Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cloak Of Invisibility

I was chatting with the head of Security on the Maasdam a few years ago. You see, there appears to be only one security officer on board the ship; that’s not much for a vessel that holds 1,266 passengers and about 600 crew. How he does it is anyone’s guess and it’s beyond mine.

That is, until we got going. He told me how many actually were on board. I’m not sure, but I think he said fifteen and they don’t necessarily, if ever, go around in white uniforms. But they are ready for any eventuality and, yes, there is a brig on the ship for anyone (passenger or crew) who needs a little time out.

Years back, in Sitka, I saw a member of the Shore Excursion office on a water tour with me. She was dressed casual – quite unusual. She said she had not been on the ride and wanted to know what it was like. I said, “Checking him out, eh?” She admitted doing that; “we keep an eye on these people, make sure they give what they promise.”

Another time, I had to work with the FBI and Secret Service when the President came. In the line of march was a nice gal, a secretary I guessed, next to Himself. I really knew she was Secret Service, armed to the teeth under her powder blue blazer, looking as innocent as possible. You’d need to get through her to get to him.

The Service itself was in the crowd, wearing t-shirts, dress shirts, waving at the President, but always looking elsewhere. That’s how you spot them.


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