What are they thinking, those people who design shoes? Setting aside glass-heeled 7 inch stilettos, Lady Gaga art shoes and ankle-breaking platforms, what goes through the minds of those who decide how ordinary woman-in-the-street shoes will be made? I’m imagining a conspiracy of shoe designers sitting around at morning tea time, laughing so hard that bits of Iced Vo Vo come flying out of their mouths. How else do you explain the humiliation of the airport security shuffle?
I’m quite fond of my high-heeled black boots. They’re simple and stylish and much
better suited to flying than walking. After all, there is a lot sitting involved in flying; at the cafe, in the departure lounge, and when finally on the plane, obediently belted-up like eggs in a carton. I like wearing my boots when I’m being a jet setter. I enjoy being just that much taller, sophisticated and invincible. But that’s when the Iced Vo Vo spitting vixens of the shoe-designing world come in to play.
Vigilance is my watchword when it comes to airport security checks. I take my Chinese penknife with the bean slicer and tiny fork out of my handbag and leave it at home, even though I know I’m going to miss it when I’m presented with a bowl of fresh beans to slice. My innocent-looking, but incredibly dangerous, hair clips are packed in my suitcase. I could take an eye out with one of those, most likely one of my own. My watch and any loose change goes into a plastic trays and through the X-ray machine. Confidently I stride through the machine that goes beep knowing that it won’t. I’m wrong. It does. Very loudly. Security wave a squeally wand around me and ask all the usual questions. Watch? Jewellery? Belt buckle? Coins? No, no, no, no. Then the words I dread. “Please take off your shoes.”
I can see them, those fiendish shoe designers, cackling over their tea cups. This is their moment of triumph. All their careful plans and devious designs have come to fruition. Somewhere in my simple black high-heeled boots they have implanted a device that makes the machine go beep. It may be a metallic strip, a secret sliver of foil, a tiny wad of beeb-creating substance. Whatever it is, I am forced to take my boots off and instantly become short, dumpy and decidedly dorky. Not only that, I then have to shuffle back to the end of the queue with the bottom of my trousers flapping around my feet. The boots go through the x-ray machine and I silently waddle through the machine that, finally, doesn’t go beep.
Shoe Vixens 1, Short Dork 0.