agent M was drifting slowly towards the North Atlantic, when he fell through a hole in the space-time continuum and landed directly in the middle of a pile of horrific green goo which looked like the exploded remains of a vegetarian stew even HE wouldn't eat, even during Lent.
As a band of grim-faced men in funny hats closed in around him, he regretted but one thing. He should have held out for the $100 per diem.