Eating with the Enemy

How I Waged Peace with North Korea from My BBQ Shack in Hackensack

Robert Egan and Kurt Pitzer

St. Martin's Press

There was only one chair in the room. Fluorescent tubes on the ceiling hummed with blue light. The woman smiled and explained in a soothing voice that there were some “procedures” they had to go through.

“We’re just going to put you under for a few minutes,” she said. One of the officials told me to turn around..

“Do I have a choice?” I lowered my pants, exposing most of my left butt cheek.  The woman came up from behind me, and I felt a sharp prick as she pushed in the needle and rammed the solution into my muscle. When she finished, I sat down.

“Which agency do you work for? CIA?” asked the other male official.

“I operate independently,” I said. I started to feel good. Very good. I had the urge to laugh, even though nobody had said anything funny. “I’m a lone wolf. And I make burgers for a living. I’m a burger-making lone wolf.”

I must have blacked out for some of it. When I opened my eyes again, the two men were there, but the woman was gone. I wiped my nose, and my hand came away bloody. I suddenly felt so sick and dizzy I thought I’d had a stroke. “What the fuck?”