Across Continents

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Curious euphemisms

August 29th, 2011

Long flights and a curious mind are a dangerous thing. International into the US, Sydney to Honolulu, and a national carrier. Wondering whether there’s a plain clothes armed security officer onboard, concealed amongst the passengers. Deliberately choosing to use the toilets furthest away, at the rear of the aircraft. Find myself glancing unobtrusively at anyone who leaps out as being, well, non-descript.

No joy. Or at least, no obvious candidates. Instead settling for a conversation with a fellow passenger. Said she worked for the US Department of Justice, visiting Australia on business. We chatted for a while. Where she’d been, who’d she’d met. Something didn’t quite add up. My curiosity barely concealed, she explained that she was actually a FBI Special Agent.

I’d always meant to ask one if there was such a thing as a plain Agent. I didn’t because it soon became clear that to join you needed to be a cut above. She was sharp, had a forensic science background, been to law school, spent a couple of years as an ordinary police officer. I thought Scully from the TV series the "X-Files". But that I definitely kept to myself.

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