22 July 06

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Copyright S.P. Attwood 2005-2006
20 July 06

Jealous George

“I got to hug and kiss a young woman at visitation, George,” I said.
“But governor, governor, what about me?” George said. “Have you traded me in for a little floozy?”
“She is in no way, shape or form a floozy. She’s an intellectual force to be reckoned with.”
“Then let her come and do your fuckin’ laundry, tidy up your room, wipe your royal arse, and count your scrotal moles!”
“What’s that got to do with anything? Aren’t you happy that I’ve had some female company?”
“You’ve got female company: Xena and Mochalicious! What’s wrong with them?”
“There’s nothing wrong with them except the fact that they have penises.”
“But neither of them want their penises, so, it’s like not having one.”
“It’s not the same, George.”
“So that’s why you spent thirty minutes in the shower when you came back from visitation!”
“Actually, I didn’t shower until the next day.”
“Then during lockdown you whacked your tallywacker. I bet you went to town on it, you little perv.”
“It wasn’t about that.”
“Puh-leeze! I bet you got a boner out their.”
“I must admit when she leaned towards the vending machine, I couldn’t help but admire – .”
“Huh! That musta pumped up your Prince Harry. What would the Queen Mum think if she knew you were running around visitation with a trouser tent pitched? She’d cut off your monthly stipend and British Consulate privileges.”
“The visit wasn’t about sex, George. Royo Girl is really intelligent, and wonderful to talk to.”
“If she’s such a good conversationalist, why were you gawking at her ass?”
“’Cause I’m only human, and she’s an attractive woman.”
“You make me sick! What kind of a woman likes pale, bald-headed, persnickety Englishmen?”
“I’m hurt, George. I thought you’d be happy for me, but instead you’re trying to put my good day down.”
“I wish you all the happiness in the world, but I don’t wanna be hearing about her all the time, or to find you staring into space, daydreaming about her ass, getting boners, pitching trouser tents.”
“I’ll try not to. It’s hard not thinking about her though. I certainly won’t bring her up around you again.”
"All kidding aside, I’m happy for you. It’s nice a person visited you who floats your boat. I would never stand in the way of the governor’s happiness.”

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
19th July 06

Frankie Spies Royo Girl

Click here for the previous Royo Girl post.

“Dog 11, you’ve gotta visit.”

It’s been eight days since I saw Royo Girl, I thought. Enough time to shake my infatuation. I can feel the excitement building again. But there’s no point in getting too excited when I’m stuck in here.

Walking to visitation, I was stopped by Frankie.
“Where do you think you’re goin’, Englandman?”
“Whattcha got crackalackin at visitation?”
“It’s kiss time again.”
“I thought I told you, I’ll dee-cide who you kiss and who you don’t kiss.”
“You’ve got it wrong, I’ll dee-cide who I kiss and who I don’t kiss!”
Frankie’s entourage laughed at my imitation of Frankie.
“I’ll tell you what, Englandman,” Frankie said. “I’m gonna do laps around the big field. If you guys walk Lovers' Lane, I’ll be able to scope her out, and then I can see if she has my approval.”
“I’ll dee-cide whose approval she needs or doesn’t need,” I said and walked away.

My heart leaped when I saw Royo Girl. We hugged, kissed, and sat down. While she busied my prefrontal cortex with intelligent conversation, I became so enchanted that she needn't have said a word. She could have sat there in silence and I still would have been the happiest person in the world.

