Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5'll get ya 10

I mean it when I say I just don't seem to understand life these days.

Remember when you were a little kid and you did something wrong?  I certainly do.  And my punishment was usually being sent to my room, which contained none of the following: TV, stereo, DVD player, PC, tablet, video game system or entertainment of any sort, save books and a checker board, which was not much fun alone.

Later on, when granted parole, I would enjoy the TV more than ever, cranking the Dumont on to every prison movie I could find.  "Angels With Dirty Faces" was a perennial favorite, bringing together the toughness of Humphrey Bogart, Father Pat O'Brien, and screen beloveds The Dead End Kids.

In that and many other movies that I watched in grainy black and white, prisoners filed into dinner silently (until one of them tossed a tin plate of gruel skyward, crying, "I ain't eating this slop!" and being set upon by two dozen uniformed bulls swinging billy clubs and clobbering him into submission and 30 days in "the hole") and then slunk back to their cells, where they were allowed to read letters from their sweethearts and stare at the ceiling until "lights out."
In baggy jeans and thin chambray shirts with numbers stenciled over the pocket, they served out their days, weeks, months and years as calendar pages whizzed by.

I believe that seeing this type of movie was a deterrent to my generation.  We didn't want to wind up in some big Ironbar Hilton, playing mournful music on the harmonica while the days dragged on.

"Hi! What's your number?"
Funny, then, that a guy whose grandfather and father played plenty of cops and robbers in movies would wind up in the calaboose, but that's where Cameron Douglas is getting his mail these days.  The son of Michael, the grandson of Kirk, the stepson of Catherine Zeta-Jones (she is 9 years his senior) is in the tank in New York, doing a ten-year bid on a drug distribution charge, making a third conviction for narcotics violations.

Young Douglas was only a short time into the sentence when he and a girlfriend came up with a real smart idea.  She brought him some heroin in the battery compartment of an electric toothbrush.  Not easily fooled, the police put her in jail as well.  And how is he to follow a conscientious program of oral hygiene by using a manual toothbrush...or even more sad, a non-electric electric toothbrush?
Dead End Kids

But here's why Cameron is in the news today.  He recently had a fellow prisoner make a wishbone of his femur and his finger, breaking both bones, and leading to young Mr Douglas dropping out of the prison flag football league, what with the word being out that he was a rat and naming names.

Sometimes, words just don't go together.  "Healthy McDonald's Meal," "President-Elect Mitt Romney," and "Prison Flag Football League" are but three examples of word groupings that make no sense.

Hello, penitentiaries?  How about a little less flag football and a little more penitence, whaddya say? I can't imagine The Dead End Kids playing flag football out in The Yard at Sing Sing.

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