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MARCH 2019

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17th March 2019

Since I began serving this sentence almost a decade ago, I've been housed in prisons that were on top of a mountain (USP Hazelton), down in a valley (USP Beaumont), and one joint that was in the desert on the corner of Death Valley (literally). At a lot of these compounds, the weather sucked. But complaining about the weather at the prison where you're serving 20 years, is somewhat akin to somebody who's in the electric chair complaining that the straps are too tight. However, sometimes I still have. Presently though, I'm enjoying the last remnants of Winter in a federal pen down in South-Central Florida (USP Coleman). For the first time in years, climate change seems to have fallen my way.

I was laying yesterday underneath the gun tower in the center of the rec yard on an area of grass that I've designated as "Cracka Beach." I gave it this name because I am presently in the Deep South, and quite possible what the local minorities might consider a Cracker. Also, saying Cracka Beach is much more polite and PC than naming my area something like "No Negroes Beach" or even worse, "Cancun-less." Everything is so damn racial back here, no matter your race. I do not consider myself a racist and I do my best to hate everybody equally. And although I didn't create the unwritten convict rules back here and I find a lot of them screwy, I do abide by them for the most part. But back to the weather.

As I was sunning myself and doing my best to taint my utter whiteness, I considered the warm Florida sun on my skin and what a beautiful day it was. Then I considered the fact that Disney World in Orlando is less than 20 miles away. Although I'm still a long ways from The Magic Kingdom and its cast of colorful characters, one day last week when I walked outta my cell, I swore that I saw Goofy. Turns out that it was the officer working my block though. He was uneventfully earning his $45,000 a year salary while he played Solitaire on his office computer and did his best to complete a drama-free 8 hour shift. Fat chance of that. As I stood there watching him drag a Red queen to a Black king, I considered that if I were an American taxpayer I might be pissed. Officer Gameboy did not appear to be Making America Great Again. No surprise there though.

Recently, I asked an officer who was working my cell block, "Why in God's name would you want to work here where you have to wear a stab-proof vest to work and listen to the eternal senseless whinings of retarded criminals such as myself?" He looked up from his computer screen, and replied, "Why not? The goal here is to do the least amount of work possible for the best salary and benefits, then get hurt on the job after several years so you can draw a big fat disability check off of Uncle Sam for the rest of your life." I nodded, and said, "I get it. Looks like I chose the wrong line of work." Satisfied that he's had his stupidity validated by someone even stupider than himself, he said, "Yeah," in a proud manner. Then he went back to checking out fishing reels on Amazon. As I walked away, I considered that MY medical and dental plan, and my co-pay, is most likely much lower than his. And all I had to do was rob a bunch of banks and plead guilty. Who's the stupid one now, Officer Bass Master? I mean, really.

So, after about three hours on Cracka Beach soaking up the sun, I had a sunburn. Also, I was tired of people walking by and staring at me. I get tired of being criminal eye candy and being looked at like a sex object. Maybe next time I won't wear a Speedo. Hopefully, it will continue to be sunny and in the 80's with a breeze. Nothing's gonna change the fact that prison sucks...no matter where it's located. But at least for now, the weather's nice and The Magic Kingdom's right down the road. As Bill Murray said in the movie Caddyshack, "So at least I've got that going for me, which is good." Amen, Bill.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog