Around the blogosphere, various people recommended I read about the adventures of Mrs. Pollifax, written by Dorothy Gilman. I finally acted upon their advice and checked out six Mrs. Pollifax books from the library.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so charmed by a literary character. (Mr. Darcy! Mr. Rochester! Stop crying! Stop it, I say!) Emily Pollifax is a garden-loving New York grandmother and widow who hooks up with the CIA and works as the occasional courier and spy. She’s sent abroad at a moment’s notice whenever the CIA needs a Very Innocent Tourist and gets embroiled in all sorts of expected and unexpected adventures.
In the first Mrs. Pollifax book that I picked up, I ran across my old friend, the word “defenestration”. That had to be a sign. (For those of you who recently started following me, the word “defenestration” is a running gag among me and my blog followers. It’s one of those words that stumps most people. No, I’m not telling what it means. Go Google it and come back.)
Mrs. P is quick-thinking, brave and resourceful. In one book, she and her friends are trapped by bad guys and the only way out is by a temporarily abandoned helicopter. Does that faze her? Naaaah.
Mrs. Pollifax jumps in with her friends (never mind that she has NO CLUE how to fly a helicopter), starts moving levers and manages to get the helicopter high enough to escape. She dodges a minaret, lands the helicopter (mostly due to the fact that it ran out of gas and they weren’t that high above the ground anyway) and keeps going.
And did I mention that she also knows karate? Some villains make the mistake of thinking her helpless (poor, deluded souls) but she manages to be victorious one way or another.
(Darcy! Rochester! Stop that dueling! Behave yourselves and put the swords down, now!)
Moral: Never underestimate your helicopter-kidnapping, karate-chopping grannies. They’ll surprise you, every time.
For another person you shouldn’t underestimate based on their looks, watch the following video from TS7. (I’m posting this as a polite nod to the fans of the 2014 World Cup and the dads of Father’s Day.)