‘Protect me from another saucy wit!’ Or, The Prison Library courtesy of TWSS.com

[In which the un-PC bandying of words results, as usual, in some delightful and mentally healthful silliness….]

Rape. One of the worst things imaginable.

Rape in prison. One of the most serious correctional management problems of the New Millennium. Prisoner-on-prisoner rape is no joke. Which is why prisoners make rape jokes all the time.

When one prisoner is annoying another by constant verbal baiting, a third prisoner who’s observing will often say to the annoyance: “I’m not pulling him off you.” Meaning, of course, “If he kicks your ass, you deserve it.” It’s a warning to the joker to consider the consequences.


“If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.”

— Chinese Proverb


One of my Lending Library workers cultivates a sexually-charged sense of humor.  Very little can be said in his hearing that he is not compelled to make into a sexual reference. Sexual innuendo is his nature, his creed, perhaps his raison d’etre. He cannot help himself, and wouldn’t even if he could.

Yesterday, one of the Lending Library clerks — a consummate ball-buster who mans the circulation desk — is baiting another clerk who’s trying to get some cataloging work done at the computer. The clerk who’s working is obviously annoyed, and warns the man to cut it out. The ball-buster smiles and continues the unwanted teasing. Two other clerks are observing this from their work desks, one of them being Mr. Innuendo. Observer #1 says to the annoyance:

“I’m not pullin’ him off of you!”

To which Innuendo adds, “And I’m not pullin’ him out of you!”

I say to him: “Don’t you have anything to do?”

He smiles and replies: “I’m doin’ my job! I’m a cunning linguist!”

“Funny, you were hired as a typewriter clerk. But all we get from you is sexual innuendo.”

To which the ball-buster replies, “Yeah, but with him, it’s more like ‘In-your-end, oh!’ ”


I didn’t pull them off of him.

4 thoughts on “‘Protect me from another saucy wit!’ Or, The Prison Library courtesy of TWSS.com

  1. I can see how the Circulation clerk could be considered annoying – but with that kind of wit he should be fired from his clerk job and taught to write….;)

    • Oh God, like his head isn’t already so swollen he can barely fit through the Library doors….Do I REALLY have to tell him that someone in the world thinks he’s witty? He’s insufferable enough!

      Actually, earlier this week, I shared this post with him, and he got a kick out of the fact that he gets beaten up at the end. This mirrors the truth, because he’s often pummeled (in a joking, fellowship sort of way) when he runs his mouth, which is every minute of the (8) hours of each work day. He gets hit a lot. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

      As far as encouraging him to write — I have to be the only Library director in corrections history with a cataloger who can’t spell his way out of a paper bag. His other grammar skills also are non-existent. That he learned to speak articulable English is a mystery that so far has fuddled the most aggressive and hyperactive neuro-linguists.

      • I wish there was a way to channel the energy and creativity that many inmates (and in my experience, former inmates) seem to have. Clearly this guy thinks very quickly on his feet, although it sounds like he has some trouble stopping once he gets going.

        • Too bad there wasn’t a way for their creativity to be channeled in socially-acceptable ways to begin with. That’s the sad, tragic part. It then remains, as you point out, what to do with this energy once the person’s in jail.

          Me, I encourage them to socialize themselves. 😮 That alone should tap the talent and intelligence that they have.

          It took a while, but the prisoner experience finally taught me not to be astonished at the level of talent and intelligence found in every prison. When it comes to crime, it’s not about how well they draw, or how good they tell jokes, play guitar, or solve complex variable equations in their heads. It’s about their criminality, meaning the way they treat people and engage life.

          By themselves, talent and intelligence get you only so far, and no one knows this better than an intelligent, talented prisoner. You have to throw civility and empathy and a love of self in the mix to play well with others.

Comments are closed.