My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 95

You know you have a shitty prison nickname when 3 dudes in the unit go by the same name.  “Flacco.”  For those who don’t speak Spanish, that means “skinny”…and one of these inmates is actually fat.  Another “Flacco” seems appropriately labeled…and an argument could be made for the third “Flacco”, although I find it kind of distracting that he actually shares a cube with the previous one.  There must be some kind of prison law against that.  What’s the point of even having a prison name if it’s not unique, let alone the same name as your bunky??  Someone yells “Flacco” and no less than 3 dudes turn their heads.  Don’t even get me started on “Killer” — there’s TWO of them.

I also take exception to inmates who anoint themselves with their own flattering prison name, e.g., the Napoleonic white dude from Minnesotawho goes by “Mad Dog.”  Personally, I’m thinking about going by “…And You Shall Know Me By the Trail of the Dead.”  Either that or “Bandito.”

Speaking of “Mad Dog,” he and this other guy were in the bathroom the other day and this dude keeps referring to himself by his prison name.  “Mad Dog” says to him, “You sure love the third person”…to which, the guy replies, “Watchoo talkin’ ’bout ‘Mad Dog’?  There ain’t no third person in here…it’s just you and me.”

Apparently, there’s some big taboo against calling people here by their proper, given birth name…the name with which they have been convicted…as if they refuse to be shackled by the identity that the Feds have “forced” upon them.  It’s akin to those who take exception to their “slave names” and shed them to be replaced with an “X.”

As for me, most people refer to me either by my first or last name.  One guy calls me “David Seville” (anyone, anyone?), but that hasn’t caught on yet.  And that’s probably a good thing, since it doesn’t exactly strike fear in one’s heart.


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