One day, my red-headed Mohammedan cellmate, D, and I were being led back to our cell in handcuffs after one of our thrice-weekly showers when we noticed several paper bags sitting outside our door that hadn’t been there earlier. A brief but spirited exchange with the guard revealed that these were packaged foodstuffs an officer had confiscated from D after having determined through some mysterious federal calculus that his possession of them constituted “hoarding,” which is not permitted. Actually, the snacks in question had been saved up from past meal trays to serve as D’s breakfast on those days when the staff failed to bring him his morning repast before sunrise, as they’re supposed to in accordance with their own religious freedom regulations, as this was Ramadan and D is, in his own way, a very observant Saracen. Naturally he was upset about this; it’s hard enough to refrain from so much as drinking water throughout the day when one is being held in a non-air-conditioned cell throughout a Texas July without also having one’s backup breakfast seized by infidels.
The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: We’ll Take the Hole SHU-bang