Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sick Day Post 2

Woke up this morning feeling like my nose was the size of a Volkswagen van. And it obviously had a hole in the radiator from all of the greenish stuff pouring from it.

My head, which is not well attached at the best of times, kept threatening to fly off at any moment. Especially at sudden loud noises.

I had poured enough antihistamines down my goozle to make me a jittery mess, but they did little to relieve my symptoms.

So I called in sick.

I hate to do that, but I would have been no use to anybody. And I'm sure eight hours of blowing my nose into state toilet paper would have left me raw. The paper towels are softer. At least here I have a rapidly dwindling supply of kleenex.

Rather than just sit here, I thought I might go down and clean up my shop a little, but after I had sneezed approximately 3,000 times in 30 seconds, I gave it up as a bad idea and went back up to the house. Sawdust didn't agree with me, it seems.

Yesterday I went to the local do it yourself store with the intention of buying some wood. Instead, I ended up buying a bandsaw. I couldn't resist. It was the last one they had in stock and the little old guy running the department gave me 10% off because it was the floor model.

So I got a bandsaw and screws and nails and glue and stain and sealer and some other stuff. Everything to make more chairs except the wood. You see, by the time the little old guy and I had wrestled that saw into the back of my truck, I was too tired to go back and pick up a load of lumber. And I didn't have much room left for wood anyway.

Ah, well.

I suppose I need to either slow down on the chairs until I sell a few or find something else just as fun to make. My storage space is getting kind of full.

Well, obviously the cold meds are kicking in. I keep finding myself just sitting here with fingers poised over the keyboard and staring at something about ten feet behind my monitor.

Think I'll go stare at something about ten feet behind my teevee set instead.

And let's be careful out there.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Love Letters

It's a weird little rule. Offenders in prison are not allowed to send letters to other offenders inside the same institution. They can send and receive letters from other offenders in other institutions, but not the same one.

But as usual, they have ways of beating the system. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

One of the ways they get around that is by sending out a letter with an incomplete address or no stamp but with the return address of the other offender on the envelope. That way, if it reaches the mail room, they will send it "back" to the name on the return address.

When I pick up mail out of the cell doors, I try to scan for any of that sort of silliness going on. Outgoing mail is not sealed until it leaves the institution so it can be inspected by DOC employees.

We have caught two bogus letters this week. One coming in and one going out. Neither of them have reached their intended destinations.

Bad news. "Big D" won't learn that "Little D"still loves him and that the homies are looking out for him out on the hill until he gets out. And "Lola Bunny" is breaking up with "Choppa". Apparently Choppa has herpes and Lola don't want none of that. Besides, she's fallen for her new cellie.

Man, that just breaks my heart.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Am I Incompetent?

I have worked in the Hive for somewhere around six years now.

That's a long time. It's like eighteen years in human years.

I've seen alot of crap and dealt with alot of crap and cleaned up alot of crap. I think I know my sh*t and I can certainly tell sh*t from Shinola.

I think I know what I'm doing.

Those of you who know me and have worked with me know that I'm not going to intentionally do something stupid just for excitement. I want to go home in one piece at the end of my shift like anyone else. I dislike getting banged up.

One of the things we used to do on our shift was room consolidation moves. If we have two single guys in two man cells and they would fit together, we would move one in with the other and have a whole empty cell to use just in case we got a real knucklehead in the house. Or if someone was taken off suicide watch and was behaving themselves, we would move them out and open up a camera cell. We always need those.

Today on day shift the Boss told Sgt Banty he wanted all of the treatment guys moved into A and B-wing. Just to keep them consolidated, I guess. And he wanted as many of the camera cells emptied out as possible.

So they set about making moves. No big deal. We got the job done.

But our shift isn't allowed to make any room moves. We are supposed to consult the shift commander before we move anybody. And if he doesn't like our reasoning, we can't make the move. We aren't allowed to do cell consolidation anymore.

