On a previous visit to the Court House to get a birth or marriage certificate – I can’t remember which – the security guard at the door paid close attention to my footwear. That day, I was wearing sandals and happily, it was of the type that found favour with the wardrobe police. The woman just ahead of me had not been so lucky.
As I sat and waited for my certificate to be ready, I saw a number of other women (and some men) who had decided on the same style of footwear. It soon became clear, that the main responsibility of the guards was ensuring that visitors were appropriately attired. This meant that before they looked at your face, they looked at your clothing and then at your feet. I’d forgotten to take some reading material along for the wait that day, but it turned out to be quite entertaining to watch who got turned away at the door and who made it through.
It’s this stickler in these islands for proper dress that led this week to a man in Barbados, who was caught trying to enter a Court building with a gun being stopped – not because he was searched leading to the gun being found – but because he had been wearing a pair of shorts. The discovery of the weapon happened completely by accident.
On my most recent visit to the High Court a few weeks ago, I went prepared with an extra pair of shoes (in case the ones that really went with my outfit didn’t pass muster), but I discovered that the foot soldiers had relaxed their restrictions somewhat.
This time, any and all types of sandals seemed to be allowed – as if somebody realized that the slippers versus sandals determination depended on one’s perspective. And if he or she happened to sleep on a narrow bed the night before, well…as we say here, “Dog” could very possibly, “nyam your supper”.