Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Another link today from JD2B. I always feel pressure when I get linked, to post something extra-good so that any new visitors are extra-impressed and want to come back. (I'm afraid it's thoughts like that which may have led me to become a law student, too...)

So, I posted a sketch last week sort of about the Supreme Court affirmative action decision (below). Against my better judgment, here's one sort of about the other Supreme Court decision last week, about that thing that rhymes with lobotomy. But not really.

"Tourism Committee"

(Lights up on WALLY BELL, state tourism commissioner)

I'm state tourism commissioner Wally Bell. Over the past few years, I've been working to draw more and more visitors to some of our state's greatest attractions. And I'm proud to say that my campaign has been a tremendous success. In the past ten years, more people than ever before have swam in our polluted rivers, picnicked in our mosquito-infested parks, and bathed on our filthy beaches. But one site has proven especially attractive. Under my watch, we've increased visitation ten-fold, and made this place "the place to be" for visitors to our state, whether they're here for a week, or for a lifetime. It's become the hottest ticket in town, hosting more Americans than ever before. Of course, I'm talking about jail.

(A chain gang enters)

I know jail's not often thought of as a popular tourist attraction, and it's true, in the past it's been somewhat neglected, and the prisoners - I mean tourists - haven't experienced the first class treatment we'd all like to think our state is known for. But under my watch, that's changed. I've invited some visitors to talk about the renaissance that jail has undergone recently, and let you know about some of the improvements we've made. It's all part of the kickoff to my campaign, entitled "That's Today's Jail." But don't take my word for it. Listen to what these fine folks have to say.

I remember coming here when I was a kid, with my parents. This was their favorite vacation spot, and they never missed an opportunity to spend some time down here with their buddies in the neighboring cells. They wanted me to have fond memories of the place, since even when I was young I showed a great interest in coming back here myself one day. And ever since I was a teenager, I've chosen to spend more and more of my free time down here, in between jobs, or as a needed break after a strenuous business transaction. One thing I remember from my trips here as a kid was that the cells were pretty small, and had no windows. But since the new tourism campaign, they've put one little window in each cell, tempered glass with reinforced steel bars. At the right time of day, if I stand on the toilet and squint, I can see a ray of sunlight reflecting off the electrified fence. A tiny little window. That's today's jail.

When I first got to jail, I was surprised at the lack of scheduled activities. Besides mealtime and hard labor, there really wasn't much in the way of recreation. But ever since they brought in that deck of cards and installed the gumball dispenser, it's been like a whole new place. Plus sometimes there's even chocolate chips in the cookies. More variety. That's today's jail.

Although it may not always be apparent, most of us here in jail want to be law-abiding citizens, and it frustrates us when the things we enjoy doing happen to be prohibited by law. For me, it created a lot of mental anguish and distress when I discovered that one of my favorite activities here in jail was actually illegal. Since this activity was one of the pastimes that drew me back here time and time again, it kept eating at my soul that every time I did this thing with one (or more) of the other prisoners, I was breaking the law. But now that the Supreme Court has said that this thing is legal, I have nothing to worry about. Me and my friends can enjoy this pleasurable prison activity without worrying that we're running afoul of federal statutes against that sort of thing. Favorite prison pastimes now legal. That's today's jail.

As you can see, jail is really the place to be here in this state. And with our crackdown on crime - I mean our new tourism drive - we're offering almost everyone a free stay, for a limited time. Whether you're speeding down the highway, smoking in any public establishment, jaywalking, or killing your wife with an axe, you'll get a chance to see for yourself how much we've changed, and what it's like to spend some time at this state's most popular tourist destination. A tiny little window, gumballs for a quarter, and exciting other now-legal activities. That's today's jail. See you soon.