At last I return to the Order.
Before Christmas, I was sent on a secret mission by Master Toro, the dojo's Finance Director. He told me only I could pull it off. I was to lie in wait outside a certain business watching for one individual - for weeks if necessary. I was given a brief description of the target and told to kill on sight. Such was the sensitivity of the mission that it would require special concealment measures.
As Master Toro had only very briefly briefed me, I asked him for more details, to which he replied: "Ninjas who would be worth more to the Order as a bucket of ingredients for traditional medicines should not ask too many questions when work comes their way."
So it was that I was dressed, with the help of some adepts, in a disguise that so encumbered me I could barely move and could not see down at all. I was then driven at speed to the location and placed in some kind of hidden bunker. I was not told where so that, if captured, I could not betray the plan. I was told to blend in, to be still, to be silent and to watch for a gaunt Arab with a black beard and a kidney dialysis machine.
I have barely blinked since mid-December, in accordance with the teachings of the Ninjitsu on the Way of the Ongoing Eye. I have the image of the shop I was watching burned into my retinas. Because I was there during the pre-Christmas rush I also have the sounds of Slade's Merry Christmas and crying children ringing in my ears. My target did not appear.
Eventually, after dark yesterday, I was relieved by a giggling Brother Niguri. He removed me from my "bunker" and helped me out of my disguise. It was then - and only then - I realised that I, a trained ninja, a feared killer, a being who has transformed himself into a living shuriken, had been hired out to the nearby shopping mall as ... Frosty the sodding Snowman for their Christmas grotto.
And, oddly, Osama bin Laden did not pop into our branch of Argos to do his shopping.