No Prison Can Hold Me, As Long As I Have My Imagination

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Vol 39 Issue 40

Deep Down, Woman Knows She's Watching Entire Trading Spaces Marathon

WINNSBORO, LA—On some level, college professor Lynnda Dale, 48, knows she'll watch this Saturday's entire 12-episode Trading Spaces marathon, Dale almost acknowledged Monday. "Hey, I sorta like that stupid show," said Dale, when she spotted the row of listings for the TLC home-makeover series. "I've got a lot to do, so I'll just watch one episode. But on the off chance that I get sucked in, I can do those lesson plans the next day." Dale said that if she does tune in to the marathon, she won't pay close attention to the show, but will only keep it on for background noise as she does housework.

God's Gift To Women Returned

TUCSON, AZ—Moments after unsuccessfully propositioning all of the female patrons at the Kon Tiki Lounge, God's gift to women, 31-year-old Patrick Roland, was returned to his maker Monday night. "That Pat guy was cute, but he sure was pushy," said Debbie Werner, a fellow Lounge patron. "He kept trying to buy me Cosmos, but I told him to buzz off. A few minutes later, he stumbled out the door and got run over by a bus." Werner said she hopes that next time God's feeling generous, He gives women something more useful, like money.

79-Year-Old Still Saving For Future

OLATHE, KS—Frances Buntz, 79, continues to work diligently as a file clerk at Kansas State Insurance and save any extra money she can, Buntz said Monday. "When my husband had a stroke eight years ago, all of our savings went to bills," said Buntz, momentarily resting her weight on her cane. "Since then, I've been trying to build up a little nest egg." Buntz said she hopes to someday invest in a nice little place to settle down, or some medicine.

MacArthur Genius Grant Goes Right Up Recipient's Nose

ALBANY, NY—According to friends, the $500,000, five-year, no-strings-attached MacArthur Fellowship awarded to Jim Yong Kim earlier this month went right up the 43-year-old scientist's nose. "Kim's efforts to eradicate drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Russian prisons and Peruvian ghettos amazed everyone—as did his appetite for top-grade cocaine," Marisa Amir said Monday. "As soon as that first check arrived, Kim was on the phone with his dealer, and two hours later, he was in a hot tub full of strippers." His first installment of money gone, the scientist then returned to the task of developing a whole-cell cholera toxin recombinant B subunit vaccine.

Bush Disappointed To Learn Chinese Foreign Minister Doesn't Know Karate

WASHINGTON, DC—While he still plans to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, President Bush was disappointed to learn that the dignitary does not know karate, White House adviser Karl Rove told reporters Tuesday. "I told George that karate is an ancient martial art of Japan, not China," Rove said. "I told him that in China, many practice kung fu—but I recommended that he stick to the more vital issue of relations with Taiwan and North Korea." In spite of Rove's suggestion, Bush plans to ask Zhaoxing to "do some of that Jackie Chan action."

Lieberman Pledges To Gloss Over The Boring Issues

HARTFORD, CT—Eager to distinguish himself in the nine-member field of Democratic candidates, presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) pledged Monday to "gloss over any and all issues boring to Americans today."
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

No Prison Can Hold Me, As Long As I Have My Imagination

Why, hello there! Come and have a seat next to me on the sand and gaze out over the ocean at the beautiful sunset. Listen to the caw of the seagulls! Hear the lapping of the waves against the dock! Take your shoes off, if you like. What's that you say? I'm sitting on my bunk at the Pelican Bay Correctional Facility? I'm sorry, but inmate #454336 doesn't care to limit himself to sitting inside these four walls. You see, while I'm doing 60 years to life for stabbing three elderly women to death, I can go anywhere my imagination takes me!

A maximum-security correctional facility drains all of the color and beauty from some inmates' lives, leaving them nothing but cold cement and gray steel. That's not the case for me! In the blink of my mind's eye, I can transport myself to a place where the grass is green and the air smells like fresh daisies. I may be behind bars, but no prison can hold me, as long as I have my creativity. It's easy! I can show you how!

When I'm lying in my bunk after lights-out, trying to escape the hum of hundreds of bodies in close proximity, I just shut my eyes and concentrate. I challenge myself to explore the farthest corners of my mind. I can eat my mom's delicious roast beef, or hang out with my friends in front of the White Hen Pantry, or befriend a little spotted stray dog by the stream behind my childhood home. Other prisoners toss and turn restlessly in their bunks, but my nights are long, magical journeys interrupted only by the occasional P.A. announcement or cell check.

Prison is designed to break a man's spirit and fill him with remorse for the horrible crimes he committed. But whoever designed the modern correctional facility failed to take a prisoner's capacity to daydream into account. When I'm in the mess line, waiting to get my daily slop, I like to pretend that I'm waiting to get into a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. When I have to edge past a group of screws giving some poor sap a beat-down, I pretend that I'm running in an open field, my stray-dog friend nipping at my heels. Sure, prison is rough. But with a little creativity, I don't have a hard time doing hard time.

Here on the inside, I don't have a crew. My imagination is my best friend. A lot of guys pass the time lifting weights, playing dominoes, or sharing the mash Shanta makes in his cell. I don't need any of that. I just hop a train to fantasyland. I'm glad most of the prisoners steer clear of me. It leaves me with more time to brainstorm exciting new adventures. I can take a trip to any corner of the globe. I can go to the jungles of Africa, or I can build myself an igloo in the North Pole. I can even travel back in time to that sunny summer day at the stream, when I drowned the stray dog for barking too much.

I'm not very sociable. Anyway, nobody in prison respects a guy who raped and murdered three helpless old women. If my imagination didn't allow me to endlessly revisit those crimes, I think I would go crazy in here. But luckily, in my brain, I burn that bloody flannel shirt so the police can't trace my crimes back to me. It's thoughts like these that get me through the rough spots.

It saddens me the way the other prisoners use their imaginations. They only seem to want to fantasize about having sex. But I use my imagination for all sorts of things. For me, the only rule is that there are no rules! Where will I go today? Who will I meet? Where will I end up? Well, more often than not, I imagine that I've stumbled on a building filled with elderly women, ones who don't lock their doors. The phone lines are down, due to some sort of massive, city-wide disturbance, and I find, resting in the street, a hunting knife. It's just lying there on the sidewalk, and there's some rope hanging on the door handle, the door handle to the building, the building which is filled with elderly women. The women's screams are useless, because the police are nowhere to be found.

Sometimes, 60 years seems like an awfully long time, but I'm not worried. Thanks to my imagination, I can blot out all the horrors of life on the inside. In fact, if you're done talking to me, I'll be free in a matter of seconds.

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