Those of you who know me can confirm that my superpower is finding humor in the most unlikely of places. (It actually runs in my family. It is most likely genetic and is least likely to have come from the stoic, Norwegian side.)
This week, I had the privilege of discovering the dress code rules for the Bexar County Jail. (Don’t ask. It’s a long story.) I need to clarify that these dress code rules are for visiting an inmate via video conference. That’s right. You register for a video conference, go into a video kiosk at the appointed time, and sit in front of a screen with a camera and a monitor.
Of course, social convention dictates one should always be dressed in appropriate attire. Even proper footwear is important.
I suspect these rules evolved over time as folks showed up for video conferences in all manner of dress. (That’s what makes them all the more hilarious. I can just picture a Saturday Night Live skit — maybe even a recurring bit — featuring people trying to enter the jail in violation of one or more of these rules.)
I also wonder what the job description for the Video Visitation Supervisor looks like.
- Must be able to discern whether a person is wearing underwear.
- When in doubt, must be willing to question strangers regarding said wearing of underwear, e.g., “Excuse me, ma’am, are you wearing a bra?”
- Must be able to discern the shape of all manner of genitals.
- Must be willing to question strangers regarding said exposure of genitals, e.g., “Excuse me, sir, but are those your genitals I see?”
- Must be knowledgeable about religious and medical headgear.
- Must be willing to question strangers regarding wearing said headgear, e.g., “Excuse me, sir, but do you have a religious or a medical reason for wearing that Dallas Cowboys hat?”
- Must be knowledgeable about human anatomy.
- Must be willing to question strangers regarding viewing of said anatomy, e.g., “Excuse me, miss, but is that your patella I see?”
I could go on, but I won’t. (You’re welcome.)
And lest you wonder, these are only the dress code rules. There are a total of four pages of rules. Including: “NO GUM AT ALL!” To be fair, that rule didn’t actually make it onto the four pages of rules. It was handwritten at the bottom of the page, courtesy of the Video Visitation Supervisor.
Better add another qualification to the above list: Must be able to invent new rules on the fly.