Apparently, we aren't smart enough to run the house without his okay.

So instead of spending our time trying to be proactive and finding ways to make the house run more efficiently, we are supposed to sit on our hands and wait until the captain says we can move somebody.

Whenever we have to move somebody, I'm the person they look to the most to say "Where can we put this guy?" I'm the one who has been down there the longest and who knows most about the inmates. Most of the time, I'm right.

Not always, but most of the time.

If we were doing it wrong all of this time, don't you think someone would have said something?

But now I'm not smart enough to make that decision. And the Sarge doesn't have the authority to move anybody without clearing it with the captain.

Kind of cuts us off at the knees, doesn't it?

If I'm incompetent to do my job, then put me somewhere else.

Obviously I'm too stupid to pound sand.

At least, that's what he's been implying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On A Lighter Note

I've been a little down since yesterday so I thought I might write about something a little more upbeat.

Just to get my mind off of things.

Last October I had a fit/screwup and ended up making this little tiny adirondack chair that just about drove me nuts. It was so small it felt like doing brain surgery. I finished it and put it up in storage in my shop and forgot about it.

Last weekend I was down there working and the wife came down toting our grand daughter in her arms. She stood her up on my workbench and she was getting sawdust all over her feet. So I drug down that little bitty chair and plopped her down in it.

Apparently that was the right thing to do. She just thought she was in the big time. So now that little chair is up in the house, right next to Grampas recliner.

And when she comes to grampas house, it's where she sits. When we can get her to sit still, that is. And it's still big enough on her I'm sure it will be her chair for another year or so at least.

So I guess it wasn't a waste of time after all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So Much For "Mr Tough Guy"

This morning we had to have one of our dogs put down.

It was a hard thing to do, but it was the right and humane thing to do. She was all eaten up with cancer and suffering. It still didn't make it easy.

Her name was Daphne. I named her after the character on Scooby Doo. She was pretty and danger prone, just like her namesake.

The wife and I rescued her and her sister Daisy from a shelter down in Arkansas right before they were going to be put down. It was worth it. They both brought us years of happiness and comfort.

I tried to be stoic and strong this morning, but it didn't work very well.

She was a good dog. And she'll be missed by all of us.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hit The Ground Running

Yeah. Another one of those nights.

Walk in and the guys up front are talking about the 10-5 they had down in the wobblehead house this morning. I'm thinking "Hoo boy! Glad I wasn't here for that one!"

And I get to Central and I'm just reaching for the clipboard to sign in and .... "10-5! 10-5!"

Oh snap. Sling my lunchbox over by the Lt's office and off I go, just to get jammed up in a cluster of people going down the stairs out the back door. Get out the door and out to the turnstile and "10-6 the 10-5."

Okey dokey. Turn around and find my lunchbox (with many heartfelt thanks to the guy who picked it up for me, btw..) and head down to the house. Only to find that they have been running like that all damn day and all of the empty beds we had when I left are now almost gone. We got two empty beds left and one is over in D-wing with a big gay weightlifter and the other is in A-wing with Dip Set.

Oh, just freaking lovely.

And to top it all off, about two hours into the shift I realize that my right knee is throbbing. I must have gone down those stairs wrong. And then I made a cardinal mistake. I mentioned it while the Lt was in the room. The conversation goes like this:

Me: "Dang! I must have gone down the stairs wrong running to that 10-5. My knee hurts a bit."

Lt: "You're going to file an accident report on that."

Me: "It's no big deal. It's just a little sore."

Lt: "You are going to file an accident report on that. Just in case." He looks at Sgt Miz P and says "You make sure he gets it done and I get my copy."

Me: "But..."

Lt: "Get it done."

Me: "Awwww.......... futz."

I should have known better.

So our two empty beds disappeared in the course of the night and I made up a makeshift kickout list just in case we needed to trade someone out. I guess it was a good thing, because they were calling for another lockup as BG and I were leaving.

