Favorite weapon? The older I get, the more I like Cruise Missiles.

Cold War Battle Reenactment Society

You’ve heard of the Society for Creative Anachronism? The Rendezvous Society? The Civil War, WWI and WWII battle reenactments societies? There are people going around recreating battles from any number of wars that have occurred throughout history. Except one. The Cold War.

Since Holmes is a veteran of the Cold War, we believe it’s time to rectify this situation. We are starting the Bayard & Holmes Cold War Battle Reenactment Society to commemorate the great battles our espionage teams bravely endured during that dark period in the history of the West.

The only rule to join is that you can’t tell your family and friends you’re a member unless you’re sure you can recruit them to your team. Once recruited, your family can never speak of it outside the confines of a Cone of Silence or a small walk-in closet.

Image from Get Smart

Once you have joined, go to your closet and pick out the least remarkable clothes you own. This will be your costume. When you’re wearing your costume, choose one of the following missions from this list, but don’t tell anyone what you are doing.

  • Go to a crowded place and walk around, pretending to be a tourist. Do your best to not be noticed by anyone. During your walk, look for small chalk marks on lampposts, fire hydrants, and building walls. If you find one, pretend it’s a message indicating that a dead drop needs to be serviced, or that a discreet meeting needs to be arranged. If you don’t find one, feel free to make one so you can discover it the following week.
  • If your friends and family have also joined, put on trench coats and quietly stare at each other from across a large city park during rush hour. Periodically, push your glasses up on your nose or scratch your left earlobe to indicate that a target has been spotted.
Image from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Find a sidewalk café with a French name and sit at a table outside. Order tea and croissants. Pretend to discreetly communicate with someone in the restaurant, who will pretend to ignore you. Be careful not to be arrested for stalking, as the person you’re pretending to communicate with may not be a fellow reenactor.
  • For those of you who can find a fellow reenactor for your Cold War team, practice the “brush-by meeting.” Each of you starts at opposite ends of your city and follows long, circuitous routes to a crowded location. Once you’re sure that you haven’t been followed by imaginary Eastern European Police or KGB Cold War Battle Reenactors, pass by each other while appearing to ignore each other, but exchange a small, coded message. When you get home, soak the message in tap water, pretending it’s an exciting four-chemical mix, and pretend to read something interesting like “Agent Dead Cat has been arrested!” Using an empty Bic ballpoint pen, which will suffice as a secret writing implement, write an invisible report to headquarters. Make it full of bad grammar and several spelling errors. Then send the message to Janet Napolitano to help her with her ‘See Something, Say Something’ program. If Janet is confused by the blank message, she can always seek help from those people at the National Security Agency (NSA), none of whom like her very much. If enough people participate in this particular reenactment activity, Janet might actually become the first human to develop a close working relationship with the NSA.
Big Sis’s See Something, Say Something campaign posters.
  • For the truly technically savvy among you reenactors, three or four of you can get together and spend the weekend in the cheapest motel available, eating canned food (keep your receipts). Sneak into one of your homes at night – feel free to use your key unless you have reasonable lock picking skills – and bug the selected target at home with audio transmission devices. Those of you reenactors who have significant others (significant as in they take their clothes off in front of you and you like it*) should probably get their permission before having their home bugged by you and your fellow reenactors. However, the significant other will then have to join the society, or you’ll need to pretend to kill them discreetly with some non-poisonous Kool-Aid.

Advanced Reenactment Scenario:

Your reenactment group must discover an enemy reenactment group operating somewhere within your territory. Track that group, kidnap one of their members, and take them to one of your undisclosed locations. Pretend to torture them until they speak. (We suggest a drinking party followed by a continuous loop of Nyan Cat.) If he talks, blackmail him into joining your group and operating as a double agent.

Once you’re able to get a functioning double agent, send an “in clear” message (one that isn’t coded) on Administrative Budget Request Form F-7-22 requesting $100k in funds to cover the expense of running the double agent and for reimbursement for all of your audio team’s activities. Send this form to Janet Napolitano and ask her to approve it and forward it to the comptroller.

Nyan Cat – Latest in Japanese Animated Enhanced Interrogation Devices

Each team gets to declare itself a winner, but no one gets to tell anyone. Enjoy your Cold War Battle Reenactments!

What other espionage activities would you like your Cold War Team to enjoy? What other battles or wars do you think have been ignored by reenactment societies?

For those of you following the Bayard/Lamb 2012 Presidential Campaign, we’re making a Campaign Tour Blog Stop at Liv Rancourt’s blog today. Stop by and find out how we will fight zombies with pictures of Rush Limbaugh and Janet Napolitano, and what role the Lincoln’s Ghost will play in fighting domestic terrorists. A Foxie with Moxie Campaign Stop

*Holmes’ quote, not Piper’s


27 thoughts on “ Cold War Battle Reenactment Society

  1. Bwahahahahaha–brilliant Piper. Let’s see: Follow a complete stranger around and when you see him raise his cell phone to his ear, realize that he is setting off explosives remotely. Carry a Nerf submachine gun with you and take the dude out; after your shot is fired with pinpoint accuracy, drop gun into a trashcan, set said trashcan on fire and walk away with a purposeful stride.

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Hi El. This is a good scenario. Welcome to the Cold war Reenactment Society. Thank you for your help in keeping dead secrets alive….quietly.

  2. “…and you like it*.” A fine distinction, but oh, so important! Thanks for my morning chuckle – there’s nothing like the good old Cone of Silence.

