Wax On, Wax Off
Prison, not exactly a place you would equate with being funny, but since I would much rather laugh than cry, I am well known to do as much at anyone’s expense.
Thankfully I am 230 pounds; otherwise I am sure I would have been attacked for a few of my bigger theatrical stunts. Some of these stunts are like apple trees; they must be groomed for some time before they mature. You plant the seed of a joke, only to have it carried out and bear fruit much later.
A perfect example is the way I keep my cage, or, as my honey-boo-boo wife would prefer that I call it, “my cell.” Everything is in meticulous order. My locker has to be arranged a certain way, and even the labels on my Ramen noodle soup have to face the same direction. I hide my extension cords and T.V. cable under hand crafted cardboard molding to satisfy the O.C.D. side of me. Under my green storage bins – where I keep my neatly folded clothes – I even had the tailor shop create custom booties. Of course, I have to keep the scraping noise to a minimum; I hate that sound, but more importantly so the bins don’t scratch my waxed floor.
Wax is a contraband and rather expensive, but I am nuts enough to buy it. Since it is illegal, I do not use it when anyone could see me applying it to the floor. Usually, when everyone is locked in, I wax away. The only drawback is – since I am using it on concrete with the same texture as a sidewalk – it needs numerous coats. The plus side is the more you apply, the better it looks. To keep my secret safe – and plant a mischievous seed – I tell everyone the wax is a homemade concoction of toothpaste, mayo, and shampoo. The toothpaste is abrasive, the mayo gives it shine, and once the shampoo dries, it seals everything. Then, as you wear it down, it activates the shampoo smell, and keeps your cage smelling like fresh soap.
After carefully waxing my floor for hours with real wax, a neighbor of mine starts asking question after question. “Here we go.” I tell him the easiest way to have his floor look just like mine is to squeeze out about three tubes of toothpaste, dump a bottle of mayo on top of it, then mix it evenly until you get a thick coat across half the floor. To get the best possible results, you have to scrub it in as hard as possible so the toothpaste sets. The final touch is to pour the whole bottle of shampoo on top of everything and let it air dry.
The only problem is that it will NEVER dry, nor will it ever come up, unless you wash it several dozen times. By the time you’ve scrubbed most of the concoction out of the concrete, the toothpaste has already turned the floor nice doo-doo color, or maybe the now rotten mayo does, I am not really sure. After going out for a few hours one afternoon, the first thing I noticed coming back to my cage was an overwhelming mint odor.
My frantic ex-neo-Nazi neighbor told me he followed my directions to the “T,” but after fanning the floor since applying the goo an hour ago, it still will not dry, and it won’t come up. Just as I was telling him to hold an electric fan over it, thirty or so people started chanting, “So fresh and so clean-clean.” The only part that actually bothered me was that I could not see his face turn several shades of red.
My next contestant about to look like a complete jackass was a new guy. These ones usually are the funniest because they are so naïve, I often wonder what planet they came from. The second our new guys gate locked behind him, I appeared in front of his cage to ask the “who-what-where and when.” Then to get him comfortable, I offered him a smoke and a cup of coffee. During our conversation, I let him know that Tupac Shakur was in the same cell he now occupied. He actually was in this cellblock years ago but hell if I know what cell it was nor did it matter.
Moving right along, I let him know Tupac wrote his lyrics on the underside the steel frame of the bed. Without fail, he slid under the bed to see for himself. This of course is the same bed no one had swept under since Jesus himself walked the earth. “Gee you don’t see it, maybe you should try facing the other direction.” This is just to ensure his shirt and head pick up every dust bunny, and super sized fur ball from the beginning of time. Most of which are already firmly embedded in the fabric of his shirt as if he’d used glue.
After a minute of letting him search, I have to tell him I might have my cells mixed up. But I’m really considering contacting the Swiffer people, as their little broom thing doesn’t have shit on a fresh sweatshirt attached to a wiggling body. “Oh, you’re all dusty, and you want some hot water to wash up?” We don’t have any, and there is only one button on the sink. So, If you’re too stupid to figure out the one on the left is missing, you’re fair game.
“Okay kid, the hot water works off static electricity. Hold the cold button in, then put your right foot up on the metal toilet, and your left hand on the wall to complete the electrical circuit. Now just keep holding that button in.” Then, while you look like you’re playing a demented game of twister, I will go back to waiting for my parole officer to be born, which is far more realistic then that hot water ever spitting out of a cold water pipe.
It was a good week for practical jokes. A few days later, my second contestant was one of my co-worker’s. He had a slight case of dandruff and wanted to know how come I never got it? That’s easy, I use Vaseline to moisturize my scalp before I wash it. Just put half the jar on your scalp and rub it in real good. Then, after letting it sit for a while, just rinse it off with water. Oh, it’s not coming out, try brushing it between rinses. The price of Vaseline in the commissary is about $1.50, listening to someone with five life sentences yelling the water is running off his head like a drunk duck with Tourette’s – right before they have to shave their head, priceless.
Now if I can just convince someone, BENGAY was a guy named Ben, who really was Gay, and secretly made his product just for those intimate moments….