My bunk spot is a melting pot of what clearly appears to be several distinct subcultures of inmates here at Bastrop FSC. It would take too long for my short attention span to describe all, so let’s start with the surprising large segment that I’ll refer to as The Biblicists.
Biblicists can usually be found anywhere reading their Bibles. With them might be as many as three highlighters. Their time spent “in the Word” would put a seminarian to shame. (I am assuming that seminarians still read the Bible often which is probably fallacious as we all know they are currently reading Brene Brown.)
Should I encounter a Biblicist and in the unlikely event make eye contact, I might say, “How’s it going?” To which he will reply, “Forgiven, blessed and highly favored.” To which…I got nothing. I simply awkwardly check my shoes and slowly walk away. Now one might assume this Bible reading serves as a road map leading to a life changing spirit of love and grace. The answer lies in the Parable of the Foolish Unclean Inmate who left his shampoo and soap in the shower. I will be using the NLT (North Louisiana Translation).
There was a foolish inmate who left his shampoo and soap in the shower and was the victim of bandits. The foolish unclean inmate was not worried though because he could go to the commissary the next day and purchase replacements. But alas the commissary was sold out of both items and then closed for the next two weeks for inventory. (This brings to mind another parable about the commissary that sells only 100 items, is out of stock on 50 of those, but still takes two weeks to complete an inventory, but the parabler digresses.)
So the foolish unclean inmate looks around, and behold, there comes along the head Biblicist holding not a Bible, but a bottle of shampoo. When the head Biblicist arrives at his locker, the unclean inmate waits an appropriate period of time and discreetly asks the Biblicist if he can borrow some shampoo, knowing that he could use it for soap too.
The Biblicist kindly replies, “I don’t have any shampoo.”
So the foolish inmate, still unclean, turns to a member of a second subculture, The Entrepreneur, who is passing by. Now this particular Entrepreneur’s favorite saying is…well, I’m not sure any of his sayings are repeatable, but the inmate is desperately unclean so he makes the same request that he had made to Biblicist.
The Entrepreneur replies, “Sure, you need some soap, too?”
The inmate rejoices and gladly offers to repay the Entrepreneur if/when the commissary reopens, but the Entrepreneur refuses repayment.
Now which of these would you say was a neighbor to the foolish unclean inmate?
As this is a true story and I’m the foolish inmate, I guess it can’t be a real parable, but it is unfortunately indicative of the Biblicist Subculture.
More about the second subculture, The Entrepreneurs, next time.