Jail and Shuttlecocks.Posted: April 7, 2010
My friends, I, like many of you, have never been a guest of the state in a correctional facility of any kind.
There are several reasons for this: I tend to have a fairly long fuse, I think a lot about what I’m doing, and I figure that most goals that can be reached with the possible consequence of going to jail can also be reached without it…and I’d also retain the last laugh. There is one other critical reason I have not gone to jail.
I think if you are going to go to jail, it is vitally important to have a good story about why you are there.
Too few people take their stories into account. I am not talking about alibis or excuses. I’m talking about the story of what a person did to get themselves in jail – what they did and what they got out of it. I think that lack of forethought on their jail stories probably makes things tougher on them in jail and in court. There are a few elements to a good jail story that you should always consider. Let’s consider a story ripped from todays headlines as I reveal the elements of a good jail story.
Fellow blogster, Betty, brought to my attention the tale of some young men in Connecticut. They broke into a high school because they wanted to play badminton. They attempted to avoid detection by the schools alarm system by covering themselves with sheets. Sad. Very sad. Now in this case, it looks as if the police opted, at least for now, to hand these desperadoes over to their parents. If they’re charged, this is not a good situation for these young men. Their jail story is sorely lacking.
I think one of the elements of a good jail story is the worth it factor. You broke in to play a lame picnic game? You were arrested prancing around with a skinny racket in your hand? Very low worth it factor. You broke in to fill the quarterback’s locker with concrete? Worth it.
The other important element of a good jail story is the method. You’re in the cell. Your cell mate says “so how’d the cops get you?’ You reply “I don’t know, I had the sheet over me like i saw on TV so I never saw them coming.” This doesn’t bode well for you.
To successfully fulfill the method requirement of the jail story you want either reckless abandon – “I drove my car through the front door of the building” or something smart, with a dash of completely unpredictable mistake – “I disabled all the security cameras in the building, but I didn’t expect the custodian to come in to wax the floors that night.”
People should have to face the consequences of their actions. I think, however, that these badminton desperadoes are too stupid to survive jail. Public ridicule is the best consequence in this case. Let the mocking begin.