Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa's Visit

Some Christmases ago we were out in the exercise yard, a fenced compound that abutted the perimeter wall. Two hundred bored, cold men huddled in groups or trudging around anti-clockwise.

Then Santa appeared. An ex-prisoner, jailed for refusing to pay his poll tax and released months earlier, appeared at the top of the perimeter wall dressed in a Santa costume, and began to throw bags of chocolates and tobacco into the yard.

As we outnumbered the screws by 20 to 1, no effort was made to remove these goodies from us. They settled for frisking us as we left the yard to check we were free of weapons, leaving us to keep our pockets stuffed with treats.

A merry Christmas was had by all.

Yo ho ho!