© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

Ruh Roh

April 3, 2016

Just when I thought I was on a bit of sound footing here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, I completely forgot about that elusive rug that could be yanked from under my feet. On Tuesday, March 29th, I was on my way to see if I could get into the barber shop at 1:30 pm, to start my second job as hair stylist to the criminal elite. The Corrections Officer and Counselor stopped me and said they wanted to talk to me. Since it's prison and my primary goal was to never have a conversation with either of them unless it was an absolute last resort, my expectations of what was about to happen were extremely low. Once the meeting began, I realized that I was being way too optimistic.

 

They started by asking me if I charged to cut hair in the barbershop. That's in itself a trick question as EVERYONE knows that haircuts are free, but that those receiving the haircuts often purchase commissary items as a love offering for the poor barber. So that was my answer. Since I'm here for fraud, why not just tell them the truth? So that's what I did.

 

Apparently that was not the right answer. As I was told that practice was "extortion". Well, I'm a convicted felon and I know what extortion is and that's not it. I remember thinking, "Wouldn't extortion be if I threatened to give you a bad haircut like you both have, if you didn't pay me?" Sometimes I'm fortunate to not say what I'm thinking.

 

The meeting went downhill from there. I was told that I could no longer cut hair and that I couldn't even go into the barber shop except to get a haircut. Like I was going to sneak in there and cut hair for free? Who would do that? I figured that was the end of the story, until the next day when I was listed on the work change sheet to report to Maintenance II which is responsible for landscaping and exterior beautification, aka mowing and weed-eating. When I reported, I realized that's where they send all the smartass white boys. I wondered where they were all day, and now I know. How odd that I would be assigned with that group. Go figure.

 

It was a setup anyway, as they had already searched my locker and found my haircutting list in my notebook with apparently some "incriminating" evidence. I cared not, as I had already told them the truth. So their detective work was met with a smile and an eye roll. Oh, how the truth can set you free, even here. Truth is, they wanted me out of the barbershop. I'm not sure why and don't really care.

 

As the newest smartass white boy at Maintenance II, my mind wandered back to my senior year in high school when I managed to never report for PE the entire year. I was never once missed by Coach Murphy and made straight A's. Just for record, I'm not going to attempt that again.

 

While I know that "reassigning" me to Maintenance II was supposed to be punishment, it will be a great place for me to work. They have "tools", even woodworking equipment. If my buddies at the Habitat for Humanity cabinet shop are reading this, I know they are saying, "OH NO!!"

 

In the sage wisdom of my institutionalized bunkie, "It can't be Charlie's way, right away. At least not today." It may be a camp, but it's still run by the Bureau of Prisons and there are traps everywhere based on lies. I'll write more on that later. But in the meantime, I have to be more careful.

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