I sure hope they kick some of those fools out in the morning.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We Are Not A Mental Hospital!

Or Are we? It sure seems so today.

One of our wobbleheads tried to walk out of the gate this morning behind a truck being processed out. Supposedly when the officer stopped him he said God had told him he could go home.

Well, that didn't work. After they locked him up and locked down and recounted the rest of the camp just to make sure nobody else had the bright idea, things went slightly back to normal.

As normal as they ever are here, anyway.

Then this evening we get another lockup from the wobblehead house. The yard dog escorting him is giggling and he pulls me out into the sallyport and says "I was talking to him about the old days when Sergeant Duck was down in the wobblehead house and you know what he told me?" I shook my head and he continued "He said 'I've known Sergeant Duck for years. I was his porcelain bathtub!' "

That took a minute to process.

Gather all of my wits I said "What?"

"I've known Sergeant Duck for years. I was his porcelain bathtub!"

Okey frickin' dokey!

I go back in the office and Sgt LB is asking the dude "Do you take controlled meds?"

I'm thinking "Yup! By the basketful!"

He shakes his head and says "No. They tried to force them on me, but I don't take them." He looks at LB and says "I know you. You take meds. I never see them forcing them on you!"

I wanted to lean over to LB and whisper "Psst! Your secret is out!"

But I didn't.

I should have.

But just the wobblehead dude looks at Sgt LB again and says "I know you! You and Sgt Duck kidnapped me from Illinois! That was just wrong."

I was almost overcome with an urge to whisper again.

Okay..... time to put this baby to bed. So off he went to his cell.

And all I am left with is this odd picture in my head of Sergeant Duck and a porcelain bathtub.

And it is just not a pretty picture. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Cop/Bad Cop

Amazingly enough, this old ploy works now and then. Especially when you don't really mean to play the role and it just turns out that way.

I was outside smoking when one of the yard dogs brought this knucklehead down the walk. I could hear him mouthing off and the yard dog was getting irritated. I know him and he doesn't get irritated easily. One of our cooler heads.

This pumpkinhead was mouthing about how he wasn't going to take any cellie and how we had better get ready because this was going to be an all night deal.

Right away I feel my blood pressure jack up a point or two and he hasn't been in the door thirty seconds and he is already getting on my nerves.

"Ok," I think to myself "If he wants to play it that way, we will play it that way. I got no problems with making him just as miserable as possible."

Sgt Banty comes out to talk to him and he's still singing the same tune. No cellie, no cooperation, he didn't do anything wrong so he's going to take it out on us. I go into the office and look around and see there is a C-wing cell open. And I have a sneaking feeling that if get him in there and he realizes where he is, there's going to be trouble.

That's all right. I'm ready for it.

Go back out in the hall and he is still mouthing. I grab up his file and say out loud "Ok, I'm done with him. Let's do this right now." and I go stand in front of the C-wing door, ready to rumble. The Bear comes out of the office and starts talking the guy down. Bear is taller and wider and younger than I am and knows how to tussle. He soft talks the dude and tells him that he really doesn't want to start any trouble down here and that he would get off alot easier if he would just go where we wanted to put him.

I just stand by the C-wing door looking really pissed off.

Knucklehead looks at me and looks up at me and then at Bear and says "I'll go if you take me in there." I just give a disgusted snort and slap the file in Bears hands and say "Here you go. You can have him." And I all but slammed into the office.

I figured playing bad cop was lost on him, but apparently it wasn't. When they got to the cell, he asked Bear "Who was that all pissed off out in the sally port?" Bear says "That was Rev. You really made him mad." Dude just looked down at his shoes and said "Oh sh*t."

I avoided going into that wing all night. Let him think I'm still pissed off and then tomorrow I'll chew him out and let him apologize.

And I was all worked up and ready for a throw-down and nothing happened. It was better the way it went down, but still.......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unintended Consequences

When an inmate tells us that he is having suicidal thoughts, our first mission (provided he's not already in a camera cell) is to get him out of wherever he is and place him immediately on suicide watch.

