September 09, 2004


Origins Upon the Naming of

“Inferno: The Radiant Moderator”


by inferno


Many of you who know me well, also know that I am one of the technical moderators over at Recently, a number of you have emailed me asking as to why I'm known as the "Radiant" moderator. 

"Inferno, why are you called that? Is it because of your incredible brilliance with the ins and outs of Windows XP and Legacy games? "

"Uhmm, uh...... nope."

"Is it because of your wildly mesmerizing personality, which shines though the darkest clouds witnessed by all who gather within your presence? 


"er... hardly."


Now, that I am facing the possibility of Radiation therapy once again, I thought that I'd better put the above rumors all to rest and relate the reasons for the origins of this "grand" title thus bestowed upon my countenance.







It all started at the place where I am employed within the "real" world and not here in cyberspace where I am most at home. For those of you who may not know, I work at a certain bustling airport for an international airline where among other things, I am a ticket agent.    

Today, while our staff was preparing for out flight's departure around 4pm, I was just sitting down to finally have my lunch. Yes...I know... but you see,  when it becomes your turn to be the “Lead Ticket Agent” on duty and “Checkin” begins at 11am ... you don't get to eat until around 4pm..... 

Anyway... I had just taken a huge bite of my sandwich when the phone rang...

"Heeeyrolll? Wuft hanzar..."

Which was about the closest audible phrase I could make with a mouth full of sesame seed bagel with cream cheese, lox, capers, lettuce and tomato crammed into my face. I could hear the not too dulcet tones of an exasperated US Immigration Officer on the other end of the line.





The word “INAD” – which is actually not a word at all but rather a anagram, is defined by the first four letters of the compound word: “in-admissible”, a term in the international travel jargon. Now this word may be construed as a polite way for the local Immigration Officers to refer to an incoming passenger. But basically they are saying :

"Your paper-work isn’t in order and you are not getting into my country." 


"Your paper-work is in order but I don’t like you for some reason known only to me and therefore you are also not getting into my country.”   


Keep in mind this is practiced by Immigration Officers the world over … and not solely indicative of the United States. – Just thought you’d like to know. 




Swallowing hard (and believe me, with my neck still as swollen as a bullfrog's in heat, that ain't no easy task, folks!) and rolling back my eyes, I prepared my retort with my best TAE or otherwise known as : "Ticket Agent Elocution".

"Oh... it's you, Jane... I thought it was someone important."

Being a relatively small station at Terminal B International ... well, we're all pretty good buddies with our local Customs Officials.

"Seriously, Inferno... get down here as soon as you can and look at her ticket will ya? The poor woman is in tears ... and we can't let her through without the proper paper work. She's missed your flight, hasn't she? She'll have to spend the night in lockup and go back tomorrow if you and I can't sort this out."

"OK, on my way..." I replied, hung up the phone and took a long last hungry look at my lunch, then grabbed my radio and out of the office I went.  





"Inferno for Jackie, Over... "

"Jackie, copy the radio..."

I said in a clipped fashion as I started my trek towards Customs.

"Go, for Jackie"
"I'm off to Customs...there's a problem with an INAD ... are we still boarding? Over."

about 3minutes later:

"Jackie for Inferno... Over"
"Go Jackie."
"Sorry, Inferno...we have closed the Gate and are pushing back... The Captain will not let the INAD cause a delay."
"Copy... I'm almost at Customs"

Now, let me remind you that my bosses have a tendency to treat me like a 2 year old since I've had The Radiation Therapy... as though I'd break in half if someone looked at me cross-eyed...

"And just where do you think your going, oh Radiant One? This is your first day back since your Radiation therapy and I don't want you running around anywhere! Got it?!"

Came the crackling voice of my beloved Supervisor on my radio.

"Customs...I'll be back, I can't just leave her there. Don't worry it's not that far..."

"Fine ... The flight is gone - ... Try not to get into any trouble.  Copy?"

"Trouble??  Moi? Oh ... ok Copy. I promise to behave." 




...It wasn't the distance which bothered Jackie... it was the fact that I had to trek down 2 flights of stairs and the elevators were not working which meant I would have to climb back up those same stairs. ...and me on heart meds and Graves Disease and whatnot. The "whatnot here being the small fact that once someone is "radiated" they are radioactive for at least six months after the fact. That stuff has some shelf-life. Oh well.... what could possibly happen?

So, as I went through basic security and magnetic badge recognition everything seemed fine... but upon approach of Agriculture and Immigration were those dreaded 7 Texas "Gun Happy" Customs Agents with what we in the business refer to as "Bomb Beepers". These are little black boxes that the agents wear on their waists. They detect any nuclear devices or components within 20 feet or so. 

