Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chancing It

Bernie was a strange man, at least in my eyes. Originating from a prosperous family background, he had killed his girlfriend and was serving Life.

His essential non-criminality was always evident, in that he refused to adhere to the strict divide between staff and prisoners. This always disturbed me slightly; it was as if he was insisting that he was somehow different, better, than the rest of us.

Bernie was a model prisoner. He smiled at staff, did exactly as he was told... it made me sick! But even his patience with the stupidity that is the prison system had limits. He had one avenue of expression.

We had a very fat, mean-spirited bastard of a Principle Officer. This PO was Bernie's release valve. Whenever Bernie walked out of his cell and saw the PO, he let out a fearsome roar, "YOU FAT BASTARD!"

This should have been a very risky proposition, worth a week or two in solitary. But Bernie had a safety-net. In a local prison with long wings, the odds were that there was always some other porky within sight. "Didn't mean you Guv, was talking to him over there..."

We were standing outside his cell one afternoon, just passing time, when the PO waddled into view. Bernie instantly reacted. "YOU FAT BASTARD!".

A fraction of a second later, Bernie, myself and the PO all realised that there was not another solitary soul in sight. Not one. As the PO swiftly bore down on Bernie, I shuffled myself out of harms way...

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