Jason Edward Harrington, the former TSA officer who revealed the uselessness of the Rapiscan body scanners the federal government squandered $40 million on, has written an article for Politico about his time working at the TSA and his run-ins with the apparatchiks and nomenklatura in charge. Included in the article is a list of code words used by TSA officers he's compiled. Here are a few:
Alfalfa: TSA malespeak for an attractive female passenger.
BBC: Bogus Bag Check, or Bullshit Bag Check. What happens when a not-too-bright x-ray operator decides to call a bag search.
Code Red: Officer malespeak. Denotes an attractive female passenger wearing red.
Fanny Pack, Lane 2: Code for an attractive female passenger.
Retaliatory wait time: What happens when a TSA officer doesn’t like your attitude. There are all sorts of ways a TSA officer can subtly make you wait longer to get through security, citing imaginary alarms, going “above the SOP” for “a more thorough screening,” pretending that something in your bag or on your full body image needs to be resolved—the punitive possibilities are endless, and there are many tricks in the screener’s bag.
Xray Xray Xray!: Code for an attractive female passenger, general.
Yellow Alert: Code for an attractive female passenger, yellow clothing.
Ziptop baggie: A magical thing that renders liquids safe for airplanes.
(Cory posted about this article as well, highlighting some other aspects.) Dear America, I Saw You Naked - And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects