This Friday, a very unlikely duo is going to be starring in From Paris With Love” – a movie self-described as pitting a “new school” spy (this guy) versus/with a “no school” spy (this guy). Despite Jon Travolta’s goatee, it actually looks pretty entertaining. And, it got us to thinking. If those two guys could spruce themselves up and at least look like spies for a movie, what would it take to actually have the real skills of a real spy? 

So, we looked into it, and there’s a few options for you. It won’t be particularly cheap, and unless you’ve got connections that we don’t have, you’re going to be a “rogue” agent not affiliated with any government institution. As such, if you’re caught, you’ll have no rights as a citizen, so you better make sure you’ve got these skills down pat before you launch any kind of illegal reconnaissance mission to save a damsel, steal a chip, or otherwise penetrate an organization/sexy double agent. 

Evasive Driving

Part of being a spy is knowing how to handle your wheels. And Safe House driving school in Fullerton, CA is the authority when it comes to evasive, aggressive, counter-ambush, and convoy driving tactics. This is a school designed to teach you how to stay alive in your car when enemy agents are out to keep you from doing exactly that. Consider this illustrative quote from Cpt. Daily, US Army, SF 20th.

"Thanks for the training guys. You kept me alive this last year in Asscrackistan. I know that my training kept me alive. From the avoidance of traps to aggressive posture I am here because of you. I had your course in MT with 20th SF and it was, for my life’s sake, the best course I have ever taken.”

Safe House will adjust their curriculum to their clients’ needs, so just give them a call at 714.968.5916 or email them at . They offer a few classes: Corporate Security, Security Training, Executive and Family Training, Training Cadre, Personal Security, and Security Survey. Of course, for a spy like you, we suggest Evasive Driving. 

Lock Picking

Credit carding your door doesn’t always work, especially if your target has taken any kind of security precautions whatsoever. While this is a few steps away from spraying hair spray into a matrix of lasers then doing wire-fighting style carthwheels through them, it’s a good start. 

You’ll be surprised with the number of locks that you can open with this 4-piece beginner’s lock set (basically any residence that isn’t dead-bolted. This kit, in fact, was originally designed for use be police officers. The kit comes with the four most common tools used by lock pickers: the hook, the ball, the diamond, and the rake. It also comes with an instructional booklet, and a tension tool to get you started. You can get this set for just $14, or you can upgrade to the more advanced 14-piece set if you plan on getting into more (less?) secure situations for $30.

Silently take out a guard

There’s a few options here, but you really only have one if you don’t want to kill the guard (if you do, a knife in their esophagus then drawn through the carotid arteries is the move. but….ew). Any kind of hand-to-hand blow has too large a margin of error to be assured that it’s going to effectively and silentely incapacitate every guard, every time. The same goes for a stun gun. What you’re going to want to use here is a non-lethal chemical weapon, kind of like Dexter.

Unfortunately, the effects of such chemicals are exaggerated by Hollywood. While there are a number of anesthetics that are administered via inhalation, none take immediate effect, and all have complicated side effects that are best managed, you know, by an anesthesiologist. So, your best bet is to dose the guard’s food or drink. The government monitors the distribution of all widely-used narcotic anesthetics, so why don’t you take a page out of the no-school government playbook, and just dissolve a fatty tablet of acid in their morning coffee (they seriously did that). 

Seduce a woman

If film has taught us anything, it’s that one of the hurdles between you and your decidedly objective objective, is going to be a decidedly deductive woman that probably looks and acts like Xenia Onatopp. So, if you want to get out of this thing alive, you’re going to have to be able to navigate some particularly dangerous curves.  

Your plan here should be three-pronged. You should, first, rely on your indefatigable wit and charm. This doesn’t hinge on either your ostensive surroundings or your government affiliation.   If that fails, appeal to your enemy spy’s pragmatic needs. Suggest to her by lieing that you are a civilian, but concoct a personality that it would behove her to take advantage of. Maybe your security officer at the U.S. Embassy. Maybe you’re a private consultant to a Diamond merchant. Use your imagination. Should that fail, appeal to her dangerous side. Blow your cover, tell her you know she’s a spy, and in the deluge of information, panic, and emotion, sweep her off her feet and into bed. 

Improvise an explosive

This is easier than you think, and it’s definitely easier than authority figures would like it to be. Thanks to the internet, if you’ve got a BA in chemistry, you can basically blow up anything you would likely need to a few times over. While you could just start Googling away, in the not so distant future, that could get you very Scroogled (read this).

Here’s a better option: go to a used bookstore and find the tried-and-true compendium for aspiring pyrotechnics, “The Anarchist Cookbook.” Inside it, you’ll find a variety of relatively easy-to-build, improvised explosive devices for taking out something as small as a lock, to things much, much larger. 

Note: be deadly careful with this one. In 2007, a UK teenager was arrested under terrorist allegations simply for possessing this book. Additionally, the original author, William Powell, has written in his self review on Amazon that he regrets the writing and publication of the book. This should give you some idea of its power.   

Buy a suit

As suggested in the highly-underrated film, “Zoolander,” a good-looking guy in a good-looking suit has a surprising amount of access to some very secure places. It also helps (obviously) in the seduction of women, and to defer any suspicion from any drugging or explosions you may be forced to perpetrate in the course of your mission. 

You can go to our suit-buying guide here, but a good place we’ve been buying from of late is H&M. The quality of fabric and construction is middle of the road, but the cuts our outstanding, and the prices are insanely cheap. If you’re concerned the suit will wear out or warp, you can literally afford to just buy a new one every week.