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I wish I had the perceived power of the CIA. Then I could train a satellite-borne laser onto the unwitting skull of—well, anybody. But let’s face it, the agency is just like all the others, and even though it schemes like Machiavelli, the results are usually more worthy of Doris from the DMV. After some serious public relations nightmares (a botched Cuban invasion, a couple of U.S.-sponsored Latin American Hitlers) the agency decided to open up a visitors center—you know, to smooth things over—and if you’re one of the lucky few (a U.S. president, CEO, or Westinghouse Science Fair winner, for example), you can get a guided tour. It was when she held the position of the center’s first curator that Linda McCarthy got the inspiration for her book Spies, Pop Flies, and French Fries: Stories I Told My Favorite Visitors to the CIA Exhibit Center. She shares her stories with the rest of us at noon at the National Archives Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 208-7345. (Mike Kanin)