A Pain in the Ass: Living the Correctional Dream.

Warden Biggie Biggins and Captain Keri Whelton walked toward the dining hall when prisoner Waddel broke from a prisoner group exiting the dining hall. He wore a clean (something new for Waddel) T-shirt that announced in hand written letters: “If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be an Airport.”

“Warden,” Waddel hollered.

“Oh shit,” Whelton said from the corner of her mouth. “Here comes trouble.”

“Warden, I wanna talk to you.”

Entering the dining hall, Captain Whelton left the warden standing alone.

Waddel, all five-four of his skinny pimply face with his retrousse nose sniffing the air said, “Warden, that fucking CO Sawyer wrote me a ticket for a dirty room. Whatta you gonna do about that?”

“Waddell,” said the warden, “calm down. You didn’t mouth off to Sawyer like you’re doing to me, did you?”

“Yeah, I did, but he wrote me this ticket on…”

“Well, you’re lucky he didn’t write you up for insolence. You’ll lose some privileges for a couple of days. Your man enough to handle that, aren’t you?”

Waddel ceased waving his slug belly arms, considered my back-handed compliment, and with the smile of a manic Seventh Day Adventist said, “Sure but with all the tickets I got lately I think they’ll put me in the hole.”

Well, that’s Waddel for you. They call him a whiddledick, the kind of prisoner always in petty trouble, pissing off staff and other prisoners, until a normally tolerant prisoner kicks his ass, or exasperated staff get fed up and throw him into segregation. All-in-all, he imposed a burden on everyone like a mortal sin.

Staff manipulate to transfer the Waddels of our world to other prisons and they technically have the justification in the form of multiple misconducts and petty fights. But Warden Biggins often doesn’t let them; he thinks transfers to higher security joints should be reserved for the truly mean bastards, and a lateral transfer to another prison of the same security level will involve trading one prisoner for another…you’ll likely get worse than you send. Wardens love such transfer requests to dump their problems prisoners on other wardens. Honor among thieves and all that.

Staff wait for Warden Biggins to go on vacation or away from the prison for meetings to try to arrange for a transfer. The last time Biggins was in Central Office for meetings, he was in the transfer coordinators office when Assistant Deputy Warden Baldwin called to get rid of Waddel. The transfer coordinator handed Biggins the phone and Baldwin said, “You can’t blame me for trying”. Now it became a power thing and the warden put a memo in Waddel’s prisoner file saying he couldn’t be transferred without Warden Biggins’ okay.

Captain Whelton backed ADW Baldwin on this one and leaving the warden alone to deal with Waddel was her way of saying, “You want him here, motherfucker. You deal with him”.

“Do you really want to leave this place?” the warden asked Waddel. “You keep this up and you’ll soon be in the Upper Peninsula watching your asshole freeze over.”

“I don’t care. Whatever.”

Warden Biggins sighed: “That’s not what you said the last time you almost got transferred. As I recall you cried to me about how you would be farther away from your family and they wouldn’t visit you so often. Anything changed?”

Waddel was silent.

“Alright then. You’re gonna do the seg. time, if they give it to you, like I know you can. And then I won’t transfer you, even though I should get rid of your sorry ass.”

“Just keep CO Sawyer off my back.”

“The hell I will. And the next time you go head to toe with him you’re heading North. Now get outta here Waddel. I got things to do.”

“Hey bro,” Waddel hollered to a nearby prisoner watching the fun between Waddel and Biggins. “Gimme a smoke.”

Lauda finem.

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Joseph Abramajtys

Old Man, Retired Prison Warden, Social Critic, Recovering Catholic, Pain in the Ass.