Outdoors, Frankie and his crew, reconnoitering the visitation for Royo Girl, eventually spotted us holding hands on Lovers' Lane.
“I’m givin’ ya,” Frankie yelled, “a thumbs-up, Englandman. But I still wanna bathin’-suit shot…no…let’s make that a G-string shot. I’m also gonna need a letter from her askin’ for permission for any more kisses.”
“That’s Frankie,” I told Royo Girl. “But I can’t yell to him from visitation because I’ll get in trouble. I think he approves of you.”
Royo Girl laughed.
“Did Englandman tell you,” Frankie said, “we’ve been doin’ these tongue exercises together? I showed him how to kiss you behind the neck with my magic tongue. Ask him how Frankie tastes?”
“I worry about you and Frankie sometimes,” Royo Girl said.
“He’s bonkers. But he’s got a good heart,” I said.
Mmmm-mmmm-mmmmmm! Englandman knows what time it is!”
“What time it is!” Royo Girl frowned. “What does that mean?”
“That I’ve got it going on because I’m with you.”
“How funny,” Royo Girl said. “Why do I feel like I’m being paraded around prison?”
“I can’t deny there’s an element of that to Lovers' Lane. You don’t mind do you?”
“No. It just feels strange.”

“There’s Xena.” I pointed. “She’s the long-haired giant playing volleyball with tattoos all over her body.”
“Xena’s my favourite blog character,” Royo Girl said.
We eavesdropped on the volleyball players.
“Come on, Miss Priss,” Little Wood said to Xena, “hit the ball. Dontcha like playin’ with balls?”
“That’s fuckin’ queer stuff,” Xena said.
“You’re a fuckin’ queer,” someone yelled.
Xena yanked up his shorts and wiggled his hips, revealing his enormous penis (with a tattoo of a wasp on it) to the players. Xena yelled, “Queer this!”
“Are they the balls you practice on?” Little Wood said.
“Come to a cell with me,” Xena said, “and I’ll show ya how to hold balls. The only difference is mine are hot and sweaty.”
Royo Girl's hand was sweating, so I suggested we go indoors.

Our parting kiss was longer than the others. And more passionate. It left me hungry for her next visit.

The visit was fun, I thought, and I'm all excited again. So much for keeping cool. She’s so intelligent and charming and I feel so good around her. Why can't I feel like this all of the time? I'd better just make the most of it while it lasts.

Descriptions of Royo Girl were circulating on the yard. Some young homies approached me.
“That’s Big Pimpin right there.”
“A fine-ass ruca’s been comin’ to see him.” ( ruca is pronounced rookah.)
“Big Pimpin’s no joke, homey. You shoulda seen him mackin’ out with his ruca.”
“You’ve got it like that Big Pimpin?”
“I’m working on it,” I said.
“Englandman’s mine,” Frankie said, “and he knows he is.”
“I’ll dee-cide whose I am,” I said, “and its gonna be a ruca I get together with, not a guy.”

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood

18 July 06

Frankie Reacts to Royo Girl

Click here for Kissed Part 1.

“Englandman,” Frankie said, “I’ll dee-cide who you kiss and who you don’t kiss. This Royo Girl has to have my approval. I wanna see a picture of her in a swimsuit.”
“So you’re not jealous?” I asked.
“Why should I be? I’ve gotcha real close by. And it’s only a kiss.”
“Good to hear it.”
“I’m not a bad guy, Englandman. I’m a nice guy. I’m into open relationships. But you betta recognise: I’m always the man in the relationship. I like your reader’s idea.”
“Which one?”
“About practicin’ kissin with me. I’m down to practice, Englandman. I’m game. You know it ain't my first rodeo. I know how to do these things. I’m easy to please. Besides, homey, I’m gonna practice on the back of your neck while I poke you at the same time.”
“You only get to do that when you dream of Yum-Yum.”
“My friend just saw Yum-Yum back at county jail, and she’s lookin’ fine, dude.”
“Well, you stick with Yum-Yum, I’ll stick with Royo Girl.”
“Englandman, you know you’re gonna give it up one of these days.”
Frankie seems to be playing it too cool, I thought. I wonder what he’s up to.

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood

17th July 06

T-Bone V Ponytail (Part 1)

T-Bone stopped by and I asked him for another fight story.

