Bond pulled out a fresh cotton v-neck t-shirt and tossed it onto the hotel’s bed, throwing the sweat-stained and tattered one he had worn that day to the floor. He went through more of those damn shirts than anything else in his line of work. M had brought this up to him in February last year after budgetary restrictions came in on a Tory wave. Bullets cost five pounds per round and the t-shirts Bond expensed out were the soft kind you buy one at a time, rather than the sealed plastic bag-full you’d find at Bergman’s with three or four for the same price, Fruit Of The Loom or Hanes. Why don’t you just go to Bergman’s, M implored, it’s not like anybody sees your undershirts. James offered him a steely glance and M just continued down the list of cuts he was asked to make so he could say he tried. Bond needed the shirts, needed them more than the bullets most days.
Espionage was mostly sweaty work. In the field, which could be anywhere from the equator to the poles, geographically, Bond had the operating theory that the more sweat you produced, the greater your chances were of hitting a break-through with an agent, or the closer you were to hearing the right words come through the wire tap’s static. Your body knew it before you ever could. So the wide tapestry of frankly disgusting rags he has produced over the years could be seen as the one thing keeping his God and Country relevant on the twenty-first century’s global stage. The English impress less and less each year, he’d catch himself thinking.
Of course sweat was not the only thing that ruined his shirts. There were other bodily fluids as well. He once spent a plane ride valuing each of these in turn for it’s contribution to the nation’s well-being. Sweat was king, of course. Then at close second was snot. If there was a rhinovirus Bond hasn’t had yet, it hasn’t existed for long. There would be times he had to appear suave and charismatic and all he could do was hawk mucous into formerly pristine shirts – no kleenex, it would rub his nose raw, and really how weird does a bundle of napkins look in pants? The shirt was soft, always on him, and was always concealed under whatever tuxedo or costume he was told to don.
Bond has only been shot once, in the leg. It was an accident. He was tasked with arming young militants in Bolivia, and one of the kids couldn’t stop fingering the safety. He almost used a shirt as a tourniquet but thought twice when he remembered the dangers of infection, and had the kid run to the pharmacy while he applied pressure with his palm and hoped it wasn’t his femoral artery bleeding out. It wasn’t.
So third on the most important bodily fluids saving the Queen for God was saliva, as he had the unfortunate condition of a nervous dry-mouth. Before a critical rendezvous or assassination, for instance, he always drank a little Gatorade, the blue flavor, to prevent this. As his confidence grew on a mission, he would begin to salivate like a dog until he was practically foaming with rabies.
Tears and semen both ranked well below sweat, mucus, and saliva, but they were present all the same. He would masturbate after anything deemed morbidly traumatic, on orders from Q branch. There was a science to it, apparently. After you are confronted with trauma, the manual stimulation forces your brain to deploy dopamine, the chemical of anticipation, and the continued stimulation in the name of mental health eventually gives way to orgasm, which satisfies this anticipation and prevents the brain from completely blocking out the idea that you can afford to have any hope ever again. Of course, after all this, you cry, and Bond deemed this the least valuable of his bodily fluids he expensed to the crown.
Bond got dressed. Checkout was in ten minutes. He left a stained shirt for the help to toss out, with a ten pound note.