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Hi Diane. Even Cold War warriors got to decide of they liked it or not.

  3. Hilarious!! Holmes: in a previous comment I said tat the west may be forced to launch a missile attack on Iran, perhaps with “bunker busting” bombs. sad side effect of that would an even sharper spike on the oil prices, and Obama wouldn’t be willing to do that in an election year. Maybe in January 2009….

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Hi Richard. If the cold war ended when the USSR collapsed perhaps history will remember this period as “The Oil Wars”. You are right about election year impacts on forign policy. Unfortunately our enemies understand this as well.

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Hi Richard. The credit goes to my cruel and demanding boss Piper Bayard.

  4. This. Is. Gold. Pure gold, my friend. I think you should market it – you could make MILLIONS!!!

    Off to find my most non-descript clothing…

  5. on ,
    J Holmes said:


    Hi Christine. Millions? Did you say millions? I’ll have to go down to my garage and dig out some old toys from the past. What could I get for a coding machine that looks is disguised as a fax machine?

  6. This is funny. I probably shouldn’t be laughing at it, but I am (even though I feel sort of mean). I can’t think of anything to add, but I do wish I had a bomb shelter on my property. They are sort of cool.

  7. on ,
    J Holmes said:


    Hi Catie. Bomb shelters make great wine cellars. I’m sure they would be a cool place for reenactment operations briefings as well.

  8. Cold War reenactment, I gotta do it. It will take me back to Catholic school days. I miss the days of the Red Menace who was going to take over and turn all of our churches into museums. With Vlad back in power in Moscow we might need all the practice we can get.

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      “With Vlad back in power in Moscow we might need all the practice we can get.”

      Too true tomwisk

  9. on ,
    lewis said:


    I think that’s a wonderful idea, not sure how the battle plans; abstract though they are in many way, would work…keep writing…take care…

  10. Well, I think this is an excellent idea, not that I’m going to join, or if I do (or did) I wouldn’t mention it on an open channel (whatever one of those is, or might be). I shall not be handing invisible ink messages to unknown people about subjects in which I know nothing, or maybe I will since “knowing nothing” is probably my greatest qualification, not that I said that in the first place.

    On the upside, I will be able to re-use all those tired old 70s clothes in the back of my wardrobe, or as my wife puts it, my daily wear.

    Naturally I will deny this communication ever took place. This tape will self destruct in 5 secon………

    Cheers!

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Nigel, I was certain that you would get this. You clearly have the swing of things. I was counting on you to be a reenactment team leader. You are in charge of the MI-6 team. Your first reenactment requires you to avoid telling the truth about anything to journalists for a week. Feel free to tell them anything else.

      • Just to keep you up to date. I returned from Europe and refused to tell anyone about what was on any tapes. I may or may not have spoken to journalists, but in either case I avoided telling the truth at all times. I kept quiet about encryption keys at French immigration and went all over Paris dropping scrawled on napkins in litter bins regularly (without looking back, of course). I was wondering about revealing all this to the immigration officer when I landed back on US soil, but they probably have it all on satellite imagery so I kept quiet there as well. Mind you, given the price of their coffee, the French may have got the better part of the deal.

        Cheers!

        • on ,
          J Holmes said:


          Well done Nigel. France has always been a spooks paradise. This brings back so many fond (and often hilarious) memories of Paris and Marseille.

  11. Can I say that reeading your blog posts get my creativity neurons firing?! And this one in particular, I just love all these different ideas that pay homage to the Cold. War! I don’t have another option right now, but I did want to comment because I had to tell you what a brilliant post this is. Perhaps later in the day something may come up. Again, AWESOME!
    p.s. I have sent this blog post all over the place. I think this is a post that most people should read this.

    • You are so kind, Monique. We genuinely appreciate the support. Just make sure that you tell people to only spread this post if they are sure they can recruit the recipients to their Reenactment Team. 😉 Good to see you.

  12. Here’s a suggestion for anyone who wants to take it up: write a novel with your POV character as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s lawyer! What would they have told him? Would he have felt qualms about defending a couple who sold nuclear technology secrets to the Russians? Did the lawyer think they were guilty? Did the lawyer think it was all McCarthyist hysteria? Were others who confessed to being accomplices of the Rosenbergs mere pawns pressured into false confessions by threats of execution or life imprisonment if they didn’t confess and implicate the Rosenbergs? Did the lawyer believe in the death penalty? Did he suffer professionally or personally for acting as their lawyer? Did his family loath him for defending “those people”? Have fun!

    For anyone unfamiliar with the story, here’s a ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_and_Ethel_Rosenberg

    • on ,
      J Holmes said:


      Hi Richard. That would be a great exercise. It would be important to think about it from the perspective of that time. I don’t think that their lawyers suffered at all from defending the Rosenbergs.

      The Rosenberg children suffered from their parents case. It had to be a torturous ordeal for their children. About a decade ago the FBI allowed them to listen to the tapes of their parents conversations abut their espionage activity. I think the kids accepted that their parents were guilty and they stopped their campaign to prove their innocence. Now they have been left with the knowledge of their parents guilt in addition to the horror of their parents execution.

      In my opinion Ethel should not have received the death sentence. For one thing I feel that she was less guilty than her husband For another we gained nothing by executing her. The children would at least have had one parent.

      If I had been the judge she would have gotten five years and her husband would have gotten life without parole.

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