“I had a problem,” T-Bone began, “with a biker dude named Ponytail 'cause a white chick was visitin’ me, and there was a lotta racial tension on the yard.”
“What did Ponytail look like?”
“He was 6 foot 6 and 310 pounds. He was doin’ steroids.
I was in the chow line, Ponytail bumped into me, and people thought I was weak 'cause I didn’t do anythin’. After chow, I hit the weight pile. I had 315 on the bench, rippin’ it, doin’ sets of 10. Ponytail came over to the black bench and started takin’ my weights. I said, ‘Hey man. I’m not finished with that yet.’ He said, ‘You are now, boy.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute. All that name callin’ ain’t necessary, man.’ Then Squeeze said, ‘Check this out, young brother. There’s an old sayin’ about prison we have in here: you don’t lay down for nobody and they won’t punk you.’ I said, ‘Ain’t nobody gonna punk me.’ He said, ‘We hope not.’ Then they called one of the leaders of the whites over, Two-Step Willy."
“What a name!”
“It comes from a snake in Vietnam. If you take two steps near it you’re dead. Squeeze told Two-Step Willy, ‘We’re aware of what happened in the chow hall between this young brother and Ponytail. We’re gonna put the young brother in there with him to handle his business.’ More whites came but a sergeant yelled, ‘Break it up!’ and started pattin’ people down. The sergeant found dope and weapons, so they paid him $20 to turn his head.
I got another visit from my girlfriend. Ponytail and his girlfriend were there, and he started makin’ comments outta the side of his neck.”
“Such as?”
“Sayin’ stuff like, ‘monkey’, and ‘ape’, and ‘anybody with a monkey or an ape is one too.’ He called my girlfriend ‘a nigger lover.’ People at visitation were lookin’, and they started speakin’ up. One said, ‘Hey Ponytail, we’re out here with our families just visitin’. This stuff shouldn’t be comin’ out here unless you wanna start a race riot between everybody on this yard.’ Ponytail said, ‘To hell with him. And to hell with you.’
After the visit, I went back to the yard. White dudes and eses were sayin’ how messed up it was, how they were gonna speak to their people, and if I’m not man enough to handle it they will. They were talkin’ outta the side of their necks too. They didn’t wanna see that dude one on one.
At the weight pile, I was reppin’ 225, when big old meathead Ponytail picked up a dirt clog and threw it. It hit the side of a 45 pound weight, broke up and went on me. The weight pile went quiet. Ponytail was tellin’ me he wanted to kill me. He had no respect for me. I was less than dirt. It was a death move. Within 45 seconds he and I were nose to nose. I couldn’t swing 'cause the cops in the gun tower drew down on me with a mini 14 – a rifle. The cop was a racist. The blacks ran out sayin’ ‘Chill out, T-Bone. Let it go.' I mellowed out 'cause of the weapon on me, but Ponytail made a move. So I extended my arm – a football move – straight up into his chest, and knocked him back. He fell over the bench onto the weights. I was hopin’ he’d realised he’d bit off more that he could chew. A yard sergeant came runnin’ with four goons – seasoned veterans. He gave us two choices, ‘Y’all can take it to the ring, put gloves on, and settle it like men or go to the hole for six months.’

Find out what happens next in part two of T-Bone v Ponytail.

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
15 July 06

Question Time

KR asked if I am suffering much and what I miss most.

After having your head in a vise for a long time, you forget the vise is there.
The worst I had it was at Joe Arpaio’s cockroach-infested jail. It was hard to sleep in those conditions. But it was while I was there that the blog began. Nietzsche claimed that suffering makes noble. I don’t know about noble but it has had a profound effect on me. Suffering has been a real education. Prison has better conditions than in the jail. It's bearable. Things could be worse.

The closeness of a woman is what I miss most. Many prisoners would answer the same. I miss not being able to see my family whenever I want to. Good food and music. Being able to do exactly what I want to do whenever I want to do it. Everything is scheduled here. But still, I’ve developed a routine to channel my manic energy into, from which I obtain a lot of satisfaction.

