Each week, I play music of a particular "theme" as students walk into the lecture hall or classroom before class. This week's theme was "mystique," with one of the featured songs being "Secret Agent Man." (Yes, I agree that it would be more appropriate and inclusive if the phrase "secret agent person" had been used, but this song appears to be from the 1970s or before, a baser time in history).
In any event, this semester, I am experimenting with recording the lecture sessions (but not the discussion sections which may contain voices of individuals who have not consented to be recorded) and posting these on the course web site. As I arrived in my first discussion section, right after the lecture session, I started the music playing and, while waiting for the time to start class to come, I started to take off my backup wireless microphone and the microphone leading to a digital recorder that I keep in my pocket. It was then the irony occurred to me that I was carrying a "hidden" recording device.
One reasonable hypotheses is that absent-minded professors usually do not make good secret agents since we may be too absent-minded to stay in character. Another hypothesis, of course, would go more at the eccentricity angle, suggesting that nothing that we do would be perceived as odd or unusual, allowing us much more latitude in behavior that, among "normal" (i.e., mediocre) people would raise suspicion.