Is That A Shank?

I am a writer. I have a brain disease: overblown imagination. I have a relatively healthy outlet, scribbling my novels. But I’m wondering if my combination of imagination and a steady diet of Lockup, Hard Time, and Behind Bars: Rookie Year have damaged me beyond repair.

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Lest I leave you in suspense for too long, have you ever given much thought to “gassing” anyone? Do you look at open buffets and wonder if anyone put ground glass in the pot roast? Do you see burn marks around electrical outlets and wonder what they were smoking and how it got smuggled in?

Do you see small electronic devices with motors and think, “Gee, I could make a really great tattoo gun with that….” Perhaps you’ve seen a toilet almost overflow and wondered if the guy on the tier below you will be upset? I’ll bet you’ve never smuggled drugs or weapons inside your body. Well, most of you, anyway.

These things occupy my mind from time to time. I try and work out solutions to the problems, incorporate them into the data base that is my brain for future use when a character gets locked up down the road (happened in one book already – may happen again.) But it is kind of a problem when you have to do a systems check and answer the question, “Am I nuts?”

Here’s a real life example. I was in the stairwell at work the other day and spotted a sliver of metal on the floor. We have construction going on in the building. A stray piece of sheet metal, no doubt a snip from the edge of a duct, is not unusual.

I immediately thought, “Is that a shank?” Sick, right? Then I wondered where it came from so the next guy couldn’t make a weapon from the same source. I decided it was too small to turn into a stabbing instrument, so I would melt it into a toothbrush handle and slash with it.

But where to hide it until I could get a toothbrush? There were gaps in the brick wall where the tuck-pointing has failed. I tried a few of them, it wouldn’t fit. I scoped out the molding around the windows and the floor, but no gaps big enough. What to do?

I came to my senses and put it in the trash. No Corrections Officers hassled me, nobody saw it. I don’t need the weapon.

It is, however, nice to know that I might be able to find one if I really need one. Let’s just hope they never lock the doors and tell us we can’t leave. Then all bets are off.

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I appreciate your help. When we hit 2,000,000 readers I will give away something cool to a drawing from the subscribers (that’s the box on the right toward the top) who have helped promote this mess. No used sheets, probably not honey, more likely gift cards. Be a part of it. I’ll update from time to time where we’re at in the count. Thanks.

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