I’d like to add: I broke the law and put myself in prison. Poor conditions and suffering are part of my fate. I’d hate for anyone to misconstrue from my blogs that I’m complaining about what’s happened to me. As mortified as I was in the beginning, incarceration has worked out to be a blessing.

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
13 July 06

Psychotherapy With Dr. O’Malley (Part 4)

On Dr O’s desk were Principles of Neurology, The Human Mind Explained, and a copy of Scientific American Mind.
The session began with Dr O reading my thought journal, which detailed the joy I felt on seeing my sister and father, and the disappointment and tension surrounding the special visits being cancelled due to the hostage situation.
“How did you deal with these feelings during that time?” Dr O asked.
“Using cognitive techniques,” I said. “I tried to look at it as an activating event over which I had no control, something I shouldn’t get stressed about.”
“Did that work?”
“No. When it comes to things that upset my family, I get upset myself.”
“Is that normal or abnormal?”
“Normal for most people.”
“You were looking forward to those visits for a long time. Then something happened and you had no control over events. Your hormones responded. Did you cope with it?”
“My anxiety was up. My thoughts became depressed. I felt lousy. But I wrote and wrote and wrote. I felt better towards the end of it. I guess I tried to go with the flow after the shock wore off.”
“It’s more than just going with the flow. Going with the flow is what put you in prison. It’s about increased self-awareness. It’s about how you express your energy.”
“How so?”
“Let’s take a pilot as an example. If a pilot gets into a conflict at home, he’s going to take that negative energy with him. If he gets in a conflict day after day then that negative energy is going to compromise his ability to fly a plane safely.”
“I see. So did I express the negative energy of the hostage situation in a good or bad way?”
“What did you do with the energy?”
“I wrote.”
“There you go. You answered your own question. Didn’t you thrive on chaotic energy in the past? Isn’t uncertainty a theme of the stock market? And partying? Couldn’t that have blown up in your face at any time?”
“I do enjoy the wild fluctuations of the stock market. You said that a reason for my partying was the need for cheap thrills. But the hostage situation was different. My family suffered. And that was upsetting.”
“And how do you feel about that now?”
“I accept what’s happened, and because I didn’t get to see Dad for as long as we'd planned, he is coming back in October with my mum and aunt. So now I’ve got something to look forward to again.”
“When do you get out of prison?”
“I’m eligible for deportation in November, 2007.”
“A year and a half. It’s time for you to start planning.”
“The prospect of getting out is comforting. During the hostage situation it was in the back of my mind that I’ll be out soon, and not have to deal with all of this.”
“All this what? The torrent of absurdities? If someone on the street had to deal with what you’re dealing with they’d be running down the street screaming. ‘This can’t be! Someone can surely fix this!’ Yet in here, things that may be difficult for outsiders to deal with happen all the time. Because of this environment you’ve gained skills that will help you when you are released. Your level of resilience is way up. You’ve matured. You now have an ability to bounce back from all sorts of things. You’ve learnt these things the hard way, but what’s important is that you’ve learned them. Some people may go through life never having learned the things you’ve learned in here. Something you have to consider for when you hit the streets is that issues you had to deal with before your arrest have been on hold.”
“Viktor Frankl compared the released prisoner’s experience to divers' bends.”
“But his experience was in the late 30s and early 40s. He used his prison experience to help people when he got out. His techniques were nothing new. That knowledge has been around for millenniums.”
“Reading the ancient Greeks, I see how they have been recycled by various contemporary schools of thought.”
“Which Greeks have you read?”
“More than I can remember or pronounce. The preSocratics and plenty of Plato and Aristotle.”
“And how does studying them work for you?”
“I think it enhances my critical-thinking skills.”
“The atomists seemed to be early physicists. The principle of conservation of energy, in that it cannot be created, destroyed or divided, ties in with the Hindu belief that everything just is.”
“But there’s still plenty we don’t know. When we thought atoms were the smallest particles along came electrons, protons and neutrons – and then stuff like quarks, neutrinos, muons, gluons, bosons, and all kinds of obscure little elements. We revised Newton. We’re revising Einstein. It’s an evolving process. At least what you’re learning will help you when you get out. Most people go out with what they learn here, and they don’t have a lot. If you are willing to accept a broad-based view of yourself and take it to the outside world, you’re going to have a lot of potential to do well. It’s about accepting yourself, knowing when to hold your head up, and knowing when to be careful.”
“I’m used to going overboard.”
“But you’re learning to affect yourself, to modulate who you are most days. You’re not trying to change the lives of thousands of people, which is what got you in prison.”
“Isn’t that under control because of the environment I’m in? I keep myself to myself here.”
“That’s here. If you ran around grandiosely inside here the thugs would just as soon crush you. It’s a good adaption you have reached. You blend in. You are learning to remain humble, which wasn’t your previous inclination.”
“I still have to work on my humility.”
“We all do. You have to allow yourself to have humility. You have to put it into practice and not struggle with it. Looking at your thought journal, I can see you are making progress with this. You’re getting a grip on your natural inclination towards grandiosity. When you’re on the streets do you want to be the person who runs to a window and jumps out or the person who walks to a window, relaxes, and enjoys the view?”
“I want to stay sane if that’s what you mean.”
“Keep focussed, day to day, on your ups and downs, realising your emotional shifts like you did during the hostage situation, when the world was screwed up. When there was a crisis. And a response, and a crisis for everyone else. Look at what DOC did. They stopped everything. They assessed the situation - is it safe or unsafe? They determined it was safe and eased up a little bit at a time, gradually. It’s the same for you, your gradual ease, your slowly increased ability to think more broadly. And you’re starting to do it. The results are clear in your thought journal. You’re showing a willingness to be who you are, without having to dress yourself up.”
“How far have I got to go?”
“The rest of your life. We all continue to evolve, to observe and learn from life’s plusses and minuses. Take Viktor Frankl. He got out. Not unscathed, but he took what he learned to help others. Everything you do affects your brain – including this talk therapy.
Until next time, I want you to keep up the thought journal. You’re making progress. You’re reshaping your brain. And I’d like you to consider the dynamic interplay of energy when you’re doing yoga.”
“OK. Thanks for that. I feel I’m learning a great deal from you. You’re taking everything I’ve learned to deeper levels.”
"No. The person taking it to deeper levels is you.”

