31 Dec 05

The Final Visit: Parents and Mothers Against Arpaio

“What’s the strip-search like here?” Mum asked.
“Same as usual, but they search the foreskin,” I said.
“Bloody hell! That’s a bit rum isn’t it? What are they looking for in there?” Dad said.
“Does it hurt?” Mum asked.
“No,” I laughed. “I just pull it back. It’s sensitive down there, but I have to agree with those who claim that the sensitivity causes you to enjoy sex more.”
“Perhaps we should get you circumcised then, to calm you down,” Mum said.
“Mum!” I said.
“Perhaps I should get a false one then,” Dad said with a hint of resentment towards Nan who’d had him snipped in infancy.
“You were almost circumcised once,” Mum said.
“But Dr. O’Hara – an Irish doctor from the old school - saved you,” Dad said.
“You had an infection, and your nan, an ex-nurse, was pushing to get you circumcised, but we took you to Dr. O’ Hara who turned your penis inside out, while you screamed blue murder,” Mum said matter-of–factly, whilst demonstrating with her hands what Dr. O’Hara had done.
“Ouch!” I said, “How old was I?”
“Ten months. The doctor said that what he did was better than circumcision.”
“We don’t know how it worked, but it did the trick.” Dad said.

This conversation came to a halt with the arrival of Pearl Wilson, one of the founders of Mothers Against Arpaio, and Linda Bentley, a reporter for the Sonoran News. It was an honour to meet these two humanitarians.

Pearl mentioned how she and fellow MAA founder, Linda Saville, had attended an Arpaio speaking function. Arpaio was boasting about his abilty to solve murders when Linda Saville asked him about his inability to solve murders at his jails. Arpaio responded that there were no murders at his jails, so Pearl stood up and pointed out that her son had been murdered in Arpaio’s Tent City. Unable to dispute this, Arpaio slandered Pearl, and continued his spiel. Pearl Wilson is one of the strongest women I have ever met, and it is truly hard to imagine the burden of pain she has bravely shouldered since losing her son Philip.

The pleasant company prevented Mum from getting too upset when the visit ended. Tears welled but didn’t stream down her face. What, I thought, have my mistakes put my parents through? Long hugs and short kisses filled the final moments with those whom I love the most.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood

Jon’s book wishlist he is allowed used or new books as long as they are sent direct from publishers such as Amazon.


Anonymous said...

I so enjoy reading Jon's writing..

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Naomi, I have read the story your sister has posted in Cosmopolitan and found it quite interesting.
All I can say to you mate is fair play. You are a strong person. I can't believe you still find time and strength to take the piss out of your situation. Thanks to you and your family, news is getting around of how horrible you guys are treated in jails. Yes you guys have obviously done something wrong (if not you wouldn't be there) but you are still a person, and for that reason you have rights, and these dicks (excuse my french) are clearly violating them.
This e-mail probably won't mean anything to you. I dont't even know you, but I really do feel for you and your family!
You are all doing a fab job, people really do need to know whats happening behing closed doors.
Keep up the hard work :) never stop smiling or lose that sense of humour and stay strong.
God bless you and your family!
Lots of love

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading your story in a magazine, I wanted to say to you how really brave I think you are, it must be so so hard going through what you have to endure each day! I think you must have an amazing personality to take it on the way you have and I just wanted to wish you all the luck in the world for when you do make it back to blighty!
Best regards

Chris Hawthorne said...


All joking aside, this last piece was quite touching (except the foreskin part, that's just unpleasant) and my heart goes out to both you and your family.

P.S, Is it possible for me to send you a food parcel? And if so, where to?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind offer Chris, but food parcels cannot be sent as smuggled items (such as files) could be hidden inside.
Inmates can only receive letters, books and cassette tapes (direct from the suppliers such as Amazon).
Jon's parents

Anonymous said...

hi jon and family, i sent you some books by a great brit author, china mieville. he's a socialist with strong political ties, but the books i hope get through. they came from amazon directly! you can let me know at hannahjs (at) babel.serve.com -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

How often are Jon's booklists updated??

Anonymous said...

Every few days or so Christine. When a book is sent it is automatically taken off the list. We add more books as the list reduces.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon
Hope all is well with you - don't normally do this stuff (write unless if its work or response to something ) But I'l make an exception as your blog, is one of those many escapes from sometimes mundane work life especially Fridays. For me reading your blog strikes me as something out of a Hollywood drama series except yours is for real and I feel for you. Anyway glad you found a way of keeping occupied.
Anyway you keep healthy, take it easy and keep up the good work

Deborah said...

Hi John and family. I read your story in Cosmopolitan also and was moved to get in touch. Reading your blog kind of puts things into perspective for me, i thought I had big problems and often find getting through life a struggle (am 34) as I do have some personal issues like anxiety. Looking at how you are living, the conditions etc makes me feel like such a coward, ishould be grateful for what i have and what i experience and grateful for being FREE. John you are so inspirational, it amazes me how you stay POSITIVE and maintain your sense of humour. you truly are an amazing person, and so are your parents/family. Even writing this message will spur me on for the rest of the day, i feel uplifted, thank you for that. I will continue to enjoy and laugh at your writing, it's BRILL! I will be thinking about you and wishing you safety and good health. "Live long and prosper" XX Debbie (North England)