Longtime readers of this blog know that I have a special interest in body piercings, especially as it relates to travel. One of the first Travel Troubleshooter columns took on the issue of security screening and various kinds of rings. So when airline passenger Mandi Hamlin held a news conference yesterday about her TSA nipple ring trouble, I had a few questions that the otherwise competent reporters in attendance seem to have overlooked.

1) Why are nipple rings dangerous? Maybe this is something my friends over at the TSA blog can answer. Precisely how is one able to use a nipple ring to hijack an aircraft? I’m just curious.

2) Why was Mandi Hamlin wearing nipple rings in the first place? Let’s forget, for a moment, that she was trying to pass through a security checkpoint with nipple rings. I’m just wondering why someone like Hamlin, who news reports describe as a “Texas woman” would want to mutilate her body like that to begin with? I mean, look at her. She doesn’t seem like the type.

3) Whatever happened to common sense? Was Hamlin unaware that they use metal detectors at the airport? Were the screeners who handled her unable to determine that her body piercings would pose a significant security threat? Couldn’t they have called a supervisor before forcing her to rip the rings out of her breasts?

I’m not the only one who is wondering about all this. This is a pretty hot topic on the forums, too. But since we have a heavy hitter like Gloria Allred involved in this case, I figured I might as well ask.