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
11 July 06


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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
9 July 06

Kissed (Part 2)

Click here for A Kiss Part 2.

Although I wanted to lock on her face like a wheel clamp and drain her dry of saliva, I tried to act cool.

Approaching her, my heart fluttered.
It all happened so fast.
Hugs and kisses.

As her lips gently brushed mine, I felt an electrical spark. Eyes closed, I travelled elsewhere.

Seated, we laughed and talked incessantly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her's. It was as if our eyes were speaking in a language of their own.

Oudoors, we walked and held hands along Lovers' Lane (laps around the picnic tables). There’s nothing so good for the ego as to be transformed from a celled-up ghost of a Romeo to a cock of the walk.

Royo Girl and I seem to be a match made by Cupid. She is strong and intelligent and soothing to be around. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or anxious in her presence. We dovetailed.

The visit ended with more hugs and kisses.

Royo Girl departed with flowers from the garden where Xena works. A bouquet of African daisies, bachelor buttons and zinnias.

Do I have a have a future with Royo Girl? I thought as I walked back to the yard. Have you lost your mind? You can't think like that after just one visit. My sister is right about me falling in love too easily. What’s wrong with me? But some force is at work here. What was the chance of us getting along like we did? But there are so many things aginst us ever being together. It’s because you're a prisoner you’re desperate for female attention. Stop the romantic thoughts. You sound like a teenager. But I can't get her out of my mind.

