Raz has a post up about the creative excuses criminals give when caught red handed with prohibited substances. It got me thinking.
Excuses are wide and varied. I'm quite certain I've heard them all. I've also been flashed by both a very pretty woman and someone I'm quite certain carried more down below than most biological women do. At least the 5 o'clock shadow and prominent Adam's Apple gave one that impression. I've been threatened, pleaded with, cajoled, begged and subjected to a long litany of the dire consequences the person was going to be subjected to should they face incarceration.
Those pale in comparison to the incident that convinced me that work in penal facilities in contra-indicated.
I started my career at the local Sheriff's Department. One of my duties as the Deputy FNG was to check in prisoners who had been outside the county jail either on Work Furlough or one of the outside work crews. Checking in is a euphemism for a strip search for proscribed items.
One sunny afternoon I checked in a prisoner, well let's just call him Sphincter Boy. I had Sphincter Boy go through the process, empty pockets, check the mouth, shoes and socks, etc. Finally we got to the bad part. We both knew it was coming and neither of us was overly happy at the prospect. Still, it needed to be done.
"Drop 'em, turn around, bend over, stretch it open and cough hard." Yeah, that was my job. Envy me.
As Sphincter Boy complied I spotted something 'unusual'. The corner of a clear cellophane baggie protruding from his....well, sphincter. Even at that tender stage of my career I had a pretty good idea what it was. I mean, they had covered it in training and everything. Plastic baggie in the old poop chute equals illegal substances. It was right there in the handbook.
I looked at Sphincter Boy and in my best authoritarian voice told him, "Either you remove it or I'll do it. Either way it's coming out." Sphincter Boy froze and I could actually see the hair on his head stand up as he went through the thought processes that might allow him to find a way out of this predicament. I mean, it's not like he didn't know what was in there.
Slowly he reached a hand back to his first point of contact. Probing fingers located the offending object and he began to slowly pull it out and bring it forth, still obviously in the throes of searching for an acceptable or at least a believable excuse. Or maybe a last ditch plan. In that last he was successful as it turns out.
As the baggie came into view I was struck by three observations. First, the baggie contained a green, leafy substance. Second, that's gotta be uncomfortable. I mean, how do you even do that anyway? How do you cram a baggie which has to structural rigidity and is filled with a substance also lacking in firmness up there? I was baffled. Finally, I noted a distinct brown discoloration on the baggie surface itself. Yeah, like I said, envy the awesomeness that was my job.
So, I step forward to take possession of the offending article (Yes, I was wearing rubber gloves, thanks for asking). As I did so Sphincter Boy committed what can only be described as an act of Willful Coprophagic Desperation. He stuck it in his mouth and started chewing.
Bafflement turned to disgust and horror in a flat second. What had been a routine checking in had turned into a bad German fetish movie. My first instinct was to grab him by the throat and choke it out of him but I reconsidered. First, I really, really didn't want to touch him. Second, if he wanted to escape capture and prosecution so bad that he was willing to purposefully eat a baggie of marijuana that had just come out of his ass then screw it. His mojo was obviously more powerful than mine. I watched the terror stricken man as he painfully and hurriedly masticated the mixed brown, green and clear mess in his mouth and finally, with much gagging and coughing, managed to swallow it down. His eyes darted to mine and filled with the tears of a man who is trying to eat something never meant to be eaten. Finally finished he turned to me and managed to croak out a very dry "What?"
I motioned for Sphincter Boy to get dressed, took him from his general population housing and stuck him in an observation cell. Neither of us said so much as a word. I'm not sure who was more horrified but I knew who was sicker. He had that pale green color of someone who is desperately trying to keep a bad meal down and thinks he just might be failing.
I had him held there until I was sure the contents of his stomach had been biologically passed.
He didn't get off scott free though. When I took him back to general housing I took him off his outside work detail and he served the rest of his time inside. He never once complained though he did seem to avoid certain foods. I saw him blanch and scream when we fed him a salad. He tossed the whole tray and didn't eat for days.
I put in an application for the police department I eventually retired from the very next day and got myself transferred to a different part of the facility until I left. No more strip searches. Ever.
You know, for some reason they never show things like that in those cop dramas.