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28th April 2013

I got up from emailing my friend Mike's mom (Momma Lynda) and I went by The Don's cell to see if he wanted to go to lunch and then go out and feed Whitey. As I walk into his house he's bent over his desk trying to cut an eight inch link of sausage with the side of a plastic spoon without much success and he's got "Volare" by Dean Martin blasting on the radio.

"I miss having knives" he says as the spoon slides off the side of the sausage without cutting it.
"I can see if the Black Muslims will loan us one." When he doesn't respond, I say, "C'mon, let me buy you lunch. They're serving chili dogs."
"Nah, I gotta figure out this sausage." Then he adds, "But will you do me a favor?"
"Leave a nice tip. They know me there."

I'm going to lunch today because I'm hungry and because I have absolutely nothing left to eat in my locker. I had one banana nut muffin left but I broke weak in the middle of the night and went rooting around in my locker until I found it and then fell asleep in the dark eating it and woke up with the wrapper stuck to my cheek. Now my locker is officially empty of any food products...including the two packs of tuna fish I had stashed to feed Whitey and his crew that I lost betting against Penn State.

As a career choice goes, being a bank robber is over-rated. The vocation is currently flooded with a lot of the jobs going to unqualified canidates. And then there's that whole, "We're sending you to prison for 20 years" thing. There's that. I think that people perceive that bank robbers are rich. I don't know about the rest of the guys in the union, but I can tell you that I'm sure not. Yes, I'm a recovering serial bank robber; Yes, I write books and have a world renowned Bank Robber's Blog; And, yes, it's lunch and my locker's empty and I'm going for the chili dogs.

Two things made me decide to give up a life of crime. The first was the 40 FBI agents that surrounded the hotel that I was drinking beer inside of. And the second thing was when that I determined that crime only pays if you run the prison. It's expensive to do time; from stamps to soap to coffee to batteries to clothes and shoes to all costs money and the only people you can buy it from is the prison. Then there's the phone calls we pay for out of our own pocket (.23 a minute), email (.05 a minute), and songs for our MP3 players that cost $1.55 a piece. But what am I gonna do? They got me over a hump right now. So I'm constantly trying to stretch a dime into a dollar, especially given the fact that I spend my own money to feed my cats. I say "My" cats, but do cats really "Belong" to anyone? Dogs do, but I'm not sure about cats. Especially prison cats.

I have four cats that I feed that live in the basement of the cell house that I live in and that sit outside. The leader of the crew is a gray Tom cat named Whitey. He's got a big fat head with a white spot on it and he has a hunk missing out of one ear and a perpetual scowl on his face. Whitey's all business. He sits behind a fence that's next to a ramp I walk down as I go outside to the yard. His partner in crime is a solid black female named Ms. Farrakhan and the other two are named Maya Kitty and Puff Daddy. Whenever I go outside to feed them they're usually sitting behind the fence staring at me like I'm late. Today was no exception. And I was worried because the only thing that I had for them was the two hot dogs that I'd smuggled out of the chow hall in my sock. I'd told them I had two packs of tuna fish left the day before, but I didn't have the nerve to say I'd lost them for fear that Whitey would call me a clown for betting against Penn State. This is Pennsylvania after all. As I walked up to the fence Whitey was mean-mugging me and Ms Farrakhan was staring at me like I had a mouse in my pocket. The conversation between Whitey and I went like this:

Me: Hi there little buddy!
Whitey: Little buddy? Does it look like we're on Gilligan's Island? What did you bring us to eat?
Me: (I stammered for a second and then said) Uh...I've got a couple of hot dogs that I was BARELY able to smuggle out of the chow hall for you.
Whitey: (He stares at me for a minute and then says) Please tell me that you didn't rob seven banks to bring me two hot dogs that I could've gotten myself.
Me: Well...I'm just kind of broke right now. I'll call home for some money.
Whitey: You ARE home.
Me: Oh yeah.
Whitey: Just toss the hot dogs over the fence and slowly back up. We'll give you a pass on this one.

So now I have to come up with some money to get Whitey and his brood something to eat. I'd ask The Don for a loan but I don't like his philosophy on principal versus interest. I guess I'll just keep writing. Who would've figured that I'd end up working just so I could feed some cat named Whitey. None of this was in the Bank Robber video.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

19th April 2013

More news from Jeff in lockup... this time it's the cast of characters sharing his prison purgatory.
Click on the pages of the letters below to read them full screen.

