Shaken Not Stirred

Saturday, May 22, 2004

For Sale: Cell Block 10

For Sale: Spacious 10x12, non-carpeted, 1/2 bath, view of courtyard, bunkbeds available and semi-private.
Yesterday while reading the news, an article called "Pay As You Stay" caught my eye. The picture featured a guy in prison gear standing in a cell block. The article was about a Klamath Falls, Oregon, prison which required the inmates to pay rent. They could pay rent on an ability to pay basis--choosing to pay as stayed or to have the money taken from future wages upon release.

In a way, this makes sense. I mean after all, why should tax payers be burdened with feeding these criminals? Some tax payers don't get to eat, but their FICA (what is that?) makes sure that someone is getting something. I mean really, criminals, who have burdened society not only with their crimes, but their incarceration, are basically getting three meals a day and a place to stay. It may not be a perfect little place, but it is still a roof over their heads. So why shouldn't they pay? Afterall, they shouldn't be allowed to sit on their asses all day, pondering the worth of their life.

One of the prisoners was in full agreement with the plan. He said that he caused his own incarceration and when he gets out, he planned to have his share of the rent taken out of his wages. Other prisoners disagreed, saying that taking any money from their already impoverished families would be unfair. Unfair? Hmmm, was it fair for you to murder, steal, rape or pillage? I think not. Is it fair for other families to have the burden of putting you up in some institution?

The guard or warden who came up with this idea, did it as a last ditch effort to keep his prison open. At first he took away salt and pepper, coffee and ketchup. By doing this, he saved something like $30,000 a year. Holy tomatoes Robin, would you like some french fries with that Heinz? How does one consume that much salt and ketchup--in one prison? Or are they buying Ketchup by Versace? From this savings, he brainstormed the idea of paying as you stay. A much better solution to the bland cafeteria food.

So if this becomes a requirement, does that mean better housing for the more elite criminals? Will criminals be able to choose their address? Will someone like Martha Stewart be able to have designer linens and all wood floors? Will there be a gated community within the already gated community?

In other news, there were naked people riding some rollercoaster in England. Approximately 80 students rode this rollercoaster in the buff. Their reason? None. It just had never been done before and they thought they would try it. Talk about testicles being thrown left and right...and also mammary glands being tossed up to your earlobes. I'm sure amusement park goers got a great visual image that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

All aboard!


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