My Daily Journal in Federal Prison

Day 132

It’s tough being a Chicago Bears fan on Sunday when their games are out of market.  At least I don’t have to watch them lose.


How appropriate is it that the only true wildlife that I have seen on the compound, other than birds, has been a skunk — both for its black-and-white stripes as well as its odious stature as an outcast.  On Sunday mornings, the prison’s leisure library opens at 6:15 am and I typically like to be one of the first through the doors in order to catch up on the previous week’s magazines and newspapers.  As it is now getting late in the season, the sky is still turned to night at that hour and the nocturnal creatures are still out and at it.  I had actually heard from other inmates about whole families of these stinky guys crossing the compound and I have often sniffed their presence, but this was the first time that I witnessed one with my own two eyes.  (To be frank, this may have been the first time I have seen a skunk, anywhere, in person.)

As I was about halfway across the compound, something seemed to be moving along the periphery of my vision in the middle of the expansive lawn — which is actually off limits to the inmates.  I turned my head to get a much better view and amidst all that green I saw what looked like the top of Ron Wood’s head (if Ron Wood had a white stripe down the middle of his head) ambling across the field, at a rather leisurely and perfect pace for a Sunday morning.  With only my recollections of that French skunk from the Warner Brothers‘ cartoons as my sole frame of reference, the most immediate reaction that came to my lips was, “Aw, how cute!”  Would the same be said of one of us inmates, if spotted by a civilian, crossing their backyard?


The Death of Pancakes.  Say it ain’t so, Warden.

I was never much of a flapjack fan prior to being locked up — I guess I was mostly indifferent since I preferred savory to sweet breakfasts and on “the Streets” there is, of course, many options to choose from a brunch menu, especially when living in a major urban area.  In prison, you’re typically grateful when your chosen fate is, as my mother-in-law would say, “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick”…and Sunday pancake breakfasts are much better than that!

Each tray comes complete with a stack of 4 or 5 freshly made hot cakes, swimming in syrup, and served along sidecars of turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and a banana.  (There is also self-serve oatmeal, if one should so desire.)  Honestly, this is one of those meals worth trying to go through the line a second time and risk the admonition of a Chow Hall cop.

Unfortunately, for some reason, the much beloved pancakes have failed to make the Fall Menu rotation and today’s serving was likely the last time we’ll encounter this pleasure mound for the foreseeable future.  I have much less to despair over the loss of two other meals from the menu, both of which are actually LESS preferable than a sharp poke in the eye — that being liver & onions…and corned beef; the liver & onions for the obvious reasons (funny, since I like pate) and while I’m normally a fan of well-prepared corned beef, I am not a fan of the prison variety which typically comes gray and with the consistency of an old shoe.


Breakfast: Bran Flakes, Cinnamon Spice Cake,Orange, 2 Cartons of Skim Milk

Lunch:  Pancakes w/Syrup,TurkeySausage, Scrambled Eggs, Banana, 2 Cartons of Skim Milk

Dinner: Chicken Fried Rice (don’t even get me started)


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