Before we do anything else, he gets stripped out and put in a camera cell.

The one thing he gets immediately is a kevlar suicide smock. Depending on what the pshrink on call says, he might also get a kevlar blanket and a foam mattress. This depends on who the pshrink is and who the inmate is. Some of the pshrinks will give them everything immediately.

A few of them will ask who the inmate is first. I like those.

We have a couple of inmates who use going on suicide watch because they want a room move and we can't or won't move them. They think they stand a better chance of getting moved out of a camera cell than they do a regular cell. We need those cells more.

One of those tried his crap the other night. He didn't like his cellie so he got in a fight with him. We had put him in a cell with the one guy smaller and meeker than him hoping he would stay there awhile.

Well, that didn't work.

So he got moved to C-wing upstairs. He didn't much like that so he said he was suicidal, hoping to get moved out of the wing the next morning.

Unfortunately for him, the pshrink on duty knew him and knew he was no more suicidal than the next guy and was just playing a game again. So when the paperwork came back it said "Smock only".

Oooooooo...... snap. And it was pretty close to 20 degrees outside. Bare concrete cell, hard bare concrete bunk. And nothing but a little kevlar smock.


He kicked and screamed and demanded a blanket and a mattress. Day shift told him all he gets is a smock. When we came in we told him all he gets is a smock. When midnights came in they told him all he gets is a smock.

He screamed "I'm freezing my a** off in here!"

I said "It's the middle of winter and you are playing stupid games. Maybe tomorrow you will get your clothes back. For now, you are out of luck." And then under my breath I muttered "Dumba**".

And when I came in today he was still in that same camera cell in C-wing. He had his clothes and bedding back, but spent most of the time curled up in bed under the covers. Still trying to warm back up, I guess.

Maybe he learned a lesson.

But I doubt it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Job Security

As crazy and weird and sometimes dangerous as my job tends to be, there's one thing that sets it apart from any other job I have ever had: job security.

Unless I do something really really stupid or the state decides to outsource the prison to India or Pakistan, my job is pretty much safe. I still might lose my position and get moved somewhere else in the camp, but I will have a place to work.

And the one thing that makes this the safest job in the world is the one thing that we will never ever run short of. A natural resource that will outlast coal and petroleum and even nuclear energy. Stupid people.

Gee Rev, don't you think that's kind of cynical?

It might be, but it's true.

Go on any search engine and type in the words "stupid criminals" and watch the results roll in. It will amaze and amuse you to no end. And some of the traps that governments set up to pick up some of the stupidest ones are just incredible.

Apparently there is a tax law somewhere (I don't remember where I saw it) that states: "You must declare any stolen property in your possession as taxable items unless they were returned to the rightful owners during the same year that they were stolen."

I wonder how many people actually filled that section out? A few, I imagine.

And I found this doozy on Weird Universe. The South Carolina Subversive Activities Registration Act, which went onto the books last year states that: "Any member of "a subversive organization or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent, and every person who advocates, teaches, advises, or practices the duty, necessity, or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing, or overthrowing the government of the United States . . . shall register with the Secretary of State."

And it only costs $5.00 to register. You can find a copy of the registration form here:

I would love to see the list of people who have sent in their $5.00 for that one.

I imagine they wouldn't even have to put a fence around the prison for those fools. Just tell them the fence is invisible and they would never leave.

The same state also sells tax stamps for illegal drugs. If you sell illegal drugs in South Carolina and you do not affix a tax stamp to your wares and get caught, they will double-whammy you for tax evasion.

They don't sell very many of those stamps. It was a nice try, tho.

Maybe we should try some idiot/genius registration. If you think you are stupid, you have to send $5.00 to this address to get registered with the state. Conversely, if you think you are a genius and smarter than everybody else, you send $100.00 to the same address and get registered so everybody will know who you are.

