Friday, December 07, 2012
Guy Who Thinks He's Going to Read A Lot in Prison
[First Day of Prison]
[Buddy drops off College-Educated Convict at the prison gates]
Buddy: Hey man - good luck in there. No TV, no internet, no phone, no women - what kind of a country do we live in where you have to endure that, all for embezzling a few thousand bucks?
College-Educated Convict: No you don't understand. It's an amazing opportunity dude - no TV, no internet, no phone, no women? That means NO DISTRACTIONS! I can finally read all those long books I didn't read back in college - Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, The Power Broker. Plus I'll have time to learn Italian, learn Chinese, and even improve my chess game! Prison transformed Malcolm X into the urbane, well-read man he was - it's all right there in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which I'm gonna read all 500 pages of in prison!!!
Buddy: Wow, when you look at it that way... I'm jealous bro!
[Last Day of Prison, 2 years Later]
[Buddy is picking College-Educated Convict up at prison gates]
Buddy: Ni hao
College-Educated Convict: What?
Buddy: "Ni Hao" - ya know, Chinese for "Hello." I mean you must be fluent by now but I just learned that phrase from my waitress last night, heh
College-Educated Convict: Yeah... um, I didn't exactly learn as much Chinese as I intended to.
Buddy: But now you parliamo italiano, si?
College-Educated Convict: No, no didn't learn Italian either. Or improve my chess game much.
Buddy: But the long books - I mean you must've ripped through The Power Broker
College-Educated Convict: Well, uh, I, uh, I got through the Yale years. And I mean that time pretty much molded Moses into the man he'd become so --
Buddy: -- wait you had 2 years of no TV, no internet, no phone, no women and you still didn't read any more books than I did?
College-Educated Convict: Ya know, I mean, 2 years is less time than it seems - it really goes by fast. And I got into this wicked volleyball league. Well it wasn't really a league but we played like 2, sometimes 3 times a week. And the warden was really nice so he'd let us watch TV whenever the Red Sox games were on, and baseball's a 162-game season. Plus my cellmate Jose it turns out knew almost as much about The Beatles as I do, so we traded all sorts of crazy trivia - did you know there's a version of Please Please Me with Pete Best on the cover instead of Ringo?
Buddy: Basically what you're telling me is that it's impossible to actually sit down and read long books as an adult, no matter what the circumstances
College-Educated Convict: Yes.