Jeffrey Frye Losers of Lockup Page 1
Jeffrey Frye Losers of Lockup Page 2
Jeffrey Frye Losers of Lockup Page 3

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

10th April 2013

I received this from Jeff in January. We'll be mixing in some stories that Jeff sent me when he was a slightly freer man than he is now. Don't worry, every post is 100% new. There are never any repeats on the Bank Robber's Blog.
Over to Jeff...

Fat lazy snowflakes fell outside the bars of the window out on the tier as I stood in front of my table making fish tacos for my cats. As I listened to Taylor Swift, content in my whiteness, I had four fish filets and a ring of soft tortilla shells laid out when a 6'3, 250 black gang member named T-Rex appeared in front of my bars and said, "G-Money wanna holla atcha." "G-Money" is Ghetto Boyee. I wanted to sound cool and say "Aiight" but I was too full of Taylor to pull it off so I just said, "Okay, tell him I'll be down in a minute." I wrapped the fish up in the tortillas, smeared sardine juice on the outside of them, and then sealed them in a Tupperware bowl and then washed my hands. I clicked on some Rick Ross to get into character and I cruised down the tier toward the hood.

Ghetto Boyee is in his thirties and muscular with tattoos all over his arms, chest and neck and has deadlocks that he wears tucked into a Rastafarian cap that's been crocheted in the colors of the Jamaican flag. He's blacker than an NAACP convention and has more gold in his mouth than Fort Knox. He's a Crip from Los Angeles, California and he has an I.Q. of around 150. Unfortunately, his alternative use of this I.Q., and a relationship with the Baja cartel in Mexico, resulted in a 150 count indictment. The government charged him with everything from RICO, conspiracy to distribute 572 kilos of crack cocaine, gun-running, running a street gang in furtherance of a racketeering enterprise, and murder, to Breathing While Black. They gave him a fair trial, then hung him in the form of three life sentences. All of these things make Ghetto Boyee unique, but what really makes him unique to me is that he's the only person in this penitentiary who can beat me at Scrabble. Although he doesn't use it, he has a vocabulary that far exceeds mine and when we play Scrabble he's always using abstract words and giving me false definitions to trick me into challenging them. But every now and then I'll catch him trying to "Black-up" a word and use slang that doesn't exist. He lives at the end of a tier that has nothing but guys from his set and every time I go down there I feel like a piece of cotton on a coal pile. Today was no different. As I walked up I heard Bob Marley flowing through a set of speakers and I walked into six Crips that all gave me dap and hugged my neck like they hadn't seen me in years. I'd seen them at least four times since lunch. I walked into Ghetto Boyee's 9x6 cell and he was sitting on his bunk in a pair of gray sweat pants and a white wife-beater leafing through a pile of paperwork.

He said, "Jeffrey Frye, You. Are. My. Nigga" and flashed me a golden smile. I replied, "I thought Obama was your nigga."
"Obama ain't shit. He's only black to you folks. To my people that nigger's whiter than Lindsay Lohan. But ,YOU, Jeffrey Frye are truly my nigga, as well as my favorite Caucasian."
"So I'm like an Honorary Nigga, huh?" I asked, then I added, "My ass can only hold so much smoke...what's up?"
He pointed to the mountain of paperwork spread across his bunk and said, "I need a favor. They just denied my appeal and now I'm gonna file an appeal against my no good, bum-ass trial lawyer for ineffective assistance of counsel."
"Who was your trial lawyer?" I asked.
"Johnnie Cochran."
"Isn't he dead?"
"Yeah, but I'ma still sue the motherfucker. I'ma make 'em exhume his no-good ass and get back that Rolex I gave him."

Before upgrading my vocation to Bank Robber I previously worked in a criminal defense firm and had a small company doing contract paralegal services for attorneys such as research and brief-writing. I've written successful appeals that have freed individuals who were wrongly convicted, and I even wrote a brief that inspired legislation to change a law that was constitutionally incorrect. Some people are naturally good at playing the piano or working on engines. For some strange reason I have a natural aptitude for the law. But knowing the law in a maximum security penitentiary where 80% of the people are appealing their cases is akin to being a pharmacist in a town full of drug addicts, which is exactly why I don't do legal work in prison. I'm retired. I now prefer to spend my days making fish tacos for my cats and writing Stories From The Life. But being that I had been bestowed with the title of Honorary Nigga, and given the fact that I like Ghetto Boyee, I considered helping him.