Then we round up everybody who sent in money and throw them in prison just because.

Probably won't need a fence around that one, either.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

No AARP Available Here

The old guy that I talked about last week..... the one threatening the staff with a rock and trying to smoke hair... they had sent him up to medical for a few days for observation.

Then they sent him back.

They said "He's not cognizant and he's wearing an adult diaper. Here ya go. Have fun!"

Oh snap.

I'm trying to get him to walk back into C-wing with me and he doesn't want to go. He doesn't say anything, just kind of digs his heels in and won't walk.

I don't need this. Don't want to have to drag this 70 year old man across the floor and toss him into a cell. I can't help it if he doesn't want to go in there. It's where they told me to put him and that's where I have to put him.

I call for KP to come give me a hand. He comes trotting out and we take the old guy by the upper arms and between the two of us we give him no options. Either he walks or gets left standing there armless.

"But 'es just an 'armless old man!"

Hee hee hee.... stop it.

Get him into the cell and we have to take his shoes away from him. I tell him and he just looks at me like I'm speaking martian. So we each grab an arm again and try to sit him down on the bunk. We lean him back to make him sit down and he's stiff as a 2x4. I have to put a hand on his hip to make him bend in the middle and sit down. He's so thin I'm afraid I'm going to break something.

The whole time I'm thinking "Don't make me hurt you, little old crazy guy! I would feel really bad about it!"

Finally he sits and I snag the shoes off of his feet and toss them out the door. We leave him sitting there and get out.

So he's old, incontinent, crazy as a bedbug and not aware of his surroundings. And why do we have him down in the Hive?

Because nobody else wants him. He needs to be watched 24/7 to make sure he doesn't wander off and hurt himself.

It's not bad enough we have a whole house full of idiots and snapholes and check ins. We are also a geriatric clinic.

They don't pay us nearly enough for this kind of thing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stupid And Hungry

I'm not sure of all of the facts here, but I'll relate what I know and what I have heard about the stupidity today.

Supposedly this knucklehead got locked up today and was being a real pain when he got to the house. Since he was acting like a fool, they decided to put him in C-wing. When he gets into the wing, he says he's not going into that cell.

Rather than push the issue, they decide to move him into A-wing instead.

I probably would have pushed the issue. But I'm like that.

When they get him onto A-wing, he turns to the Squid and says "I'm going to kill myself."

Bingo! We have a winner. Back to C-wing they go. Strip him out and put him on suicide watch.

Well, that didn't make him happy. He starts yelling and screaming and covering the camera with loose crap he finds laying around in the cell. Little wads of toilet paper and such. You can never get rid of it all, it seems.

Apparently on one of his tries climbing up on the heater vent to reach the camera, he slips and hits his hand on the window sill. Concrete and cinder blocks. Man, you just can't beat them for durability. But they do tend to be rough on a body.

Punk boy gets an owie. When the nurse goes in to check him out, he says "Officer Chip did that to me when he slammed me into the wall."

Except they all saw him on camera do it to himself.

But since he's claiming a staff assault, all of the big guns come out. They send down Spanky with the camera to take pictures of his owie. The assistant investigator comes down to review the video. The other two main investigators come down and talk to the knucklehead (who pretty much admits he did it himself, from what I hear) and they take more pictures of his owie. And it is so small that it doesn't even show up on the pictures.

And everybody involved has to write paperwork on what happened and what they saw.

Me, I didn't see nothin'. I was off counting something somewhere else at the time.

That was all on day shift.

A few hours after they leave, here comes Big M with the camera. He's got a nurse with him and they have to do a medical assessment and take more pictures of his owie. I call Captain Crane and say "You know they already took two sets of pictures of this, right?" He says "Well, we're doing it again!"

Okey dokey.

So around comes dinner and knucklehead says "I'm on hunger strike! I won't eat as long as I am in this cell!"

But.... if you go on hunger strike we move you into a C-wing cell until you eat again....

