Dying Another Day

The world is a demanding woman. Yes, I said it: woman. Having played the role of a damsel in distress in 21 James Bond movies, six seasons of The Avengers and seven seasons of Mission: Impossible (and that's not counting the revival series and films), she has far outdone the combined efforts of Lois Lane, Andromeda, Princess Peach and even that lady who keeps getting tied to the railroad tracks just as the 3:15 westbound comes thundering out from stage right. Be it secret satellites with Death Star-like capabilities, a machine that can evaporate all the water on Earth, or an army of indestructible killer robots, the world has been in many perils, and she expects to spin another day. What a lady.

But thank goodness for the brave and capable agents of the American and British military forces. I'm talking of the likes of MI6, Emma Peel and John Steed, Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon, the whole IMF team, and the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), just to name a few. These public servants devote every hour of every day protecting our way of life from mad scientists, socialist governments, mass murderers and secret organizations of evil villains, and they look good doing it. Sadly, we have yet to thank them—that is, until now.

This is the perfect opportunity to practice those coveted rights that these heroes—fictional or not—have sacrificed for. What else could better celebrate these guardians of freedom than their memorial currently on display aboard the Queen Mary? There, you can see Peel's legendary leather pants, Steed's bowler hat, Maxwell Smart's shoe phone, the IMF self-destructive tape reel, and much, much more.

But if you're caught or killed, I won't really care either way.

"Spy-Fi" exhibit aboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queen's Hwy., Long Beach, (562) 435-3511; www.queenmary.com . Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Through Sept. 30. $10-$27.95. All ages.


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