Miles Kington: Sandy helps superpowers vying for supremacy

America has been the top nation for the past century, so they must have been doing something right
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The Independent Online

Today I am bringing you another episode in our thriller serial, "The Man Who Knew Too Much Though Not As Much As He Thought He Knew".

Story so far ...

Sandy is an international agent working both for the Americans and the Chinese, unbeknownst to either side. But which side is he really working for, and which side is he double-crossing? This is a problem which only Sandy can answer. And frankly, if you're working full-time for the Americans AND the Chinese, you don't really get the kind of time you need to work out the answers to that kind of question. So Sandy reckons he will just keep working as a double agent till he works out which side he prefers working for, and then betray the other side.

The Americans need Sandy badly, as it is very important for the Americans to keep tabs on the Chinese. The Chinese look like being the next great world superpower, which means not only that they will soon take over from the USA as the military policeman of the world but also invent something like Coca Cola with which to colonise the globe. After all, as Sandy points out to his American masters, if the Chinese takeaway can dominate the fast food market without the Chinese even putting any muscle behind it, what it's going to be like when they DO try to dominate the world?

("You mean," says his boss in Washington, "you mean that one day the Chinese will try to replace the hamburger?"

"Sure thing," says Sandy.

"Oh, my God!" says his boss. "With what?"

"With something edible," says Sandy.

Not for the first time, his boss wonders if Sandy is entirely to be trusted.)

But it is equally important for the Chinese to keep tabs on the Americans, and learn from their mistakes and successes. After all, as America has been the top nation for the past century, they must have been doing something right. And they want Sandy to find out what.

("I think you should start by undermining Hollywood," says Sandy to his boss in Beijing. "The American century was created by the world of film and television. By dominating the television and movie screen, America imposed its vision on the world."

"You mean, we should now flood the world with Chinese films?" says his boss. "To make it the Chinese century?"

"That's it," says Sandy. "You got it. You already made a start with Jackie Chan and Ang Lee. Now take over! Wipe out American programmes altogether!"

"But I never miss an episode of Fliends," says his boss. "I would hate to replace Fliends. I really dig Chandler."

Not for the first time, Sandy wonders if his boss in Beijing is entirely up to it.)

Meanwhile, unknown to either China or the USA, Sandy is having an affair with an Australian girl, confusingly also called Sandy. After several torrid sex scenes, an executive decision is taken to eliminate (female) Sandy, as it is very difficult to write torrid sex scenes when both people in a bed answer to the same name, and she goes missing one day when they are changing planes at Kuala Lumpur.

Maddened by grief, Sandy decides to go in search of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance, unaware that it was an action taken by the author of the story in which he features. Moved by Sandy's genuine distress, the author arranges for Sandy to meet another bombshell of a lady when he happens to have a seat next to her on a long-haul flight to San Francisco. She is Yung Sang, a Chinese business lady who is masterminding the Chinese infiltration of the Californian wine trade, and aims to have it entirely Beijing-controlled by the year 2015.

Now read on ...

"Let me introduce myself," said Sandy. "My name is Sandy Grant."

Miles Kington writes: I'm afraid that's all we have time for today. But don't miss the next thrilling instalment!