ARLINGTON, VA – CIA Super Spy, Roger Cliff, wants to retire from the agency after 42 years of service to his country. But there is a problem.
A master of disguise, Cliff was one the earliest recipients of modern facial reconstruction. During his service with the CIA, he has undergone 23 different facial reconstruction surgeries. He hasn’t worn his own face in so long, he’s having trouble remembering what he looks like. Most of us remember the past with pictures, but he can’t find them.
“I can’t find my own freakin’ face,” explains Cliff. “I have more pictures somewhere, but it’s been so long, I can’t remember where they all are.” As a means of protecting his true identity, the CIA required Cliff to destroy images of himself, leaving just a few to later reconstruct his original appearance. Pictures of him are scattered in secret locations around the world. Unfortunately, the world has changed since he hid the pictures.
“I kept copies in Hercules’ armpit in Rome. I can’t believe someone actually cleaned it. There was a copy posted as employee of the month at a beer brewery in Bonn, Germany. The place closed down when it went bankrupt. Can you believe a beer company, in Germany, goes out of business? I kept a copy behind the toilet in a bordello in Amsterdam. It got sold and is now used by the Church of Scientology. They have my picture now, and that scares me. “
In his years disguised by the CIA he operated under cover as an Eyebrow Brusher for Leonid Brezhnev, Toenail Cleaner for Kim Jong Il, and Hair Removal Specialist for Muammar Gaddafi. The intelligence he gathered during these seemingly mundane operations was incalculable for the CIA. So why is it so difficult, to give such a dedicated soul who was willing to undergo painful surgeries for his country, his original face?
“You have to understand, Cliff was in deep, real deep,” says Facial Adjuster, Warren Creets, MD. “He started when computers were relatively new. We only kept paper files on him. To protect his identity during high-level ops, we burned his photos. Unfortunately, we burned all the copies. There’s no more pictures of him. Now, even the CIA doesn’t know what he looks like.”
I asked why couldn’t his face be rebuilt with a sketch from his memories. The police have artists who sketch out a face from descriptions given by witnesses. The same technique could be valuable here. “He claims he looked like Hugh Jackman, only better. That’s a ‘Type A/3’ face. We can’t do that.”
“A ‘Type A/3’ face is a really good-looking face. They are much harder to do and much more expensive. If he was going out on another op, we’d consider it, but since he’s only retiring it’s not in the budget. Look we’re not being jerks about this. We’ve offered him a Jason Alexander type face (Type C/29). It would fit his age better anyway. That’s the best we can do, but he’s not going for it.”
I spoke with Arleta Jones, who says she remembers Cliff when he first became an agent for the CIA. “No, he wasn’t so good looking. I mean, if he was a looker, he wouldn’t agree to change his face now would he? He for sure didn’t look like Hugh Jackman. I would’ve slept with him if he did. I didn’t, so that’s proof he wasn’t handsome at all.”
I pointed out that the bureau was willing to give him a Jason Alexander caliber face. “Oh he should go for that,” she nodded emphatically. “That would be a step up for him. To be honest, he looked more like Steve Buscemi (Type C/88). A great actor but…you know. If he could be Jason Alexander, he should take the offer.”
As it stands now, Roger Cliff lives with the face from his last assignment looking like a middle-aged accountant from New Jersy (Type D/19). With such a face, Cliff’s retirement and adjustment to social life may be severely hampered. We wish him good luck.