Your mission, should you choose to accept it....
November 4, 2015 2:47 PM   Subscribe

For my dad's birthday, I am planning to take him to dinner and a movie--the new James Bond. I am planning to make him a whole mission dossier, like something 007 would get. I was already planning to have him meet me at a rendezvous point (the restaurant) with Moneypenny (my mom) where he would have to...hand off...something? To get the tickets? What fun details can I add to his mission? What Bond-y items might I want to include?

I don't want to do a full on scavenger hunt. The body of the mission should just be to get to dinner and the movie. I would, however, like to Bond up his experience while there. What details can I add? Are there any specific Bond phrases I need to include? (I know my title is from Mission impossible. I won't use it, I promise!) What physical items should I put in the dossier? Do we think he needs a bowtie?

One important note: he can't drink alcohol, so no martinis, shaken, stirred, or otherwise. Is there a nonalcoholic substitute that might be fun?

Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by chatongriffes to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, just about anything you give him, you want to do a Q-like explanation "and it can also be used as a garotte!"

If he has a smartphone, perhaps mention that you've had a miniaturized camera built into it.
posted by XMLicious at 3:02 PM on November 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

Can you encode the locations? The most basic code is alphanumeric substitution: A = 1, B = 2, Z = 26

I'd guess ROT 13 is the second most common (or, at least I see it on the internet a lot)

In the same vein, making him solve other puzzles is pretty traditionally 'spy like'
posted by Jacen at 3:34 PM on November 4, 2015

Rent an expensive sports car and let him drive from the restaurant to the movie.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2015 [11 favorites]

in 'skyfall', bond hands over a very ornate gambling chip and gets a large suitcase of money (and also a fair amount of trouble). so i think a gambling chip.
posted by koroshiya at 4:00 PM on November 4, 2015

No one has suggested a solid gold handgun yet?

Cufflinks, Fountain Pen, with backstory and imaginary high tech features
posted by DigDoug at 4:15 PM on November 4, 2015

I would makeup some top secret document and ask the wait person to slip it into his menu, and then wink at him. Or have them slip him the poker chip or whatever.
posted by TenaciousB at 4:17 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Matching briefcases, manilla envelopes, or other containers. He brings one to the restaurant, and a "passerby" (probably the waiter) exchanges it with the duplicate, in which you've placed the movie tickets. You can just have him place the envelope on the table, and the waiter casually swaps it when he comes to take your order, or get as fancy as you desire.
posted by RobotNinja at 4:29 PM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Rent him a tux that he has to change into at the restaurant. Also, have the waiter use a martini glass for his non alcoholic drinks
posted by gt2 at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Add a sticker to a switch on the dashboard "Ejection Seat" and suggest that it not ever be pushed.
posted by sammyo at 5:09 PM on November 4, 2015

Obviously, the sound track in the car is the traditional bond theme.. or a mix tape of music from the movies.
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tell him to approach the maitre d with the pass phrase "Do you expect me to talk?" to which you instruct the maitre d to replay, "No Mr. Bond. I expect you to eat. Come this way."

Can you set the bond theme as a ringtone and text him instructions? If you can't get access to his phone to change it, can you have your mother do it and pass to him?
posted by willnot at 6:04 PM on November 4, 2015

is your dad familiar with previous Bond movies and all their tropes and in-jokes? Make sure it will be awesome for him or if he gets a golden gun ("haha cool, the golden gun!") and not just mildly confusing ("a golden gun? not sure why this is a spy thing, but sure.").
posted by xbonesgt at 6:11 PM on November 4, 2015

If he's smart-phone equipped, get him to install Google Goggles or some other QR code reader, and then generate QR codes containing your instructions. QR codes can be loaded with text information, web links, etc. and they're a piece of cake to use as long as he has the right app in his phone.

Print the QR codes, secure them to cards which you have placed in small manila envelopes, and then use whatever means you desire to get the envelopes into his hands. Then he scans them, and finds out where the restaurant is (or just the address to plug into his GPS Nav app of choice).

Start with an easy one-- a bowtie and a youtube video on how to tie a bowti, maybe, so he gets the pattern and he's under no time-pressure to learn the system you've devised, or how to scan QR codes. Even if he knows how to tie one, he gets the scanning down.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:19 PM on November 4, 2015

I wonder if you could find some real-world multi-purpose gadgets with a Bond-like feel, things that are practical but also gimmicky and fun in that pretend spy way. Pens that have little tools built into them and stuff like that. The Spy Museum has a few things to maybe give you some ideas. They have a briefcase BBQ set and a pen with a camcorder in it. Maybe nothing quite that grand, but if you looked on Amazon or at your local hardware store (or 99 cent store) maybe you could find some fun little gizmos.

Maybe you could give him an envelope, and when he opens it it's got an iPhone (or whatever) inside with the route to the theater all mapped out? If you wanted to go nuts, you could hollow out a book (maybe an old Bond book!) and put the iPhone in there. (There are tutorials for making hollowed-out book-boxes online.)

This is maybe going too far or unrealistic, but I wonder if you could get the theater involved somehow. If you explained it was his birthday and you wanted to do something special, maybe you could work it out so you said a "code phrase" to the ticket taker to let you in, and they would answer you with the rest of the code phrase and a knowing look. Depending on the theater, they might think that was fun.

I'll stop now. I get way too excited about birthdays and party planning and theme stuff. I am Surprise Party Sue.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:46 AM on November 5, 2015

Having your father perform a successful "brush-pass" with a cut-out to get the location of the dead drop where the tickets are held. It takes a *lot* of practice to do one well so practice doesn't hurt.

Book the restaurant under a false name (it's pretty meaningless but little things...)

A chalk mark to indicate the dead drop is "loaded" - have these outside the restaurant and if you can gain access to the restaurant prior to the meal either leave the tickets with a willing member of staff or, with the permission of the owners, hidden in the restaurant somewhere with the location revealed by some clues.

An invisible ink message at the dinner table (hold it up to the candle to reveal the secret. Your father has to be able to read this so be aware that a backup might be worth having to hand as home made stuff is notoriously unreliable. Maybe a Caeser substitution cypher on the message which reveals that...

Mom is at the bar as a honey trap!?

Something gadget related might be useful. Give him a five minute spiel about the latest advances in Q-Division nutrient delivery systems and then hand him a spork.
posted by longbaugh at 6:12 AM on November 5, 2015

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