Home > Bitching, Jail > The Time I Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love Jail

The Time I Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love Jail

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments


No, this is not my story. This comes from a friend who recently stumbled into some legal trouble in Miami. He ended up spending a night in jail and wanted to share the lessons he learned while there.

Dear Upstanding Angry Penguins Reader,

Jail sucks and you suck for putting yourself in that position. In case you find yourself there though, here’s some advice on how to get through the experience with no assaults and with, at least, some comfort:

  1. They check to see if you want to commit suicide…say no.
  2. You have a photo taken…I smiled.  I figured I didn’t want a Mel Gibson or James Brown look.  It hasn’t come back to bite me yet.  I endorse smiling.
  3. There are always people who are really fucked, which makes your mediocre fucked not seem so bad.
  4. Sit next to a guy with no English language capability.  They usually won’t mess with you.
  5. Appreciate what’s on television. After all, when was the last time you saw Rambo: First Blood II in its entirety?
  6. Don’t eat all your food; instead, share it with others.  First, the food is total crap.  Second, if you didn’t commit a violent felony, you’ll probably get out soon, and it’s better to be the grand sharer of jail than the arrogant bastard hoarding his porridge.
  7. Always wear a coat if you plan to commit a crime. I learned this from a man who was wearing a jacket on what was about a 90 degree day in Miami. When asked why he was wearing a coat, he said, “You always wear a coat. If you gon’ beat yo bitch, wear a coat. If you gon’ sell some crack, wear a coat.” The idea being that it’s cold in jail, so it’s better to be prepared. (No one asked why he just didn’t prepare by not committing a crime in the first place.)
  8. When you answer why you’re there, which everyone asks, you’ll quickly be told that it’s the man’s fault that you’re there. Did you make a mistake?  “Noooooo!” your new cellmates will say. It’s the system.  It’s the City.  It’s America.  It’s that girl who dumped you right before Senior Prom!
  9. The self-actualization phase from a night in jail is very short. When you realize that much worse people have no sense of self-responsibility or self-control, it quickly reminds you that you’re not such a bad person after all.
  10. In your first night in jail, you’ll quickly realize that you’re the only first-timer. You’ll learn that the the 19-year-old in there has been locked up 5 times before. Yikes! Or that there’s a lawyer there who failed to appear at his own bail hearing!
  11. Most importantly, hope that no one has to take a dump. The toilet is open and in front of everyone, which is quite awkward and smelly.
  12. A guy with two prior felony offenses was busted a third time for something, and he asked anyone who would listen if he was screwed. The great thing about jail is that you don’t really have to lie. You just say, “Yeah, yeah, you’re fucked. You got extra porridge?”
  13. The most humbling part of the process is when they go through your belongings, like in Austin Powers when they kept saying, “One Swiss-Made penis enlarger.” Here, it’s like:
    (1) Capital One Venture Rewards Card (which you were previously quite proud of),
    (1) Condom (yes, yes, you’re a lame, but prepared person),
    (1) Bed, Bath and Beyond Gift Card (thanks, Grandma), and finally
    3 dollars and 17 cents in cash
  14. Jail likes new people because they know the time. The last moment you actually were aware of the time was when you were a free person. That’s also the last moment you saw daylight.
  15. Finally, unlike the HBO show Oz, I saw no penises. I felt cheated.
Categories: Bitching, Jail
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