21 Jan 08
My First Month Home
It took a month for my unemployment benefit to arrive. I receive £59.15 a week. The first cheque was calculated from my arrival in England, so I received £245.05. Immediately, I spent some of it on Bic pens and pads of paper.
I’ve been writing for about six hours a day. I’ve almost finished editing the blog. I am about to reread everything I wrote about my life, and then I intend to write a detailed account of what happened in America.
On the weekends I’ve been going out with Hammy, mostly to the Ring O’ Bells. The Ring O’ Bells has two sides: there’s a respectable side, and what the locals call “the cage.” In the cage men jump on the pool table while pool games are being played. The bar is often shaken causing the lights to go out. And bar staff brave enough to venture into the cage to collect glasses are often grabbed.
“You haven’t seen the cage at it’s finest yet,” Hammy said. “You get pissheads completely off their heads taking their clothes off standing at the bar naked ordering drinks.”
In two-weeks’ time Hammy intends taking me out to Liverpool. He said, "The pubs there are crawling with fit birds we can chat up.”
My cousin, Iain, took me to Cronton to play pool. The game in the Black Horse was going well until the small bar filled with so many old men there was no room for us to take a shot. I knew we were in trouble when Iain crouched down to take a shot and his chin ended up resting on the beer belly of a particularly large old man. Every few minutes another old man squeezed into the bar, and bought a pint of beer. We were gradually pushed out of the bar, so we returned to our hometown and played pool in the Griffin.
Some nights I relax and watch movies with my parents. In order to detach me from the computer they keep suggesting we watch movies with literary themes. So far we’ve watched The Hours, The Trial, Women in Love, and Capote. They also continue to spoil me with home-cooked meals. Everything from Indian curries to Sunday roast. All vegetarian of course. I converted to vegetarianism after receiving the mystery-meat slop known as red death at the jail, but now I’m free I have no desire to eat meat.
I’ve done a few more interviews with the media, and I’m scheduled to be on talk radio in America this Saturday. The programme is for one hour and the public can call in and ask questions. Also, I was contacted by a man who books people to speak in public.
I’ve written to most of my prisoner friends, and I’ll post the latest on them when I receive their responses.
I’d like to thank Barry for the hats, gloves, scarf, and thermal socks. They’re keeping me warm – especially the Russian hat.
My MySpace page has been updated with an anti-Arpaio slant. And you can now hear one of my BBC radio interviews playing there.
Up for reelection this year is Sheriff Joe Arpaio whose policies are costing the taxpayers of Maricopa County a fortune. According to Wilkipedia, over $50 million in lawsuits have been filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. $2 million were recently awarded to the family of Brian Crenshaw, a shoplifter who was beaten to death by the guards at Tent City - they broke his neck and perforated his intestine. Arpaio is losing support, and pushing his office's finances nearer to a crisis. Let's do what we can to get rid of him this year.
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood