Doing time

Miss Mia knows how to be jailin’.

In his loosely autobiographical novel “Homeboy,” ex-con Seth Morgan had a character offer some advice for a new fish worried about doing time.

“The time does itself,” schooled Smoothbore. “You jist got to live with it.”

A few pages closer to the penitentiary, the narrator elaborated:

Jailin’ was an art form and lifestyle both. The style was walkin’ slow, drinkin’ plenty of water, and doin’ your own time; the art was lightin’ cigarets from wall sockets, playin’ the dozens, cuttin’ up dream jackpots, and slowin’ your metabolism to a crawl, sleepin’ twenty hours a day. Forget the streets you won’t see for years. Lettin’ your heart beat the bricks with your body behind bars was hard time. Acceptin’ the jailhouse as the only reality was easy time. Jailin’.

Staying at home, social distancing — these aren’t jailin’, but they’re not exactly freedom, either. Sure, the cell is a little bigger, the guards a little less visible, and the food better. Still, you’d rather be out on the street.

But listen to Smoothbore. Let the time do itself. Live with it.

With any luck at all, you have a short stretch and an agreeable cellmate. You know — someone who doesn’t mind doing the laundry while you stretch out on your bunk and listen to the latest thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: The bargain-basement broadcasting continues. I used the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic,recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. Once again the background music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the Mac and iOS versions of GarageBand. Other sonic adornments come from the iMovie and GarageBand sound libraries.

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12 Responses to “Doing time”

  1. Ira Says:

    My wife keeps telling me I can’t leave the house. I think I’m developing Stockholm Syndrome.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Very nicely done! It seems you got the right, wait for it, mix!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m all mixed up, for sure. Ask anyone. But thank you, señor.

      There are 19 tracks on that one. The hard part is finding stingers, jingles, sound effects and whatnot that are “podsafe,” which is to say that nobody will pitch a bitch when they hear you using them and have your episode sent to podjail.

      That’s one reason I’ve been building my own music in GarageBand, using the GB and iMovie sound libraries, and trying to source as many of my own noises as possible. But since I rarely know what I’m going to be doing until I start doing it, well. …

  3. khal spencer Says:

    I was lucky. Had a motorcycle in 1974 instead of a car and enough jingle in my pocket to keep gas in the tank. I could only kill myself. My GPA was slightly higher than John Blutarsky’s but not by much; Bluto and I both got those Dear Fuckup letters from the Dean. My department chair, on graduation, proudly proclaimed that I was the only triple major in the department: frisbee, Genesee Beer, and geology. My mom, who drive out from Buffalo, was mortified but eventually forgave me.

    For some reason known to St. Christopher and my late mom but not by me, I lived through all of it and somehow ended up, like O’Grady, with a house, a job, a woman, and in my case, a dog. Oh,and some advanced degrees, FWIW.

    I still keep that St. Christopher medal in my wallet. My mom gave it to me when I bought that first motorcycle. I credit it rather than anything I did with being alive.

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