As I stood there thinking how much I hate doing legal work Ghetto Boyee must've read my mind because he said, "I'll pay you whatever you want."
I pointed to his mouth and said, "I want one of those teeth."
He got up from his bunk and went into his locker and came out with a string of dental floss and tied it around one of his teeth and walked over to the mirror. I nervously asked, "What are you doing?"
He pulled the string taut away from his mouth and said, "I'm fixin to pay you, nigga."
I yelled, "Wait!!!" I was just kidding. I only said that because some guys back here started a rumor that you yanked out one of your teeth in the L.A. County jail and threw it at your lawyer to pay him."
He pulled back the side of his mouth and showed me a hole in his grill and said, "Rumor my ass. That nigga also made me give him $250,000.00 with that tooth."

I said, "Look, man. I have lots of aspirations and goals in life, but being house counsel for the Crips isn't one of them. If I help you beat your case then I'm going to have everyone in this prison at my house thinking that I'm Chris Angel and that I can make their shit disappear too. And just so you know, I love black people. I really do. I watch 106 and Park, have Fitty Cent on my iPod, and some of my favorite dope dealers have been black. But if by chance I screw up your paperwork then I'm going to have the Zulu Nation all up in my grill like George Foreman. I don't see an upside here."
He laughed as he said, "George Foreman. I'ma use that one. I really need your help, son. I just want you to read my trial transcripts and tell me what you see." He thought about something for a minute then asked, "Do you have a problem with drug money?"
"Hell no" I responded, "I drug all kinds of money out of those banks."
He laughed again and said, "I gotta start writing these down" then he said, "How 'bout I wire two grand to your commissary account by 5 p.m. to read my transcripts?"

I replied, "How about you wire it to my ex's bank account and get her indicted for money laundering instead?" Then I said, "No, but I'll tell you what. I'll play you a game of Scrabble head-up and if I win, which I will, I don't do your legal work. But if YOU win then I'll read your transcripts and see if I can't find a shovel for you to dig Johnnie up with."
Ghetto Boyee grinned and said, "That's a bet, nigga" and went under his bunk and got his 25th Anniversary Edition Scrabble game. It was his prize possession and he was a freak over it. This guy probably still had millions of dollars his but he's territorial over this game and won't let anyone borrow it-even me. He called one of his boys and handed him the game and said, "Set this up on the plastic bucket on the tier and don't breathe any of your no-spelling, retarded-ass, Charlie Brown-looking germs all over it, nigga."

We walked out on the tier and sat across from each other in green plastic lawn chairs with the Scrabble game set-up on an upside-down, white, five gallon plastic bucket. About four of Ghetto Boyee's crew stood around us. They knew they'd incur his wrath if they even attempted to suggest something for him to spell, but that didn't stop them from leaning over my shoulder to rearrange my tiles into what they thought were words. Things like "Choo" (Choo look so fine, girl), or "Whodat" (Whodat your nappy headed-ass been talking to, girl?). We played for an hour and were neck and neck in points. I had four tiles left but they were all vowels. Ghetto Boyee also had four tiles left and he laid all of them down on the board and spelled the word "Adze." I stared at it for a minute and then asked, "What kind of negrofied word is that?" He gave me a look like he'd been caught so I said, "Use it in a sentence."
He said, "If I adze baking soda to cocaine I turns it into crack." I shook my head and said, "I challenge! Give me that damn dictionary." I thumbed through the As until, unbelievably, I came to the word "Adze." It said: "noun; a wood-working tool." I yelled, "Shit!!!" and threw the dictionary on the board and scattered the tiles and stood up. I'd had enough of Bob Marley and hanging out in the hood. I unclipped my MP3 from by waist and clicked to some Jessie J and headed back to my house to do my best to help a guy named Ghetto Boyee dig up a dead lawyer so he could sue him. As I walked down the tier I looked over my shoulder and saw that two of his crew were behind me carrying file boxes filled with paperwork. It looks like I'm coming out of retirement for a little while. This Honorary Nigga thing is turning out to be all title and no pay.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

7th April 2013

A letter from Jeff to celebrate the six month anniversary of The Bank Robber's Blog.
Click on the letter below to read it full screen.

Jeffrey Frye Lock-up Shout-out

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog