Amazon and 007: Together at Last!
A match made in LBO Heaven
By Ed Goldman
The setting: A lushly appointed office secreted behind a mini-mart/petrol station on the ground floor of a London skyscraper. (Note to IRS: The Goldman State will be writing off this completely necessary research trip as a business expense or lengthy overseas convalescence, depending on which story you buy.)
B: Good morning, 007.
007: Good morning, M.
B: B for Bezos, Bond. Bezos. Jeff Bezos. Me. My company has just purchased the MGM library of movies—including all of the Bond films. You now work for me. I’m sorry I happen to look like slightly pleasanter version of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but there you have it.
(The meeting is interrupted by B’s assistant)
B: Yes, Miss ManyPennies?
Miss ManyPennies: I’m sorry, sir. Another double-length/double-wide truck just pulled up downstairs.
Miss ManyPennies: Cash. Billions of pounds. I’d have said “billions of dollars” but I don’t want to shatter the columnist’s conceit that this is all taking place in London.
B: Columnist? What columnist?
Miss ManyPennies: The twit in the corner there writing down what we say.
B: Oh, I thought it was a Jeff Koons sculpture. Though not as realistic.
007: “ManyPennies”?! You were always known as Moneypenny in my books and movies.
Miss ManyPennies: I know, James. But that was an equally silly name, don’t you think?
007: It never occurred to me that—
MissManyPennies: Not as silly as Octopussy or Pussy Galore, I’ll grant you. Still.
007: What was so silly about—?
Miss ManyPennies: Or how about Plenty O’Toole? Really, James.
B: Bond! ManyPennies! Stay focused. This meeting is about 007’s next assignment.
Miss ManyPennies: Yes, sir. Sorry.
007: And what would that assignment be, B?
B: Not Bibi. Just B.
007: I apologize. Let me rephrase: What do you want me to do, B?
B: Doobie? Is that all you can think of at nine a.m., Bond?! Besides, you’re a vodka martini man, not a stoner.
007 (Getting attractively annoyed, which, let’s face it, is his forte): Sir, what exactly is the assignment?
B: Her majesty the queen has asked that we round up all the anti-vaxxers in England, where today’s column is being set.
007: Yes, I drove here on the right side of the road, called the elevator a lift and a truck a lorry, and stopped in the loo before our meeting.
B: That’s the spirit, Double-O-Seven! Be sure to also hold out your pinkie when you shoot somebody with your Walther PPK, now available at Amazon. And when you order there, be sure to examine the other deadly weapons in which you may be interested.
Miss ManyPennies: Sir, a query?
B: Oh, I didn’t see him with you when you came in. (To 007) Who says we can’t bring back homophobic humor from the 1960s? (To ManyPennies) Yes?
Miss ManyPennies: Why do we want to round up the anti-vaxxers? Didn’t we usually confine our efforts to defeating villains bent on world domination?
B: Changing times. Now we’re after people who threaten global immunity.
007 (To Miss ManyPennies): Let me explain this in my usual condescending, charmingly cocked-eyebrow way, Miss ManyPennies. People who refuse to get vaccinated are like employees in a company who don’t join their labor union but take all the benefits.
B: Excellent, Bond! Let’s have a song!
007 and Miss ManyPennies: Don’t you mean, “Let’s have a drink?”
B: Now while I’m in charge. (He produces a small pitchpipe from his suit pocket and hums a middle C) All together now.
All: 🎵“Amazon graaaace, how sweet the sound/It saved my company/To buy James Bond, and plow new ground/And gain more solvency…”