Back in my cell, I was visited by Jack. Jack is one of the brightest people I’ve met inside. He calculates math quicker than a Pentium.

"How did your visit go?” Jack asked.
“I can still feel the electricity. We chatted and giggled like little kids for over four hours. The other visitors seemed poker faced in comparison.”
“Did you feel there was relationship potential?”
“I did, but I can’t expect anything like that. I don’t want to be a prison boyfriend. She’s got her life to lead and I’m stuck in here. It’s not fair until I’m released.”
“That’s a sensible and mature answer. Surprising coming from you.”

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood

08 July 06


Click here for Kissed Part 2.

What life is there, what delight, without golden Aphrodite?
Mimnermus of Smyrna 634-600 BC.

Love is a silly infatuation… I love nobody.
Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821.

Last night, I received an envelope from Royo Girl containing two computer printouts: Kelly Brook topless and Paris Hilton’s legs.

6:30am Royo Girl is visiting today, I thought. I hope she makes it. It seems too good to be true. I'm so excited. But I should prepare myself just in case she doesn't come - remember what happened with Claudia. I never imagined I’d feel so happy over hugs and kisses - and hours of female company. Calm down, it’s no big deal - or is it?
I need to plan for her arrival. I’d better check the breakfast menu to see if there’s anything likely to cause bad breath. Let’s see: hot cereal, biscuits, grilled potatoes, and three ounces of sharp cheddar cheese. Uh-oh. The cheese is out of the question. I can’t be kissing with my breath smelling like sweaty socks. I’ll give my cheese to
Standing in front of the mirror, I thought, I look like Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Those nose hairs will have to go. I’ need to shave my face smooth, and get rid of that hair below my Adam’s apple. I'll give my ears a good clean.
What about clothing? OK, George did a good job pressing my pants. My new boxers are good to go. And my new T-shirt. There’s my socks, my sneakers. I’m set.

10:11a.m. “Dog eleven, you’ve gotta visit!”

Wow! She’s here. It’s unreal. Get dressed – fast!

My clothes found themselves on my body so fast they didn’t know what had hit them.

Go-go-go! But what about all the paperwork on my desk? I can’t leave it like that, I might get a ticket. It’s going to take me ages to file it away. What should I do?

Behaving like one of my childhood heroes, Thing from the Fantastic Four, I growled and seized the paperwork. I raised it and threw it toward an open drawer. It travelled through the air like an origami tumbleweed, spitting pens and envelopes. I slammed the drawer shut so hard it banged the wall and made my neighbour yell, “Whatthafuck England!”
I tossed an apology into the AC vent, and launched myself out of the cell. I felt like a guided missile programmed to strike the visitation room and propel through all obstacles in its way.
Like confetti bouncing off steel, inmates' heckles couldn't slow me down..
“Should I place medical staff on standby at the visitation room in case you get too excited?” Officer Gundel yelled. His question failed to slow me down.

Standing at the front of the visitation room, smiling but also looking a little nervous, was Royo Girl. I couldn't take my eyes off her face - it had a hint of Irish mischievousness, and her black outfit enhanced it's radiance.

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood

06 July 06

Interview With A Blood

According to Phoenix Police Department, acts of violence enabled Bones to rise to the rank of leader in the South Side Posse Bloods. His police reports include crimes such as kidnapping, interfering with judicial proceedings, misconduct involving weapons, and possession of a prohibited weapon. One report states he was, “firing shots at another vehicle.” Let’s find out more about Bones.

