Men in Black
September 17, 2007
Cars waiting to board our state ferries are frequently sniffed by dogs trained to detect explosives. However, as far as I know, these dogs are not trained zucchini-sniffing canines.
As I have noted, over the last few weeks I have observed Men in Black wearing sidearms boarding and patrolling state ferries, carefully watching cars as they boarded. The Men in Black (and in one case a Woman in Black) bore the small insignia United States Coast Guard on their outfits, and most people assumed their presence was inspired by a ferry crew observation and photograph of two men of Middle Eastern appearance spotted riding and photographing various ferries, and an effort to prevent a terror attack on a ferry.
However, I overheard a walkie-talkie carried by one of the purported Guardsman receive a transmission that went something like, “Zztt-crackle-pop…ini detector..zztt-crackle-pop.” In fact, I suspect that their Coast Guard insignia provide plausible deniability for their real role as Men in Black.
A search of the web tells me that the CG uniform is supposed to be “dark blue.” Maybe it was the evening dusk as I returned home, but the “uniforms” I saw sure looked black to me.
In any case, my car is a mess, full of books, papers, left over crumbs from lunch, and computer equipment, much to the disgust of my wife, whose truck is always impeccably neat and immaculate.
In fact, on casual inspection, a sentry might be excused for thinking that my car may only be the vehicle of somebody innocent, such as a garden-variety Middle Eastern terrorist. The sentry might be excused for overlooking the bag of zucchinis hidden underneath all the other litter as I headed for work.
Because I was able to board the ferry, travel on the ferry, and disembark the ferry entirely unimpeded as I set off with “baggies” of zucchini.