Embarrassed. Humiliated. Those are some of the nicer ways to describe our intelligence community in the wake of the Christmas Day terror attempt.
Since then, security has tightened and everyone's on edge, so take my advice: Do not consciously or inadvertently say or do anything that could cost you time, money or even your freedom. You disobey the Transportation Security Administration officers at your peril.
In that spirit, I have compiled a list of things not to say in an airport. If you have a legitimate grievance, go online and fill out a TSA complaint form, but do it after your flight. When you're at the airport, follow the rules and please, watch your tongue.
1. "No Way, You're Not Seeing Me Naked!"
Yes, the pictures do make you look naked, but your face is blurred beyond identification. And we are told the TSA officer who sees the so-called naked pictures is in a different room from the actual scanning procedure so they never see you being scanned (and therefore cannot say, "Hey, I saw you naked!") All images get deleted, so don't look for yourself on YouTube either.
Note: Body scans are optional; you can choose to be patted-down instead. Besides, most airports don't even have these machines yet.
2. "Just One More Kiss, Baby"
Remember earlier this month when Newark Liberty International airport shut down for several hours due to a security breach? It turned out that a TSA officer inexplicably left his post, allowing a young man in love to allegedly enter an area for people who'd already been cleared through security so he could give his girlfriend one last kiss (at least, that's what it looked like on the video).
Note: Romeo was arrested, and the TSA officer was put on administrative leave.
3. "Look, It's Mr. Bill (oh, nooooo)"
Remember Mr. Bill, the accident-prone clay figurine from the old "Saturday Night Live" sketch? In case you see or hear him at the airport, look out. A TSA officer recently confiscated several tubs of Play-Doh under the watchful gaze of a tearful 3-year-old.
Note: Play-Doh is not on the TSA's list of banned substances, but they do ban "realistic replicas of explosives," and I suppose Play-Doh could resemble plastic explosives; in any event, it's the TSA officer's call and the officer always wins.
4. "I am God"
That's what a TSA officer said in a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, according to a local news report that also noted that the officer in question was "behaving erratically." We're told the agent was arrested.
Note: It's always a good policy for security folks and passengers to refrain from publicly claiming kinship with any deity, Napoleon, Lady Gaga or similar, because chances are you will at least undergo questioning. On the bright side, you may get a free drug test.
5. "Is That Gilligan's Island Down There?"