Sunday, October 12, 2008

An economical vehicle

Let's digress away from today. Today was just a goat-rope and I really don't want to discuss it. Let's talk instead about cars. Not Fords or Chevys or Lexus or even BMW's. Let's talk Cadillacs. In my house, as you may know by now, the offenders are locked in their cells pretty much 24-7. But still they manage to get things from one cell to another. Sometimes one of the dorm workers will move things from cell to cell without us seeing, but they know they will get locked up for that so they try really hard not to get caught. But when there's nobody around to move the things for them, they make cadillacs. All a cadillac consists of is string and a weight. Half a bar of state soap is usually good and half a bar of state soap inside an empty toothpaste tube is even better. Tie a string to it (threads removed from the mattress or a sheet or a pair of boxers, whatever) and there you go! Let's say that you have two stamps (stickers) and your buddy five cells down has a handrolled cigarette (roll) that you really want. What you do is hang on to one end of the string and shoot the weighted end (the "car") out under your cell door and towards your buddies cell. If you are really good, you can get it all the way down in front of his door and all he has to do is reach under the door with his fingers and pull it in. If you suck at it, like so many of them do, then he has to shoot his cadillac out under his door and try to capture your string and pull it in. Now of course, you have already made the deal with your buddy by screaming through the door or the window in that secret inmate code: "Hey Red! I got two stickers for a roll! I'm gonna shoot my car down! Hook me up!" and you think that speaking in the secret code nobody is going to have the slightest clue what you are talking about. Sometimes we just listen to the and figure out who has tobacco in their cell and then go in and take it away from them. Sometimes it's like shooting fish in a barrel and we don't have the heart. SO anyway, your buddy ties his roll and his string onto your cadillac and screams through the door "Pull!". You pull the string into your cell and get your cigarette and put the two stamps on his car and scream back "Pull!" and he pulls in his stamps and everybody is happy. And it's not just for cigarettes or stamps, either. I've seen notes (kites), pictures (flix), lighters (flintstones), chicken legs, magazines, sandwiches and even an extra pair of socks travel this way. ANd if you're really good, you can build a ramp out of a paperback book or the cardboard off the back of a notepad and get your car over the lip on the top walk and down to the bottom or even all the way across the wing. One time we had a new guy fresh out of the academy in the house and he had never seen anyone cadillacing and wanted a good view. So I went out into B-wing and taped one of my store-bought cigarettes (a tailor) to the floor in the middle of the wing. Every single inmate who had string was trying to get that cigarette. It looked like spiderman had a sneezing fit in there. ANd of course they were all getting tangled up in each other and cursing and screaming at each other to get out of the way. SOmebody finally managed to get it, but I was laughing way too hard to see who it was.


  1. That's one sweet caddy!

    dad has a 47 convertible that he restored when i was a teenager. he still has it.