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opinion

The spy who came in from the PTA meetingBrian Gable

"The complaint affidavit … essentially suggests that they successfully infiltrated neighbourhoods, cocktail parties and the PTA." - A lawyer for 'Donald Heathfield,' one of 11 accused Russian spies arrested last month by the FBI

FROM: Control TO: SunGoddess RE: Skin Cancer Alert When you're hanging out by the pool, watch out for the rays! Svetlana says she got a nasty burn the last time she was Stateside. Service will reimburse for Coppertone up to 50 rubles.

FROM: Control TO: TeachersPet RE: Bake Sale You're the president of the PTA, and they make you schlep brownies and cupcakes? What does the vice-president do?

FROM: Control TO: SlinkyRedhead RE: Enough Already Lose the high heels and the expensive haircut, okay? I know we told you to blend in, but this is all a bit much. You're a spy, not a contestant on American Idol.

FROM: Control TO: YummyMummy RE: You I know everyone's going on about SlinkyRedhead, but that's just because she's single and posts on Facebook. I think you're way hotter. Really. Send me an invisible ink message when you have a chance.

FROM: Control TO: SoccerDad RE: World Cup Stop acting so glum about the USA being out of the tournament! That will just make people suspicious. Nobody in America really cares about soccer, anyway.

FROM: Control TO: LawnDoctor RE: Electric Mower I know, I know, they're cute. But Ivan used a gas guzzler when he was undercover, and it worked just fine. If you want to "go green," you'll have to spend your green. Do I look like a bank?

FROM: Control TO: FamilyGuy RE: Kids Today I know you've had it up to here with the kids, what with their iPods and video games and incessant texting. I hear you, man, I hear you. Remember back in our Marxist days, when they taught us that capitalism would generate its own undoing? The undoing is called PlayStation2.

FROM: Control TO: HotRod RE: New Wheels A stud like you, driving a Prius? I can't believe it. Back in Moscow, all you could talk about were Hummers and Suburbans. Speaking of which: Why do Americans make fun of the suburbs?

Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University.