Prison Pete

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
  Top ten words used in prison.
I am getting better at this touch-typing and I have you to thank for introducing me to the Dvorak keyboard.

The one skill I know has gone straight to hell is my ability to communicate verbally with other intelligent life forms. The problem is that the availability of intelligent life forms is slim to none, and the maximum number of words used in a conversation here at Club Fed is about ten.

You might ask how this is possible.

Well, it is doable based on the fact that several key words or phrases have so many definitions that they eliminate the need to have an extensive vocabulary.

One item of proof of this is how one of the inmates I work with in the Hobbycraft area is still trying to get his GED. Before they give you the actual test, they have a multi-part practice test. The idea is if you score above a certain level on each part, then you are likely to pass the GED.

Well, this person has been trying for several years to pass the test and has taken the practice test several times. He almost had it this last time, but his vocabulary score went down.

True, it is not a very scientific study, but I also had the occasion to speak to the warden this past week and found myself at a loss for the proper multi-syllable words to get my point across.

So you might ask, what are the words most used?

Yeah, you guessed some of them.

I used to say that if they had a satellite photo of this area, where the intelligence of any given area would be shown on a grey scale with the higher the intelligence the lighter the area, well this area would be a black hole to be sure.

If on the other hand you were to use the same type of shading based on the frequency of certain words, and if those words were mother-fucker, nigger, big man, homeboy, holler at you, and joint, well this area would be white as snow.

(FYI the word "nigger" is unique in that the blacks can say this out loud but the whites only use it amongst themselves. Also, nigger is not included it the politically correct spell checker on the Wheelwriter.)

The word mother-fucker has so many different meanings (and yes, as George Carlin would say, it is a compound word) they are impossible to list. It is not even consistently positive or negative: something can be as hard as a mother-fucker to do, cool as a mother-fucker, or my all time favorite, one bad mother-fucker. The last one is applicable to all things, living and dead, good or evil, hard or easy, etc.

Another good example was the conversation I heard on the way down to Rec this evening, as one inmate said something to the effect of "that was a valuable mother-fucker to learn from".

Well, enough of this rant.
Hey, sorry to hear that you are locked up. Blogging is my escape too... Just to get away from the stresses of life... I like the way you write, I'll be visiting your blog again soon. If this comment posts the link to my blog, you can see a pic of me on there and all my less interesting ramblings.
If nothing else, congratulations on post 100.
Hi! Got the link to your "Prison Pete blog" on Blogger's main control panel page. I've read all your blog entries in the past 2 hours, though I should have been studying ...

Reading your blog has been a spooky but intriguing experience at the same time. Thanks for the words, and The Editor for posting them.
good blogging, Pete. Your rants are always interesting, to say the least
Your blog has been interesting to read and I am sorry to hear that you are locked up. But it is good that you are doing some thing positive with your spare time.
I've been reading your blog & I want to encourage you to keep on writing. I hope it provides some sort of catharsis. Keep your cool, time is fast, continue studying the paino & I'll be keeping in touch!!
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