Licence to take Annual Leave
James Bond (007) enters MI6 Briefing room , M is seated with the defence minister
"You're late "
"Sorry sir, traffic was murder"
"Very well take a seat, you know the defence minister Charles Grand"
Bond makes his welcomes and takes a seat
"What do you know about Phrozon 628 ?"
"A nerve agent duringthe cold war , but from recollection it hasn't been manufactured since the late 80's "
"That's what we thought but last week a lorry was intercepted 100 miles from Donetsk by local police when they opened up the back of the tuck they found 10 crates of Phrozon 628"
"And we have reason to believe someone has started manufacturing Phrozon 628 and we have a lead that Spectre is behind it , we want you to go to Kiev and find out where they are producing the nerve agent and trace who they are supplying it to , as usual Miss Mon......"
Bond puts his hand up
"What is it 007?"
"I'm sorry sir but i can't take the mission""
"I can't take the mission sir because I'm on holiday as of tomorrow"
"For god's sake Bond, your humour is just about acceptable when we're alone but we have guests, now just concentrate on the briefing"
"I'm not joking sir, as of tomorrow i am off for 2 weeks, you even approved it yourself"
"I did no such thing Bond and I'm warning you as regards your current behaviour"
"With all due respect sir if you'd care to take a look at the board behind you "
Bond leaves his chair and walks behind M to drag a board into the fore ground
"This is the holiday board for all double "0"agents working for MI6 , as you can see my stickers indicate a block booking of two weeks for the last 2 weeks of July "
"What is this ?"
Bond (dead pan)
"It's the holiday board"
"you keep saying that but what is it doing here? "
? WellI assume you ?d want it in here as it would be a bit of a walk to reception everytime you need to put a sticker on the board ?
? Not the board. I mean what is it ? why is it here? ?
? Do you want me to run through it again??
? No I don?t want you to run through it again, Iwant someone to explain to me what the hell is going on??
M proceeds to press button on the intercom
"Miss Moneypenny could you come into the office immediately "
Moneypenny replies in the affirmative
"Miss Moneypenny will get to the bottom of this nonsense 007"
M (turning to the defence minister)
"Terribly sorry about this Charles, our "00"are out in the field for so long and under so much pressure that sometimes they lose a bit of focus "
Moneypenny enters the breifing room
"Ah Miss Moneypenny, could you please explain to 007 that we don't work in retail here at MI6 and we certainly don't grant holiday requests "
"Well sir, I'm afraid 007 is correct "
"This department was the only section of MI6 that didn't offer annual leave and it was highlighted and rectified some time ago "
"Some time ago?"
"Yes , I thought you knew "
"Of course I didn't know, my priority is maintaining the security of the United Kijngdon, not checking if we have enough staff cover because someone wants to go caravanning in bloody Bognor Regis"
"Actually I'll be skiing in Chamonix"
"But you ski when you're on a mission, why do you need a holiday to go skiing"
" yeah but i don't get shot at on holiday"
" Well I suppose the bloody KGB are all on a gap year "
" Well I won't be taking a whole year off sir"
" oh thank you, so gracious of you "
"No I want to save some of my annual leave entitlement for anotherholiday, I'm going to the highlands in Scotland in Spring, it's the best time of the year for shellfish. As a child , before my parents died, we used to go to this sea food restaurant in the village ..."
Sensing he's testing M's patience Bond stops mid flow
" No, no, do carry on, you were just about to give us a lecture on gastronomy"
" well with respect sir you did give me a licence to krill"
Defence Minister and Moneypenny snigger causing M to slap the desk and stand up and walk over to the window
"And what if I say no"
"You can't and besides you would have approved 007's leave in the first place "
"I did? "
"Yes and normal procedure is to stick a coloured sticker onto the holiday board and looking at it it looks like you put a sticker on it 10 times, well 14 as you've included weekends which technically isn't an annual leave day "
"That's not going to affect my days left to take tally is it ?"
"I'll check and get back to you"
"Well then if it's not too much trouble, please can you tell me who is available to take on this mission ?"
Moneypenny walks over to survey the holiday board in greater detail
"According to this only 009, no wait he's off for a week, going to the dentists"
"He needs a whole week to go to the dentists?"
"He says he might need fillings "
" He doesn't haveany family"
" A cat. They were very close apparently"
" Fod God's sake, ok, what about 0010"
" There is no 0010"
" 0011? "
Moneypenny says nothing
Again Monyepenny says nothing
" I think you need to be going down rather than up "
If i wanted your advice 007 i'd ask for it "
"What about 006?"
Miss Moneypenny (looking through her notes)
"Long term sick......no wait , dead"
Moneypenny holds up a piece of creased,handwritten note paper
"The administrator is off"
"Let me guess, on holiday?"
"No she quit to take a job with a travel firm offering all inclusive 5 star escorted sports tours to South America and Australia"
Bond turns to the Defence Minister
Bond (under his breath)
"Can't believe I didn't sleep with her "
"Is this a joke to you Bond? Is that what MI6 is now, a bloody joke. People popping in and out when they feel like it. We're the nation's security service for God's sake"
M sits down, exasperated
"Look can't i just say I made a mistake and wasn't in full receipt of the facts when I signed the request forms . I mean I thought "Holiday "was code for some project like Manhattan or something. "
"With respect M , if the papers got wind that the head of MI6 was signing off on things he wasn't fully aware of it wouldn't look good "
"What's the alternative , no available agents?"
"Well, I could be persuaded not to go? Of course i'd need some recompense for the trouble"
"What do you want ?"
"I want refunding for the cost of my skiing holiday and this and a guarantee that any days I don't take this year I can use next year "
"I can live with that "
"And I want all bank holidays to be used in lieu"
"You bastard. Ok you got it , Miss Moneypenny will finalise details. And Bond, good luck. "
"I have to say M that was well handled "
M nonchantly agrees and sits back in his chair, after a while something dawns on M , he leans forward to use the intercom
"Ah Miss Moneypenny , you know you mentioned that everyone in this department now has annual leave , how much leave would I have ?"
"Well assuming you haven't used any which I'm guessing you haven't and due to your seniority and length of service you'd have 40 days annual leave"
"40 days? "
M can barely contain his delight
"Yes but you have to use them before 31st December or you'll lose them "
"Don't worry about that Miss Moneypenny"
M gets up and starts emptying his drawers into his briefcase and picks up his potted plant
"But M , what about our meeting with the PM?"
"oh bollocks to the PM I'm off caravanning in Bognor, see ya"