The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life Is Madness

You should see some of the people I know. I am privileged to have worked with some of the craziest sonso'bitches on the planet. It's what I do for a living.

I know a man who tried to break the chain on his handcuffs by placing it under an oncoming train… another who choked himself almost to death trying to plug up a jail toilet… a woman whose boyfriend twisted her lower leg off in a drug-induced rage and who hopped back to him for love. 

I know one poor sorry soul whose meds were discontinued by a health care corporate mandate and who wound up shooting five people to death, two of them cops.

Is it any wonder that I write? Life, my life anyway, is a rich source of material.

When I worked at the jail, we used to say, "You couldn't make this shit up." Check this out:

This guy, we'll call him Eddie, was a frequent guest at the crowbar hotel. Bored and irritated at his incarceration (he never seemed to get used to it - go figure), he decided to cause a little trouble.

Now, understand that the old jail had a gravity plumbing system whereby the toilet lines were all connected and if you had the stomach for it, you could stick your hand out the back of the commode and move drugs in between floors. They called this "fishing." Understand also that when inmates felt dissatisfied (read: always), they sometimes stuffed sheets and other objects into these same lines. They called this "flooding" or "being a pain in the ass."

Eddie decided to flood at the same moment that a guy on floor one was about to receive drugs from floor three. Eddie, on floor two, started stuffing his bedsheet into the toilet.

Floor One has his hand out through the commode, waiting to feel something from above. 

Eddie stuffs the sheet so expertly, it actually goes into the pipe and down to Floor One.

Floor One, elated that his drugs have arrived, starts to pull.

And here's the problem: Eddie, not having a significant endowment of brains (hey man, he's in jail, not college), has slung the sheet around his neck so as to be able to concentrate on the end he was stuffing down the toilet.

You get the picture: Floor One is pulling like hell and Eddie on Floor Two is getting pulled into the toilet. He's a big sonofagun so he pulls back mightily. This and the fact that the toilet seats in the jail were made of stainless steel probably saved his life. There ensues a tug of war between Floor One and Eddie; and each time Eddie's head is pulled downward, it slams onto the stainless steel toilet seat with a loud clang! that irritates the CO guarding the floor. "Shut the f*ck up!" he bawls, but the clanging continues. So he goes to Eddie's cell, determined to "straighten him out" as it is called, and finds Eddie being choked to death - loudly - by the drug hound downstairs. 

The CO's final comment was, "Geez man, you shoulda seen him, all half choked to death, his head looked just like a cherry tomato."

So is it any wonder that I write?


  1. I grew up around people like that so I know they exist. Sanity is a tiny island in an ocean of madness.

  2. Ain't it the truth? Thank heavens though, a world of totally sane people would be pretty boring....

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  4. Remember during "Young Frankenstein" Terri Garr, after having her way with the monster, bursts into song, "Now that I have found you..." Well, that's how happy I am to find you (minus the sex.) I talk to just about everyone, Manhattan is my origin, and I've traveled a lot, so I agree: You have tons to write about. Stumbled upon your profile on BC; will be a frequent flyer. (Don't let nothingprofound scare you about me; I had a fever for a few weeks, and noticed today that he may have thought I was stalking him on BC, but I don't people like your subject matter do exist, and it's me!) I don't remember why I came, but I'm glad I did! May you--from now on--swim in clean, sweet tides! I suspect iUniverse is happy to have you. It's getting late, and I'm getting silly, so good nite, Gracie...