Ah well, there's no real point in explaining it. He'll get hungry soon enough.

Just stuck on stupid.

And on an empty stomach, too. Oh well......

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Listening To Them Scream

Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it.

Those days when my blog writes itself within five minutes of my arrival.

You just never know how it's going to work out.

This one actually scripted itself this morning while I was still snug in my bed and sound asleep.

They locked up some knucklehead from the wobblehead house about six o'clock this morning and he was being a royal pain in the a** when he got to the house. He was going to kill anybody who touched him and he was going to shake his dinky in everybodys face and he was going to kick some major butt. They had to cut his clothes off of him because he would not cooperate and they came real close to getting slammed and sprayed several times.

I don't know why they didn't just go ahead and do it right then. A mystery.

The Boss Man was in the house at the time and said "You know what? He needs a cellie. And old Dip Set over in C-wing has been begging to get out of there. Let's put him in there and see if that will calm this dude down."

Oh yeah. He calmed right down. As a matter of fact, he was so calmed down that by the time I got there, the dude was hiding underneath his bunk while Dip Set was screaming out the cell door.

And everybody else in A-wing was screaming to get him moved back out of there.

"Please man! You gotta get that nutcase out of here! He's been yelling and rapping since six this morning! He's driving us crazy!"

And we almost did have to move him. Chucky and Nancynurse and I went in to give Dip Set his meds. He was wound up like a jukebox plugged into a 220 outlet playing "Purple Haze". I imagine if you took the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall" and played it at twice the speed and projected it directly into your brain it would be like listening to Dip Set for five minutes.

The lad was wrapped up tight.

Fortunately, between his meds and his dinner, he calmed down again and was quiet for the next few hours.

Fortunately for us, anyway.

Unfortunately for everybody else in the wing, he started winding back up about ten o'clock when Chuck and I were getting ready to leave.

I suspect it's going to be a long night in A-wing.

Hee hee hee!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Suspect He May Be Crazy

Just so you know the kind of people we have to deal with on a day to day basis. Things have been a little slow on the wobblehead front of late. They have transferred out some of the more crazy ones.

We got an inmate on suicide watch the other night. We only kept him down in the Hive for a night or two then sent him back to his house. Some little old guy I had never seen before. Seemed harmless enough while he was down there. Didn't give us any troubles.

I looked in his file just to see why they had sent him to us. It read:

"Eating dirt and threatening staff with a rock and trying to smoke hair."

Ok, ummm....... yuck. Ummm.... yeah. Might want to keep an eye on him for a little while.


Now I'm glad we didn't keep him very long. That just gave me a case of the gee-whillikers.

And he seemed like such a nice little old guy.


Monday, February 8, 2010

A Mark Of Pride?

In the old days if someone went into the service and off to war it was assumed that they would come home with a tattoo.

That is, if they came home at all.

They would get their branch of service and where they fought and maybe something saying "Mother". Traditional stuff.

A few years ago I had a dorm worker who had the word "Death" tattooed across the front of his throat. Young kid, early twenties. Not a bada**. He got in trouble alot for his mouth but nothing serious.

I saw that tat and said "Oh yeah, I'll bet your mother is proud of you!" He just shrugged and walked away.

Whatever. He's not my kid.

Tonight out on the rec yard while they were standing in the snow they were talking about their tats and what they wanted to get. One guy said "Yeah, I want to get either 'Murderer' or maybe 'Psycho Killer' on my chest."

I looked out to see who was doing the talking. Yeah........ He's in for drugs and burglary. He's a killer, all right.

If I ever had a kid that went to prison the last thing they would see before they left was my biggest skinning knife and a soldering iron. I'd say "You cover yourself with stupid tattoos in there, I'm going to remove them when you get back out."

And if I ever own a business and some twit with "Death" tattooed across his neck comes in looking for a job I'll make him hit the road so hard he skids ten feet down the sidewalk.

