I'VE BEEN SERVED

My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 94

SCABIES.  What’s next…Scurvy?  Leprosy?  The Plague?  Just after lunch today, an announcement came over the intercom alerting all inmates from Bravo Unit (that’s me) to return back to their housing.  Keep in mind, there are roughly 2,000 inmates on this compound divided up between 6 units.  And ours was the only one asked to return.  Something ominous was going down and word quickly spread that there was a scabies outbreak in my home (sweet home) and we had to undergo an emergency inspection/quarantine by the medical team.  It was nice leaving Unicor after only working a few hours, but I’d rather be permitted to be lazy for a less nefarious reason.  This was the more shameful version of a “Snow Day.”

A seemingly infinite stretch of inmates streamed up and over the horizon like a squad of roaches marching back to their hotel.  Some joker behind me made up a song for the occasion that went something like “we’ve caught us scaaaaabies, we’ve caught us scaaaaabies.”

Back in the Unit, it looked like something out of a Michael Crichton novel — nurses in full-on paper body suits, trash bags full of infected clothing, sheets stripped and lockers removed from the offending cubes, and medics spritzing pesticide randomly throughout the Unit from a pump handle and hose apparatus.

Once everyone was accounted for, the head nurse requested that we all strip down to our drawers and to stay put until the nurses checked us out.  She mentioned that they might ask us to drop our skivvies but that probably wouldn’t be necessary.  Well, wouldn’t you know it but, for better or worse, a female nurse visits my cube and singles me out for the more “thorough” inspection.  She has me lower my drawers and, I shit you not, requests that I “move my JUNK around.”  Is that the scientific term?  I’m guessing that her request was more for her own amusement than for medical purposes.  As for her coup de grace, she had me do a 180 so she could also check out my bum.

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