As all of you know, we are in the midst of an American financial crisis. Some are calling it The Great Depression Part II. Times are tough. Living is hard. And a lot of us are having to cut back on those daily amenities that we used to take for granted. A car wash here, a KFC Snacker there. With the pressures of Christmas and Thanksgiving weighing on our back, most of us don't even have enough spare change in our pocket to do a quick load of laundry.

I'd been wearing the same pair of socks for three days when there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find a man dressed all in black running from the stoop of our earthquake-cracked townhouse. Hanging from the door was an envelope marked: "Classified"! I opened it to find a letter from Chief Inspector Louis Salinger, S07. The guy works out of Scotland Yard, and for some reason he was trying to involve me in a scheme to capture some goofy old man that looked just like Matt Damon in bad make-up. You can read his first letter here.

<strong><em>The International</em></strong>

In the envelop was a bag full of foreign currency. Each bill contained a special serial number that would lead me to more information regarding the capture and arrest of members working for the International Bank of Business and Credit. Apparently, from what I could gather using my $.99 store spy kit, this organization is a ruthless, worldwide enterprise operating under the guise of a private bank. Typing the serial numbers into the Los Angeles based International Internet Depot, I was told to head down to Chinatown with the paper bills. All of which were marked with the words "This is Blood Money" in bold red lettering. Low on gas, I didn't think I could make it the few blocks it would take me to get to 483 Gin Ling Way. Digging around in the plastic baggy, I noticed an American Two Dollar bill.

Yup. A whole two bucks. Real money. Forget Chinatown. I hurried that cash bill into my front pocket, loaded up the dirty laundry, and walked a half a block down to the Chinese run laundromat. Thank you, Chief Inspector Salinger. Because of you, I now have clean socks! In no short way, this viral scheme of yours has been like winning the lottery. Even if it is just a quick pick two-dollar scratch off.

I arrived back at the pad, feeling so fresh and so clean. I turned on my computer to find that at least four operatives working for the Global Eyes Development Fund had made their way down to Chinatown, where they rang a gong to retrieve more important information. They were handed a CD with an important secret code on the front of it. I was sort of glad to have this business out of my hands. It didn't really sound like a job for me, anyway. I put it out of my mind and went to sleep.

Then yesterday morning, I heard another knock at the door. Another man in black was spotted running away from the house. And another envelope was left hanging from the doorknob, "Gosh, dang! Now what?" I took the envelope inside. It was another note from Chief Inspector Louis Salinger. He explained that my comrades had discovered a large sum of international currency along with new information linking the IBBC to unspeakable, insidious crimes. I'm not sure what some of those acts entail. But they must have been pretty serious. Salinger added this bit of interesting information:

Intelligence reports now indicate that additional caches of evidence and currency are hidden somewhere in New York and London. With the help of my field agents, I am confident we will find the missing pieces needed to stop The International.

<strong><em>The International</em></strong>

That last sentence was sold with a wink and nod in my direction. Apparently, the other operatives haven't gotten back to Salinger about my weak work ethic. I think it was the smart thing to do on my part. Inside the "Classified" envelope, there was a batch of Los Angeles surveillance photos. Notice, I'm not in any of them. My identity is safe! Plus, I have no way of getting to New York or London. To find out what went down in those two locations today, make sure to check the Evidence deposit on Salinger's official website.

Rooting around in the evidence bag, I found another cache of foreign currency. I guess its supposed to help me help the Chief Inspector. There was a 10 spot from the Hong Kong and Shangai Banking Corporation (probably worth about two pennies), a Canadian dollar, and, damn, if my eyes didn't deceive me, another glorious American Two-Dollar bill. Another whole two bucks. This is certainly my day! Instead of becoming further engaged in the exploits of Chief Inspector Salinger and The International, I tucked that two dollar cash bill deep in my pocket and headed out the door. Heck, I haven't been drunk in a long time. This would fix everything.

Here at the house, we are unloading untold boxes of Christmas decorations, preparing our walls for the upcoming holiday season. This is most fun when done with a yuletide buzz on. Broke, I was faced with doing this cheerful choir sober. Not now. Not with the Chief Inspector at my back. That two-dollar bill allowed me to drink my face off. That's right, I took my new found money and headed down to the Korean bodega on the corner. With it, I bought a King Cobra. At $1.75, I got a quarter back in change. Which means I'm well on my way to doing another batch of dirty laundry. Whoop-doo! The owner of the shop didn't even blink twice when I handed him a bill with the words "Blood Money" printed on it.

Thank you, Chief Inspector Louis Salinger, S07! Thank you for buying me a Forty. And doing my laundry. I hope you continue you to employee me as a member of your Global Eyes team. I certainly look forward to hearing from you again.

Look out, Jason Voorhees, The International is coming to town February 13th, 2009. And seeing as he's paid for my malt liquor, I might just be inclined to give him my ticket money instead.

B. Alan Orange