What the snap are they thinking?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One Of Those "Oh Snap" Moments

I thought that I had considered all of the ways that I might get killed doing my line of work.

I've imagined getting stabbed or sliced or just beaten to death.

I've imagined being thrown off the walk and coming to a sudden stop on the concrete.

I've imagined catching something icky and going out slowly.

I've even imagined being accidentally shot by another staff member. I've seen most of us around guns. Aint nobody here Annie Oakley.

But it never once even crossed my mind that I could be taken out by an immense fireball of diesel fuel. That just never occurred to me.

Lt. Pinocchio came wandering down to the house this evening and as he strolled up he asked "Do you smell diesel fuel over there?" and pointed to the other side of the pod. I walked over and sniffed, but my sinuses are all clogged up and I couldn't smell anything.

After we went into the office he sent Ms. Twang out to see if she could smell it and she could. So the Lt had me call one of the yard dogs down with a key for the gate and we went out to investigate.

In between our house and the next one up we have an emergency generator. They test it every thursday right before BG and I get in. We have alot of electrical problems and we have several generators. They come in handy.

As soon as we hit the gate the wind shifts and I can smell the fumes. We wander over to the generator. I can see small puddles in the mud all around the concrete base. Melted snow? Or something more?

Intrepid me sticks his finger in the puddle and gives it a sniff. Diesel! And then I look around and realize that I am standing right in the middle of several large puddles of spilled fuel.

Oh snap.

I start to reach for my radio and think better of it.

Then I carefully step my way out of the mushy bomb I am standing on and go several feet away before calling for the Lt. I have no idea how much of it is spilled into the ground and whether or not there might be an underground tank or just a pipeline. Just in case, I want to get as far away from the thing as I can.

So...... what do you think our chances are of getting the 24 hour maintenance guy on call to come in on a superbowl sunday?

Zero to none, it turns out. He calls back and the two inmates who work on the generators with him go out with a pipewrench and just shut off the fuel to the generator at the pipe and go back to finish watching the game.

And, as it turns out, that generator runs the power to all of the control rooms to all of the houses on this side of the camp.

So if this snowstorm they are predicting for tonight manages to knock out the power (like has happened in the past) guess what?

No lights, no power doors. We would have to manually open every single lock.

Things could get ugly real quick.

Hoo boy.

Never saw that one coming.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ooooohhh...... I'm Scared!

Jeez..... You'd think I'd be all blase' about hearing these guys talk tough. But every once in awhile one of them just rocks me back on my pins.

There's this little wobblehead over in C-wing. Maybe five foot four and a buck sixty. Scrawny. If he's not complaining of mental problems, he's having chest pains so somebody will pay attention to him. I refer to him as "Schmelvin".

He's just kind of pathetic, if you know what I mean.

We had him out on the rec yard and one of the old heads was blowing him up about what a tough guy he is. Ol' Schmelvin puffed his chest all out and told them about one time he spent five days buck naked out in the woods in Alaska during the winter on a bet.


I spent four years in Alaska and the average temp there during the winter was forty below. The last winter I was there it was eighty below.

I wonder what part of Alaska he was in?

Maybe the southern part, where it's warmer.


And then the old head asks him "Do you take all those meds because you need them or just to get high?" And Schmelvin says "Oh, I need them. I have mental problems, you see."

There were a few barely suppressed snickers and giggles from some of the other cages at that point.

And Schmelvin goes on to say (Let me check my notes, I want to get this just right): "Lemme put it this way..... If I wasn't taking my medication, this whole fence would be down and several CO's would be dead."

And then he started dancing like Micheal Jackson.

Okey dokey.

When it was time to take them in, I told BG that he'd better cuff Schmelvin up himself, because I was skeert.

He just snorted at me and shook his head.

I get alot of that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Hero

KP is my hero.

When I grow up I want to be just like him.

Behind that homespun trucker/biker facade is a mind like a steel trap.

