A zillion years after it allegedly protected the junk of Adam and Eve, the fig leaf is once again being employed as a protective measure, only this time the invasive entity is radiation and the provider of the fig leaf if Jeff Buske. Buske, technical director of Rocky Flats Gear (1-888-X-RAY-NOT) invented a line of undergarments for men and women with extra material in the shape of a fig leaf that he says is a thin line of protection between you and an airport or medical X-ray device.
“It fits into a novelty (category) just because of it’s shape but it also is functional. It actually does stop radiation and it gives privacy to the traveling public,” Buske said in a phone interview.
Buske has a background in electrical engineering and worked with X-ray equipment at GE for many years. “I understand X-rays and ionizing radiation is hazardous to cellular life and future generations,” he says. When he saw the rollout of new X-ray machines in airports all over the country he decided to come up with “something that would afford some level of protection for the general public, women, small children,” or grown men that just don’t like being x-rayed or quite so scrutinized. “That was kind of the impetus…more just health, safety and the obvious privacy aspects of it.”
So, has he gone through airport security wearing his own invention yet?
“I have! In Douglas County, Colorado,” he says. Buske went through Millimeter Wave Body Scanner and the person at security did notice something and asked if he had something in his pockets. Buske says he joked, “No, I’m just happy to see you,” and that he was allowed to pass through. (Personally I wouldn’t joke with anyone in the TSA even if I was a celebrity comic and had performed at the security personnel’s wedding, but I’m a wuss that way).
The novelty patches are made of “an assortment of elements that are designed and well-suited for X-ray absorption at the energies that are common to these medical and dental (machines) and also security imaging devices,” Buske says. The material has rubbery consistency but is bonded to the cloth and won’t make awkward shapes under your clothes.
“And it glows in the dark,” Buske says, “so you don’t have to.”