Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mad Dogs and Prisoners

The Burma Railway, the goldmines of Kolyma, the Volga Canal...
the bones of prisoners litter these monuments to our labours.

This prisons contribution to the pantheon of sweat and toil is a fish-pond, giant chess set and a boules pit. Great works will not be written to carry the tale of this effort down the ages. Which is a slight pity because it has afforded me the best (legal) entertainment to be had in prison - free, and involving watching other people work.

To set the scene. Our yard is a bare asphalt square, three wings and the Admin block overshadowing the whole space. It is claustrophobic and empty and yet the only open space within the prison.

And so a Grand Plan was unleashed, funded by various charities (ya, boo, sucks Taxpayers Alliance!). Railway sleepers, soil, sand and plants all came together in our yard. Not speedily, but in due course after many tea breaks and lots of discussion.

The final result is becoming clear today, as the pond is filled and plants are returned to the soil. One large pond, fish, for the use of. There has been much discussion as to quite what type of fish are to be sourced. Given the broad appetites of sections of my peers at Shepton, the consensus is that the only safe species is one that cannot be either fried or fucked.


  1. All right, someone has to suggest it and I got here first...

    This one?


    Unless you have a sushi grand master in there with you, you're probably safe on both fronts.

  2. Nice idea Wigarse, the possibility of death should stop the inmates from eating the fish but will it actually stop them fucking them? Is it deadly to fuck a puffer fish? I've no idea.

    My grandfather worked on the Burma Railway, an unfortunate side effect of being caught by the Japanese somewhere near the beginning of the war. He's never ever talked about it to any of the family so we've no idea what went on.