You might find an unusual ad this morning on the front page of the New York Times’s website. It’s from the CIA, aka Central Intelligence Agency.

The ad reads: National Clandestine Service Careers. “Business Professionals: Central Intelligence Agency. The Work of a nation. The center of intelligence.”

At first glance, you’d think it was placed by The Onion, the satirical newspaper, and not by the nation’s spy organization. But it’s real. Times must be tough.

My favorite part of the website, once you click into it, is the Kids Page. There are actually kids’ pages for K-5th grade and 6th-12th grade. You get different kinds of explanations for appropriate age groups. There’s no mention, however, of overthrowing governments, assassinating heads of state, or infiltrating terrorist organizations. They might be leaving that for a possible still to come “college age” distinction.

So what is “National Clandestine Service”? According to the site:

“Our people in the NCS love to travel and they have a great curiosity about the world and its different cultures. They love to work with people from all over the world and they can adapt to any situation. They’re highly educated and highly motivated, and many of them can speak other languages.”

It’s just like being a flight attendant, except with a Luger. School kids should note however that “A late report here doesn’t mean a flunking grade; it means possibly endangering our country and her citizens.”

On the plus side, especially for the K-5 set, the CIA is looking for : “People that are good at puzzles or solving mysteries succeed in these jobs.”

Get out that Clue board and start practicing, kids!

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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