“What’s a Blood?”
“The opposite of a Crip. Red versus blue. It started in L.A..”
“What division are you in?”
“The South Side Posse Bloods – a Chicano gang.”
“Did you get jumped in?”
“Yeah. Me and my friends were at a Posse party and gang members asked us if we wanted to get jumped in. There were six of us. My partners were big dudes – six footers, weighin’ two-hundred-and-sixty pounds each or so. There were fifteen of them. They gave a girl a stopwatch, and told us we were gonna have a free-for-all for seven to ten minutes. That’s a long time when you’re fightin’. People were getting’ body-slammed, tossed over a bonfire, hit over the head with bottles. After that everybody was cool, and lickin’ their wounds. We were officially part of the gang.”
“How did you rise up?”
“I became real popular. I was known for not takin’ any shit. And I was quick to shoot if someone came around. That earned me respect in the neighbourhood.”
“Which neighbourhood?”
“In Phoenix, it started out in '85, '86 in a small section of the south side of Central and Baseline to 7th Ave, and Baseline up to Dobbins and 7th.
“How did it begin?”
“Certain dudes in the neighbourhood refused to join the gang Happy Homes, and started South Side Posse Bloods. The cofounders included Lasaro and Chapo, who are dead now.”
“How dangerous did the gang become?”
“Extremely dangerous. We were known for havin’ guns. One night a Crip drove up and yelled, ‘Fuck Slobs,’ which is disrespectful to Bloods, and he shot into the crowd with a shotgun. After our gang had shot back, the police found ninety-seven rounds of ammunition in his car. One Crip died. One ended up in a wheelchair for life. It was on the news.”
“Do Bloods have different age classifications like the Crips have Pee-Wees or BGs?”
“We didn’t have ranks like that in our neighbourhood. Whoever puts in the most work gets the most respect.”
“What kind of work?”
“If enemies were talkin’ bad about us, we’d beat 'em down or shoot 'em. Drive-bys, stuff like that. Especially if they shot at us or killed one of us.”
“How big is the gang?”
“In ’95 there were fifteen-hundred members. It was the biggest Chicano Blood gang in Arizona. Until ’95, they were all the same gang. After ’95 they separated into little groups with their own shot-callers. But if somethin’ went down, if a gang challenged us by shootin’ at us, we’d all get together and retaliate, and not with just a single car drive-by. There’s be four or five cars, five guys in each, and everbody packin’ one or two guns. We were not people you wanted to cross.”
“Were South Side Posse big in the prison system?”
“At age twenty, I was the first member in the prison system. Then we didn’t have too many problems. But in ’95 the Mexican Mafia gave the green light to kill our members 'cause we didn’t play by their rules. They didn’t like the drive-bys 'cause kids and innocent people could get killed. But in our gang, if we’re gonna kill someone, we shoot when we see him no matter where he is or who he’s with. That’s why we’re known as one of the most dangerous gangs in Phoenix. When I came back to prison, I got jumped every time, every yard I went to. I was stabbed in my right side.” Bones pointed at a scar on his torso, and I noticed the SSP tattoo on his middle finger.
“How powerful were the SSP when you were last on the streets?”
“That was ’97. They’d branched off. There was 10th Street SSP. There was 7th Street SSP. And they were beefin’ with each other. The original dudes were dead or locked up. The new generation came up with their own rules, and were not feared by too many people. Several divisions bowed down to the Mexican Mafia by formin’ alliances.”
“What slang do you use?”
“Stuff like, ‘What that B like?’ meanin’ ‘How’s Blood life?’ Or ‘Whattup B-Dogg?’”
“Spelt Dawg?”
“Yeah or Dogg, like Snoop Dogg. We say, ‘bikin’ it,’ instead of ‘kickin’ it,’ 'cause all the C-words are for Crips, and we add a B for Bloods. If I’m kickin’ back, hangin’ out, I’d say, ‘I’m just gonna bik it, homey.’ We call Crips ‘crabs,’ 'cause they back up like crabs. And we call 'em, ‘E-rikets,’ 'cause they jump away like crickets. If a dude is dressed up all in blue we say he’s, ‘All boobooed up,’ and we’ll sweat him and ask him where he’s from.”
“Do you guys use expressions like, ‘fo shizzle,’ as in ‘for sure’?”
“No. That’s really for black gangs. Mostly for us, C-words become B-words. A cigarette is a bigarette. Crazy is brazy. I would say, ‘Did you see what that B-Dogg did, that shit was brazy, fool.’ Cousin is fousin.”
“Why not bousin?”
“It’s just the way it is.”
“If Crips are boobooed up in blue what do you guys typically wear?”
“Bloods wear red shirts and baseball caps, black jeans (dickies), and sneakers that are usually Nike. We had a bit of style. We were pretty-boy gang members, which attracted the girls. But don’t get me wrong: we were brazy Bloods.”
“Has this fashion changed since you’ve been down?”
“If someone claims Bloods they’re still wearin’ red.”
“What music do Bloods prefer?”
“Gangsta rap. The Relatives. Banging On Wax. Tupac – a lot – but he was just a thug not a Blood. Anythin’ from Bloods and not from Crips. We listened to Snoop Dogg until we found out he was a Crip.”
“I appreciate you talking to me, and providing an insight into gang culture. Is there anything you’d like to add?”
“After being in this gang life, out of fifteen-hundred gang members I knew, only three remained loyal to me, including Chris G, Negro, and my last homeboy, my brother, who did five years for manslaughter for killin’ a gang member who was tryin’ to kill me and had beat my sister with a sledgehammer. My brother’s dead now, so I’d like to put out an RIP for Robert.”