One of our more troublesome wobbleheads started throwing a fit tonight about the nurse not giving him one of his meds. I don't know if she gave it to him or not, I wasn't there. But he started kicking on his door and calling Code 16 and demanding to see the Sarge.

The kid has the emotional age of about a ten year old. There is no reasoning with him. Not that I have ever managed, anyway. If he doesn't get what he wants he kicks on his door and calls code 16 all night long. I've never managed to get along with him.

KP went up there and told him that he was basically beat on his meds if he didn't get them at the med pass. There is a set time that he is supposed to get them and if he doesn't get them at that time then he's just beat.

The only way he was going to get any satisfaction was to file a complaint about the nurse. Then she will make sure he gets all of his meds all of the time.

But if he does that he is going to piss off the nurse and she won't do anything extra for him, like giving him antacids when he has a tummy ache or aspirin when he has a headache. He will have to fill out the paperwork and get them from the pharmacy like everybody else.

And she won't be nice to him anymore.

Left him in a moral quandary, scratching his head and trying to figure out what to do.

And it shut him up for the rest of the night.

Like I said, KP is my hero.

Later on in the evening he was telling us that one of the offenders had asked him if he had gone to college. "Sure thing" he said. "I have a masters degree in 15th century american literature."

They were impressed to hear that. They said "Why are you working here, then?"

To which he replied "Not much market for that kind of thing around here."

The whole time he's telling this story COI Coffee is sitting over by the desk and nodding his head and wondering the same thing.

About ten minutes later, when we were off on another topic he suddenly says "Hey! There was no 15th century american literature!"


KP is my hero.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This Is Not A Mensa Clubhouse

And I'm not just talking about the inmates. There are nights that I am surprised more of us don't get lost on our way to work.

I suspect that it is the general miasma to the place. An overwhelming stench of stupidity in the prison itself that occasionally drags our IQ down a few points after a long and arduous day.

Some nights we can sit around and argue philosophy and the teachings of Sun Tzu and how they relate to working in a prison. Working here is very much like fighting a war and some of that stuff actually applies in a real sense more than in a metaphysical one.

And then some nights we wonder how many packets of cereal we can pack into the nurses coat before she will notice. In our house, you always have to check your lunch box and coat pockets before you leave. Trust me.

Tonight, towards the end of the night, we were standing out front smoking and KP was telling us horror stories about the cattle business and what happens to meat before it gets to the dinner table. That was icky. Right in the middle of that, The Cowboy sticks his head out of the bubble and says "Hey! My girlfriend just realized that chinese people eat nothing but chinese food! Don't you think they'd get sick of it after awhile? I know I do!"

And my brain began trying to viciously claw itself out of my ear in an attempt to escape.

The conversation went downhill from there, amazingly enough.

On they way out, I ran into Sgt Puddle, who was telling me about the new Robert Jordan book. That made me feel a little better until I got up to the Comm room to turn in my radio and cuff keys.

Vinnie was up there and said "Hey! If you're interested, there's midget wrestling at the strip club this weekend! It just doesn't get any better than that! You wanna go?"

My brain made good it's escape at that point. I do hope it comes back soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Poker Face

I met a future denizen of Raccoon City and probably the Hive this morning.

I can't/won't go into detail about who or where or why.

It's personal.

I've never actually met him face to face or even laid eyes on him. He was only a lump under the covers of a motel room. But I'm sure I'll be seeing his face very soon.

A small time drug dealer and a child molester and a domestic abuser. A petty street punk. One who has apparently evaded actually going to prison up to this point. I think that luck of his is going to run out fairly quickly.

He's invaded my space, so to speak. Popped up on my radar in a very personal way.

That doesn't bode well for his future personal happiness.

When he finally does go to prison I really do look forward to the day he comes into the Hive running his pie hole. I want to look into his face just one time.

Of course, I will have to report it up the chain and explain my connection with him and get him transferred to another camp.

I just want to see him one time. I want him to look into my eyes.

I won't even put my hands on him.

I won't need to.