This is so completely ridiculous that I don’t know where to start. A girl, going through a security checkpoint, joked to the staff, “Hey be careful, I have three bombs in here.”

Now it’s not original. But, given the stress of the whole airport procedure including screening and the fact that we are led to believe that our fellow passengers are all out to turn our planes into missiles, a little gallows humour is a natural reaction. It might not draw a laugh, but why should it lead to arrest and imprisonment?

Miss Marson triggered a security alert as she boarded a British Airways flight from Miami to Britain on Saturday.

She was told to return for a court hearing on 6 February, and could face up to 15 years in jail.

If you cannot tell the difference between a joke and a terrorist threat, then you probably aren’t clever enough to perform effectively as a security officer. In fact, you’re not even a worthwhile member of the human race. Kill yourself now, and stop stealing the rest of our oxygen!

Was there no thinking, intelligent human being on hand to say, this is a silly joke, tell her off and scan the next passenger’s bag? Was it worth “triggering a security alert” for a comment so obviously bogus? Of course it wasn’t.

What is the benefit of all this? To show us how tight airport security is? Bullshit! It’s all a mind game. No knitting needles or tweezers allowed, and yet some guy can stroll right on with ammunition, as was demonstrated last week. Hey, assholes! That’s your job, stopping weaponry getting onto aircraft, not terrorising an innocent young woman.

“Before 9/11 we took it seriously—after 9/11 there’s no room for kidding or joking, if that’s the person’s intention, so it’s taken in a serious manner.”

Stop trying to turn us all into paranoid zombies. And while you’re at it, try to actually catch the real villains.