I Seem to Be a Verb

From “The Insider’s TSA Dictionary“:

Bruce Schneiered: (V, ints) When a passenger uses logic in order to confound and perplex an officer into submission. Ex: “A TSA officer took my Swiss army knife, but let my scissors go. I then asked him wouldn’t it be more dangerous if I were to make my scissors into two blades, or to go into the bathroom on the secure side and sharpen my grandmother’s walking stick with one of the scissor blades into a terror spear. Then after I pointed out that all of our bodies contain a lot more than 3.4 ounces of liquids, the TSA guy got all pissed and asked me if I wanted to fly today. I totally Schneirered [sic] his ass.”

Supposedly the site is by a former TSA employee. I have no idea if that’s true.

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM19 Comments


QnJ1Y2U December 28, 2012 12:39 PM

… into submission.

So what’s the verb when you use logic to confound and perplex an officer and get into even more trouble?

Dom De Vitto December 28, 2012 12:57 PM

Seems to be a real site (not surprising, TSA staff are plentiful) and has some interesting insight into TSA security and governance.

e.g. The backscatter operator procedures seem to be designed to ensure an operator is never caught doing something they shouldn’t.

Davi Ottenheimer December 28, 2012 1:26 PM

Sweet, I’m going to try that on my next visit to the TSA:
Guard: “Please tell us why you opt-out of our Chertoff scan”
Me: “I suggest you Bruce yourself because you’re about to be Schneiered…”

Figureitout December 28, 2012 1:31 PM

Did anyone almost puke at the insincerity on the pizza box ad? “Be a vital role for HS…Secure your future”–Future looks like declining standards of living and more police state. No wonder more people are cutting themselves.

lolsz December 28, 2012 2:21 PM

lol terror spear. you could also sharpen plastic knives and forks by grinding them on the bathroom floor and make your own freddy krueger terror glove with floss and tape

Chris W December 29, 2012 5:04 AM


That’s because the Higher Ups haven’t yet been able to come to a concensus about the proper code name.

robert.walter December 29, 2012 11:51 PM

Can’t remember if it was on NW, LH, or KLM, but in Business Class, some of the starter dishes were served with a little bamboo spear (about 3″ in length overall, the first inch being a flat section, and the last two being a kind of lathe-turned sharp-pointed cylinder). This seemed at odds with the really crap cutlery that came with the meal.

It occurred to me that one could fashion a really effective spear by adding a shaft by wrapping the WSJ around that bamboo piece. I made an example in about 5 minutes, and later gave it to the flight attendant and asked her to pass it along to her security folks with the request that they consider eliminating the bamboo object.

TBH, she was a little shocked, and her reaction was between “do I thank him or report him to the Air Marshal?”

Dena Shunra December 30, 2012 6:55 PM

Field report from this week, Václav Havel Airport: security checker exhibited actual fear (visibly startled, scared, called supervisor, supervisor called HER supervisor) when she saw my VeryScaryKnittingTM (a pair of socks for my sweetie).

The supervisor’s supervisor (Marco by name) explained that I cannot take that through to the secure zone, lest I poke someone.
I asked if he has any opinions about pens (I carry about seven, in various colors, including red – which might either camouflage a wound or cause undue panic.)
He did not. He said it was rules from America.
I pointed out that I’d flown from the U.S. with this same sock (smaller, but not by much – Prague’s too interesting for me to get much knitting time.)

He gruffly escorted me to the bag-checking area, where I checked in a ziplock bag. The dude at the next bag-checking counter suggested that I could form a Very Scary Tool with my knitting. I suggested I have fingers and am not afraid to use them, and bade farewell to the sock and needles, fully expecting not to see it again after my international stopover.

Ahead of me, in the plane, was a rather nice woman. I could tell she was nice ’cause she sat there, quietly knitting on her sock the whole fight. Did she BruceSchnier someone?

When I got to Seattle, airport staff was unanimous in saying that I shouldn’t have had my knitting taken. That niceness made up for the rudeness with which the ICE & CBP treated incomers – right down to the long lines we were made to stand in.

And the knitting? It made it back safely.

QnJ1Y2U December 31, 2012 4:18 AM

Simon and Garfunkel, A Simple Desultory Philippic
(Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission):

I been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored
I been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d
I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I’m blind
I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
Communist, ‘cause I’m left-handed
That’s the hand I use, well never mind!

complete lyrics.

Dirk Praet December 31, 2012 9:30 AM

I suspect that particular entry was sent in by one of the regulars on this blog. My favorite however is the
Parachute Paradox: You may not have known this, but parachutes are allowed to pass through airport security, after they have been specially screened. Any skydiving instructor is well aware of this. But even if it has been safely cleared, the pressing question remains: why exactly does that passenger so urgently need a parachute, and can everything truly be clear in this case?

I’ve sent this as a suggestion to an old acquaintance who is a TV maker specialising in programs taking the mick out of stupid stuff and people. He was absolutely thrilled with the idea of showing up with a parachute as carry-on luggage on a flight to Washington DC.

Jiri January 2, 2013 4:47 AM

“As initialization vectors, ‘Bruce Schneier’ and ‘Chuck Norris’ are interchangeable.”

This Bruce fact got me laughing out loud.

Clive Robinson January 2, 2013 6:57 AM

@ Jiri,

“As initialization vectors, ‘Bruce Schneier’ and’Chuck Norris’ are interchangeable.

Not quite “Bruce Schneier” has slightly more of the “je ne sais quoi”[1] we call entropy [2].

So perhaps the site could add,

“Bruce Schneier, more je ne sais quoi than Chuck Norris!”

[1] It’s from French and depending on who you belive it means either “I know not what” or “I do not know what”.

[2] This could of course be wrong depending on if you are using the “A sin to err” or “Eat on Irish lid” frequency tables.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.