Backstory: The International Spy Museum in DC is giving away tickets to celebrate its 12th anniversary. I love a good game, especially when prizes are involved so I was excited to play along. I work a few blocks from the Spy Museum so I am in the right part of town to chase down their clues as soon as they were announced.

They are doing this spy style and leaving dead drops around the city. They are not being very spy-like by announcing the locations on Twitter. I have been on the hunt since Monday when I learned about it. Tuesday, I tracked the spy to the carousel on the National Mall but was too late. Wednesday’s drop was too far away from work, in the Congressional Cemetery so I missed it. Thursday was at Shake Shack next to the museum. Despite being there minutes later, it too was gone. Friday’s was at the National Portrait Museum near the portrait of George Washington. I found out about it as I was walking along the National Mall after work on my way to the Metro Center Metro.

When the Tweet came out, I was notified by text message and I raced back to the Portrait Gallery. I was determined to find it first, yet sure someone else would best me to it. If not another Agent, then a visitor at the museum. Upon arriving, I wasted no time and asked the woman at the front desk where the portrait of George Washington was.

Second floor second room on the right.

So I raced up the stairs. Turning the corner, I saw the portrait and braced myself for disappointment.
But today would not be a repeat of yesterday. It is a new day and 25 minutes after the dead drop was left, I retrieved it.

Delighted, I stuffed the envelope into my bag, making sure to carefully close it to secure the prize. I then casually made my way to the Metro and made my way home. On the way, I texted my wife I DID IT!!!!!!! I was so excited to have made it to the dead drop in time. As I entered the room and claimed the tickets, an older couple was looking at me like I was nuts.

The man said, “Are you part of a game or something?” I said, “Yes. The Spy Museum is doing a promotion where they drop tickets randomly around the city and announce the location on Twitter.” He said, “We were wondering, we saw someone put it there but wasn’t sure what it was.”

I silently thanked him for not picking up the envelope before I arrived. In the back of my head, I also wondered if he was with the Spy Museum and was placed there to watch over the tickets. But maybe I’m paranoid.

Or maybe I’m not.