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood
04 July 06

The Danger of Being a Brit in an American Prison on Independence Day (Part 2)

As a lone Brit surrounded by inmates running wild with July 4th excitement I
knew I was taking a big risk going to the chow hall. The breakfast special – pancakes, omelettes with turkey ham, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls – had induced a unique brand of patriotic madness into the crowd.
“Jon, your tray’s ready,” said a voice that could barely be heard above all of the noise. It was the midget Short Dog, the diet cook, who, for some reason, had chosen not to serve my chow through the hole in the wall, but instead to deliver it.
Mocking voices demanded I go immediately to Short Dog. I squeezed through the crowd and found Short Dog holding a tray containing a single bread crust and a cup of water. Suddenly, I was the laughing stock of about one-hundred-and-fifty inmates. I froze. I couldn't speak. My eyebrows twitched wildly.
Short Dog looked up at me, and said, “Happy July 4th, you Limey redcoat. You’re lucky you’re gettin’ this breakfast 'cause we don’t feed redcoats on America’s birthday. Here’s your bread and water. Sorry I couldn’t find a lime for your scurvy. Down with Queen Elizabeth. Down with Manchester United. Don’t make me get my squirrel gun.”
Insults rained down from every direction.
“Who authorised the water?” Officer Cooke yelled. “That’s way too generous.”
“Down with Beckham and the Spice Girls!”
“Write the queen,” T-Bone said, “and tell her America said thank you.”
“I’ll show you my Prince Albert,” Little Wood said, thrusting his pelvis, threatening to pull down his trousers.
“Let’s have a Boston Tea Party,” Slope said. “We kicked the goddam Limeys outta our country once. Why do they keep comin’ back?”
Two Tonys began singing "The Battle of 1814."
Slope commenced "The Star-Spangled Banner," and others joined in.

Oh say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light.

“Beckham can’t play for shit,” Short Dog said. “Down with King George.”
The slandering of the sports figure was the last straw. Although I was deep in enemy territory, it was time for me to respond. Like a fire eater, I theatrically tilted my head back and opened my mouth wide. I tossed the piece of bread inside.
My act of insolence raised some cheers, and George, in the fashion of a loyal retainer to the British cause, burst out in song:

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

After chewing the bread several times, while getting angrier and angrier over the defamation of Beckham, not to mention the slur on the Spice Girls, I decided to up my defiance, so I spat the half-chewed bread onto the tray and yelled, “Bugger Independence Day!”
I was promptly imprisoned in a corner of the room where I tried to blend in with the wall until my real meal was served.
Later on, I thanked the mastermind behind the prank, Slope, for giving me something to write about.

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood