Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Sam The Sex God
I spent several years in part-time and full-time work as a prison chaplain. Lawdog's been bugging me to share more about those years, which I'll do from time to time in this blog. I've written a memoir of those years for which I'm trying to find a publisher, so keep your fingers crossed. The incident below is taken from that book, which is tentatively titled 'Walls, Wire, Bars And Souls'.
One of the major issues in prison is inmate sanity. A large proportion of the hardened criminals in high-security institutions are mentally unstable, to say the least. Some are downright psychotic. We had psychologists who constantly monitored our inmate population, treated those who needed it and advised the rest of us on problem areas. Inmates whose condition was severe were incarcerated in special medical facilities. Others who'd been stabilized through medication were assigned to the general prison population, and we had our fair share of them in the facility where I worked.
It’s interesting that most of the inmates, even the most violent and predatory among them, generally don’t bother those whom they call the ‘bugs’ or the ‘crazies’ (or less complimentary terms). If they lose control things can get very interesting, very quickly: and since they can be as violent as any other inmate and have few inhibitions and little self-control (including not knowing when to stop) others tend to leave them alone. Of course, as long as they’re taking their meds all is well. Unfortunately, every now and again one of them will decide that he’s feeling fine, he doesn’t need them and he’s going to stop taking them. That’s when things can go downhill in a hurry.
Sam the Sex God is a good example. Let me tell you about him. Sam was on a cocktail of meds for a range of psychiatric and psychological issues, but had the annoying habit of stopping taking them now and again - whereupon he’d go stark staring bonkers within days. The authorities at his prison tried to avoid this by making him take them under supervision, but he learned to conceal pills in his cheeks or under his tongue so that it only appeared as if he’d swallowed them. When the supervisor turned away he’d spit them out and dispose of them. (That’s one reason why many prisons try to give medication in liquid form whenever possible - it’s harder to fake swallowing it.)
I witnessed Sam’s most memorable breakdown, that which earned him his glorious title. He left his residential unit one day with a vacant look on his face, humming and jiving to himself. His Unit Officer, nobody’s fool, recognized the signs of ‘bugging’ and called a psychologist to investigate. Unfortunately for her, the psychologist on duty that day was a rather attractive young lady. She hurried over and confronted Sam, who decided the fact that she’d approached him must surely mean that she had the hots for his magnificent body. He reached out and tried to embrace her. She backpedaled frantically and called for help.
Next thing you know, Sam had stripped off his clothing (and I do mean all his clothing) and was being pursued around the yard by a reaction squad of half a dozen puffing, panting Correctional Officers. He was a fit, strong man (he’d obviously done a lot of gym work and body-building before his incarceration) and he wasn’t hampered by boots, trousers and the like, so he was able to keep comfortably ahead of them. As they ran inmates boiled out of the adjacent housing units shouting ribald encouragement to Sam, who was screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’M A SEX GOD! ALL THE WOMEN WANT ME!” (Both assertions are open to question.)
A number of us had gathered at a nearby window, including several female staff members. Their comments on Sam’s naked athleticism were of a nature rendering them unfit for reproduction here. The price of fireproof computer screens would make this blog far too expensive to view.
Eventually Sam spotted his presumed light o’ love trying to creep away down the walk and made a sharp right-angled turn across the yard towards her. This proved to be his undoing. The pursuing posse ‘cut the corner’ on him and piled on, six deep. Sam disappeared beneath a heap of heaving, thrashing bodies. Judging from his whinnying cries of excitement he must have thought that all his wildest fantasies were being fulfilled.
Eventually Sam emerged from the cloud of dust handcuffed behind his back, still naked as a jaybird. He was led away to the medical unit cooing gently to himself, accompanied by the rousing cheers of his fellow inmates. The poor psychologist came back to her office looking a bit glassy-eyed, and was not very polite at our proffered suggestions as to how she might better have handled the situation. (Then again, they may not have been the most helpful of suggestions.)
Who says prison work is boring?