Sunday, 30 March 2008

Women & Prison Personal Ads

I started to notice about ten years ago....the number of women out there in the real world.....who write and get into prison personal relationships. They find these guys....a year or three years or even ten years away from freedom....and start to get personal....and alot of them....marry the guy.

I have pondered this strange slice of life. One would think....that something would click with these women....and they'd grasp that something isn't right...but that never happens. My guess....out of every hundred women out there...especially over the age of 30....at least three or four are capable of doing something like this.

I watched an interview several years ago...where a woman simply said that she couldn't find the "right" guy and this personal ad from this prison was the perfect match. The woman was all charged up and wasn't going to be deterred. You would think that relatives would intercede or some cousin would just whack the woman to knock her to her senses.....but that just doesn't happen.

What you do notice as these episodes come and go....is that most women believe the guy will change when he's released from prison She believes in repentance or change. Out of a hundred prisoners.....I might be able to believe in this idea about five percent of the time.....but not much beyond that. I also have noticed that these women all want a strong manly character around....someone direct and domineering......and maybe in their fantasy love state of mind....they think that prison helps to modify and motivate a guy to be more domineering.

I can remember buying the old Globe weekly at the supermarket and you'd laugh at half the stories in the weekly magazine...and then there would be the personal ads.....where prison members were "noted" and advertising for a female "pal". Across the US today...I'd bet that at last 50,000 women are eagerly corresponding with male prison members...and dreaming of a marriage in the future. A co-worker of mine once joked that he'd like to put a ad in the Globe...advertising himself as a prisoner who would be free in a year and available for marriage. A guy could actually increase the odds of getting a marriable gal.....if he did a fake ad....and pretended to be a jailed prisoner.....which is awful sad.

So it is in America tonight....with a woman quietly sitting there and answering some prisoner's letter with a romantic touch and dabbing a bit of cheap perfume on the envelop. Something isn't right.....but then this woman didn't ask for Prince Charming or Eliot Spitzer....you know.

A Moment to Pause and Reflect


For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Is Hunting and Fishing Dying Off?


I paused and reflected upon this story in the Associated Press....is hunting and fishing dying off? It came out this week and most folks just glanced and went onto Kwame Kilpatrick and his Detroit troubles. But I read on.

The basis of this story are several interesting statistics. Arkansas hunting licenses in 1999: 345,000 total, but in 2003....319,000. Oregon noticed 100,000 fewer fishing licenses sold last year than in 1987 and hunting licenses were 70,000 less than 1987. Seventeen percent drop in West Virginia on hunting licenses over the past ten years. In Pennsylvania in 1981...there were 1.3 million hunting licenses sold....and last year....946,000 total. Numbers tell a story here.

So whats going on? Fishing and hunting were manly arts and folks were generally committed to them in a major fashion. They spent $200 a year on ammo...$100 on bait....they would buy a $150 fishing rod with no issue....they would spend $800 on a great hunting rifle....they would jump into a truck with two guys and disappear for four days hunting in Arkansas with the wife never saying a word. That was the world in 1987.

But in the past twenty years....Americana has conducted a remarkable change. First...internet came along and glued some guys to the den or private office in the basement. Wives started to complain when guys would disappear for four days for hunting or two days for fishing. Wives refused to monitor the family during these episodes....thinking that "dad" needs to be around the house in case of trouble.

Since the late 1990s.....you could see a change in relationships and expectations. If a guy comes up today to spend $800 on a rifle....there will be days and days of anxiety and stress by the wife as she attempts to explain why he shouldn't have done this. The guy will feel unnecessarily guilty and later sell the gun for $700....just to get it out of the house. The wife will freak out when she learns that he sold the gun for a loss of $100 after owning it only for a month. Then the same guilt trip will occur again. Then the guy will talk his buddy into selling him the gun back for $700....and the wife will go ballistic that the gun is back in his hands again.

Adding to this mess is all of the local entertainment available today....from softball leagues that run seven months out of the year....to sports-bars which feature twelve different giant plasma screen TVs. You have the Lowe's folks who will sell you garden implements at nine o'clock at night or a neat do-it-yourself patio. You have various folks who are buying a $30k pontoon boat which the family and associates go out each weekend on.

So the art of hunting and fishing...is dying. Its a sad thing. We needed it as escape and relaxation. Guys could hang out for an entire day....sipping Bud....eating Cheetos and beef jerky.....smoking cigars.....talking about the secretary at work or the new chainsaw they'd like to buy. A guy could break down and weep over his first wife marrying a pontoon boat salesman. A guy could tell his buddy of his problems in the physical department and get some advice. A guy could admit that he wanted relations with some gal at the waffle house and his buddy could talk him out of it. Two guys in a fishing boat could talk nuclear fusion or the 32 ways of implementing world peace while baiting their hooks. Maybe on the way home....a couple of hunters could stop at a stripper bar and watch a show....just to get rid of the stress. A day out in the wild....was a great thing. We will all miss it.

Just Going for a Pack of Smokes Story

In Bama....we have this expression we use....when a guy gets finally fed up with the wife and tired with life....that he says "I'm going for a pack of smokes" and never comes back. At the office....my Bama associate and I often kid about this.

This week....we had such a episode to occur in New York state. Over in Lyndonville, New York...there was this pastor. Criag Rodenizer was his name. Craig apparently had a nice little church in the community. Craig came up on Tuesday night....and told the wife he had computer problems and was going to BEST BUY. Craig left....hours go by, and his wife gets all worried and calls the cops. Craig doesn't show up the next day....so its a pretty serious situation.

Around 36 hours into this missing case....the cops over in Riverside, Ohio are doing a random tag check for expired plates at this stripper club....and come to this NY-plated car....and they called in the number. Yep, it was Craig's car....so they went inside.

What they found at this stripper club....stripper club....stripper club (hint).....was Craig sitting there.....drinking heavily, paying for lap dances, and very loud in discussions. At one point, he had tried to talk the strippers into going back to his hotel room. For those who haven't been to Riverside...the K C Lounge is a excellent establishment to hook up with strippers and such.

The cops asked Craig a few questions...and he started to break down and cry. He was a emotional wreck as they discovered. He even commented that he felt "emotionally guilty"....whatever that means. Luckily for the cops....he didn't break into a sermon or chat on the principals of Jesus or Moses.

The cops tended to the car...towing it in....and took Craig down to the local hospital to be checked out. The wife....Susan....said she would send someone over to pick up Craig. I'm guessing that she is pretty upset and liable to lay into Craig big time. If I were Craig....I'd have a mighty good excuse to what happened at BEST BUY and tell some story about being robbed and kidnapped by Germans with funny green hats.

Craig and Susan had been planning a work/vacation trip in just a couple of weeks....so this mental breakdown of Craig's must have happened rather quickly. Although....just the mere fact that he was at a strip club....doesn't mean he had mental issues. I need to defend Craig on this....and I would strongly suggest that Craig just needed a guy's night out....carousing with the guys and maybe doing some hunting. All this minister stuff probably stressed Craig out and just too many "Mark, Luke and John" stories.

So we are hoping things work out and maybe Susan won't use the frying pan on the dude.....and just give him a chance to explain. And me? Well.....I might be going to BEST BUY any minute now.