What This Prison Really Needs Is a Good Hoedown


Hi everyone! It’s wonderful to be back here at Folsom. For those of you who don’t remember from last week, my name is Dennis, and I’m going to be your “Head Cowboy” and dance instructor. Now, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why we’re even having this hoedown. Well, as you know, fifteen people died in the riots two weeks ago, and Warden Norton thought a good old-fashioned barn dance would be a good way to help “relieve some stress.” So let’s get back to learning how to square dance, shall we?

You probably noticed that we’ve made a couple changes around here. Unfortunately, after some of the shenanigans last week we won’t be able to give you ten-gallon hats and cowboy boots again. I know you’re disappointed, Big Al. But after last week’s lesson we found out that someone had been smuggling cigs into the prison using those hats. I’m looking at you, Red.

And I don’t want to name any names, but some people found that those nice leather boots would be good for curb-stomping your fellow inmates. We can’t be having that again. Though, to be fair, it was probably our fault for buying the boots with the sharpened spurs.

You’ll also notice that we haven’t brought any ladies over from the women’s prison this time. In retrospect, what happened last week was my mistake—I really had no idea there were so many sex offenders in this prison. So instead, we’re going to have all of the toughs stand in the men’s positions, and all of the bitches stand in the girls’ positions. I think this’ll work out a lot better for everyone!

Okay, everybody get into positions! Big smiles! And…wait, wait, where’s Mad Dog? He was the best dancer we had! Oh, right, he’s on shit watch. Well, he’ll catch up next week. Ready? Five, six, seven, eight…and swing your partner, do-si-do, allemande left and…wait wait wait. Stop the music.

C’mon fellas! Where’s the passion? Where’s the excitement? Put some feeling into it. You know, visualization can be really helpful. Just imagine that someone snitched on you in the bone yard, and the only way to pay him back is if you dance the hell out of this hoedown. And don’t be afraid to touch your partner—he won’t bite! Except for Jeffrey, he’s a cannibal. Watch out for him.

Alright, let’s pick up from where we left off. Five, six, seven, eight…and allemande left, circle right, and promenade…wait wait, stop! Little Tony’s been stabbed again. C’mon, guys! Is it too much to ask that we get through one promenade without someone getting shanked?

Y’know, I can only do so much. I’m happy to walk you through every step, but if you aren’t willing to meet me halfway then we’ll never get this hoedown off the ground. At this rate I don’t know if we’ll be able to do square dancing at all, let alone the fiddling exhibition and the mechanical bull contest. And Lord knows when we’ll be able to start that production of Wicked I was planning.

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