Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I'll take the orange one

Tomorrow I'm going to prison....for the fourth time in my life.

No, I didn't murder anyone or rob a fast food restaurant. Instead I'm going to prison to talk to inmates who knit.

But it's the getting into prison part that worries me. Most people think it's surprisingly easy to get into the Big House. Yeah, not so. Trust me, I know from experience.

It was three years ago, I had just started my job in the 'burg. My boss sent me up to one of the prisons in Waupun. It was one of two maximum security facilities in town. We're not talking about a guy who got busted for some cocaine. No, we're talking about the bad guys, the guys who do things that make you shudder. And to think, I was going there because the Archbishop of the Milwaukee Diocese was coming to visit.

While the looks I got from some of the inmates while walking through the halls was enough to creep me out, it wasn't the worst part of my visit. That would be the actual getting in part.

My boss had warned me about security. So I took off all of my jewelry before leaving my car. All I had with me was my driver's license, notebook and pen.

It didn't matter. The metal detector went crazy when I walked through.

The security guard thought it was my shoes. Nope. He thought it was my glasses. Wrong again. I remembered I had two small barrettes in my hair. Yeah, not the items making the detector beep. The guard wands me with the wand. I still beep.

The guard gets this embarrassed look on his face. He asks me if I'm wearing an under wire bra. I swear, I must have turned a million shades of red. I nodded. The guard reaches beneath the desk, pulls out a brown paper lunch bag and sends me to the bathroom with instructions. All the while my photographer is laughing at me.

I disappear in the bathroom, follow the instructions and return to the prison lobby.

The damn machine still beeps.

This is getting embarrassing. After many more beep inducing trips through the metal detector, we finally determine it's the clasp on my dress pants that's setting the metal detector off.

I thought I'd made a mental note to always wear a sports bra when I got to prison, but obviously I forgot, because I've been through the same routine on my other two visits.

Tomorrow is visit number 4. Hopefully I'll remember in the morning. I mean, come on. If they let inmates have knitting needles, shouldn't I be able to wear a bra of choice?

Chances are, I'll forget though. So if I never post again, it's because I got stuck in prison.

No comments: