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I'm walking down the sidewalk, wondering where I can buy myself a decent lunch with the fifty-seven cents I have in my pocket, when a black sedan with tinted windows screeches to a stop beside me.  Four men wearing black suits and sunglasses burst out, holding badges, screaming for me to freeze, to halt, to put my hands on my head... but I'm already gone.  

I was prepared for this.  

I've quickly scaled a fence, dropping down to the roof of a car on the other side, ducked through a gap in another fence, cut across four lanes of traffic, and disappeared through a small convenience store which (conveniently) has a rear exit that is always open.  An empty lot takes me to the main intersection, where I blend in with the other pedestrians, leaving the black-clad agents gritting their teeth in frustration, and muttering "We've lost him" into their walkie-talkies.

Okay, most of this is complete bull.  There was no black sedan, no pursuers flashing badges, and no desperate race to escape them.  The part that is true?

I was prepared.

I'm always prepared, because I'm always thinking about things like this.  Walking around, wherever I am, I'm constantly imagining scenarios like the one above, and planning my escape.  Sometimes, cops or Feds burst from unmarked cars, other times it's mobsters, gang members, or kidnappers.  Sometimes they're after me.  Sometimes, I'm just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  You know how it is.  But I always wind up involved, and I always get away.

They kick my door in late at night, but I'm already gone, slithering out my open, second-story window, dropping nimbly onto the ledge, and escaping into the street.  If my pursuers are cops this time, or detectives, one of them has left the keys in the ignition, and I screech away in one of their cars.

When they come for me at work, whatever job I happen to be on that week, I've already planned several escape strategies.  Vaulting the cubicle wall (by way of the chair and the desk), I slip through accounting, dash through marketing, and explode into the back stairwell, running like mad, my co-workers staring in amazement.  I can easily reach the roof of the building, then make a daring leap to the flagpole, sliding down to street level.  Ventilation ducts are too slow... there's nothing exciting about crawling, in my opinion, so I usually opt for chases through hallways and conference rooms.  Crowded conference rooms.

Of course, sometimes I spot them coming, simply because I've been fortunate to glance out the window at the right time, noting with horror the many cars pulling up and emptying.  While the agents swarm into the building, I'm already calling up the elevator to stall them, zipping down the stairwell, then sneaking through the lobby as they pound on the elevator button.

And nothing makes me happier than spying some construction scaffolding on the side of a building I'll be working in.  Nothing.  Beams and ladders and *gasp* those rope and pulley things... perfect to swing around the corner of the building on, you know, over to the lamppost or tree or even to another building.

Lunchtime is when they most often try to ambush me.  Picture me in a diner, looking up from my newspaper, that look of "oh, no... not here," slowly dawning on my face.  Dropping my burger in shock as I see them rushing up to the diner, then clawing my way frantically through the crowded tables while people cry out in surprise.  I know the rear exit leads to an alley which leads to a brick wall with a fire escape, which leads to the rooftop, which leads to many, many possible avenues of escape.

Everywhere I go, I scope things out.  Jobs, restaurants, airports, hotels, malls, brothels...  I know eight ways to escape from the DMV, and only one of them involves standing in line.

Nothing ever happens, of course.  I'm an action hero without any action.  I'm a good guy without a villain.  No unlikely series of events has ever placed me in danger.  I haven't inadvertently angered the mob.  I've never been framed with a crime I never committed.  Terrorists, unable to catch me, have never muttered "How many lives does this guy have?"

But I'm ready.

I've even got my techno soundtrack picked out.

Someday, maybe I'll get to use it.