I bet some of you who know me well, 
already have figured out where I'm going with this 

As I 'rounded the corner one of the Officers (Pat, a buddy of mine) caught my eye, recognized me and yelled....

"Howdy, little missy, it's been awhile since you've been down here...How y'all been? Jackie said that you were fine ...actually she used the words "radiant" and "glowing" to describe you."

I giggled at this ...they were about to find out just how "radiant" this "little missy" could be.

Expectant mothers are radiant
.... brides are radiant
...but Adventure Gamers? Ticket Agents?




As I got closer his face became very pale as well as the others in his group for  his "Bomb Beeper immediately started to send out its extremely piercing alarm. As a matter of fact.... so did the other six. The noise was excruciatingly loud as it filled the "Arrivals Hall" with it's relentless echoing din. Everybody stopped dead in their tracks: arriving passengers, Airline Agents, Customs Agents and Baggage Porters alike all wondering at the source of the sound. 

Now as I was making my approach toward them in order to pass "The Magnificent Seven", as we call them and descend the stairs behind the baggage carousels in order to get into "Customs Secondary" for the purpose of assisting  with my passenger's INAD paper work...

Looks like she'd be spending the her first night in the U.S. in the "pokey".  Oh well..."Welcome to Texas!" 

There was a poor unsuspecting passenger coming  from the other side with heavy luggage in tow.  Pat immediately blocked my path and whispered something incoherent to me. 

I immediately looked up, but it wasn't Pat's "sotto voce" which forced my gaze to render itself elsewhere other than the papers I was reviewing. Most ticket agents walk at the speed of light anyway, we're always carrying some sort of seemingly important paper-work and all of us usually have our heads down reading through it instead of looking a what lies ahead of us.... we're a trusting lot.  As I raised my glance in their direction (By now I had maneuvered though into the middle of them, after having noticed that the man had dropped his passport when all the shouting commenced ... The unfortunate passenger, The Magnificent Seven and me. ) I realized that the Customs Officers all had their service weapons drawn against this poor man. They had thrown him up against the wall face first and where yelling at him not to move. 






"Where is it, Sir?" Raymond (the smallest of the gang) demanded ... but the poor man only gibbered at him in Russian.    

"Uh... Pat?" I tried to intercede as I picked up the passport .

"Not now, Inferno! We've got a situation!" he whispered harshly. 

The Bomb Beepers were at full "war hoop" now as the Custom's Officers were sweeping them over his bags and his body..  I was starting to get a headache.

"Sir! You will put your hands behind your head! " shouted Raymond.
"Where is it coming from??!" asked another officer. 
"Pat --- he doesn't understand any of you. He's Russian." I said quietly. 
"Inferno will you be quie-"
He stopped mid-sentence as I flashed the gentleman's passport in Pat's face.  

"Let's me get Marika over here." (a British Airway's Agent) "She speaks Russian. She can at least interpret for you." 
"Oh, All right! But make it quick." decided Raymond.

I moved away from the group and skedattled over to Marika, who was more than happy to assist. Funny thing was we both noticed that the alarms were gone.

We walked quickly back to the group and once again the Bomb Beepers resumed their sonorous piercing tones.  But we weren't the only ones who had noticed. Marika began to interpret for  Raymond and managed to calm down the Russian passenger somewhat... If it could be called calming when someone has seven guns pointing at him. 

 As I walked toward Pat, who was standing the furthest away from the man against the wall... He noticed that his Bomb Beeper alarm was growing louder and faster while the other officers' Beepers  were becoming softer and slower.  

"Oh, Geez, Inferno --- it's you! Stand down, you guys! Stand down!"

Well, they all holstered their service weapons, (with the exception of Raymond -- He's such a die-hard.) unclipped their Bomb Beepers and started to walk slowly toward me holding these mini "Geiger Counters" at arms length...pointing them at my neck. Honestly, with these things going off all around me like a deranged Star Trek could just imagine how embarrassing this was as British Airways had just arrived and the "Arrivals Hall" was filled to the brim with passengers being entertained by US Customs agents in various levels of consternation, one absolutely terrified Russian who had a most unfortunate Texas "welcome" and one very tired and hungry Ticket Agent who happens to work for “The Red Baron”.

"Oh, sorry... it's been almost two weeks...I guess my thyroid is still radioactive, guys..."

"Oh Man! You're radiance level is 9.2! Highest is 10.0!" one of the agents said. "You mean's your damn thyroid? I don't get to use my weapon, again?"
cried Raymond. 

I sheepishly grinned at Pat who replied with a wink, "I guess Jackie is right, The Red Baron's  Ticket Agents are not only brilliant, they really are "Radiant".







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