In the time it took Elizabeth Peroni to covertly read your entire group text thread over your shoulder on the train, she was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Her stealthy reading style—facing straight ahead with very targeted side glances when you seem most distracted—is the exact skillset missing from the CIA’s current roster of spies.
“Most of our espionage agents are actually really clumsily obvious when it comes to looking over stranger’s shoulders to see what they’re texting other people on their phones,” said CIA deputy director, Gina Haspel. “It’s imperative in the intelligence community that our officers can calmly sidle up to their target on a crowded train, and covertly read what Andrea thinks about Kim’s new boyfriend.”
What makes 29-year-old Peroni so good at reading texts that have nothing to do with her, and aren’t even really that interesting, over your shoulder is that sometimes she’s wearing sunglasses or pretending to be asleep. Occasionally she’ll pretend to focus really hard on a nearby subway ad.
“It’s that kind of commitment to deep, unpenetrable undercover work that we look for in our operatives,” said Haspel.
According to Haspel, the CIA consistently scours subway systems and doctor waiting rooms, searching tirelessly for women with natural instincts for butting into people’s shit and peeping their texts. Peroni, who has never passed up an opportunity to read the juicy text exchange on a stranger’s phone while pretending to look at her cuticles, was a perfect fit for the agency.
“Oh, there’s nothing that girl doesn’t know, whether she needs to know it or not,” said Peroni’s mother, Ava. “I don’t know where she got that from. But I did know that she got into the CIA because I steamed open the envelope, just like I did for all of her college acceptance letters.”
“Wait, she was reading my mail?” asked the younger Peroni. “I fucking knew it! What an insane invasion of privacy!”
When asked what her first assignment would be, now that she’s paid to do what she loves, Peroni responded, “Oh, I can’t really divulge that. Let’s just say, a certain someone was involved in a certain pee tape, and his wife is a little bit pissed about it.”