It Wasn't Me

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LO­CAL - By Michael Walker

Iwas amused by a re­port of a cell-phone be­ing found in an anus at the Borde­lais Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity, as if that were any­thing new. Dur­ing Mr. Her­man's ten­ure, of­fi­cers were sent, not in­fre­quently, home with full pay af­ter be­ing found in pos­ses­sion of smug­gled goods. How else does the stuff get in­side the prison com­pound? FedEx? It was once con­sid­ered a wit­ti­cism to de­scribe an “ass­hole” as be­ing “anal re­ten­tive”. Per­haps Borde­lais has be­come the coun­try's only govern­ment-run “Anal Re­ten­tion & Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Fa­cil­ity”. An ass­hole can only take so much abuse be­fore turn­ing to a life of crime.

So how can we com­bat the scourge of il­le­gal pen­e­tra­tion by mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vices at the fa­cil­ity – take “fa­cil­ity” to mean what­ever you like, per­sonal or in­sti­tu­tional? Maybe, dur­ing the daily search – I al­most wrote “frisk­ing” but peo­ple might mis­un­der­stand and think I said of­fi­cers got “frisky” when sub­jected to full body searches – upon en­ter­ing or leav­ing the prison, their cell-phone num­bers should au­to­mat­i­cally be di­aled to dis­cover which part of their bod­ies start ring­ing.

Nah, wouldn't work. Se­cret num­bers prob­a­bly. But can you imag­ine the scene? Phone starts ring­ing, maybe play­ing a few bars from some­thing suit­able like the lat­est ro­man­tic rap track all about sh*ving-itup*s*me-m*ther-f*ck­ing-wh*te-tr*sh-c*p'sa*s, and every­one in the room looks around, mouth agape, like at a Shaggy Con­ven­tion pay­ing homage to his clas­sic "It Wasn't Me". Great song - you know the words – guy gets caught where he doesn't be­long, in­side the wrong chick, to be pre­cise! Ac­tu­ally, if I may di­gress just a tad, this paean to Caribbean Cop­u­la­tive Cus­toms is ab­so­lutely one of my all-time fa­vorites. It makes me feel like danc­ing – ah, mem­o­ries, mem­o­ries – so I can't re­sist this:

“(Yo', man!) Yo'! (Open up, man!) What do you want, man? (My girl just caught me.) You let her catch you? (I don't know how I let this hap­pen.) With who? (The girl next door, you know.) Man! (I don't know what to do.) Say it wasn't you. (Al­right.)”

Many in­mates con­tinue to main­tain their in­no­cence due to the va­garies of the jus­tice sys­tem.

“Honey came in and she caught me red­handed, Creep­ing with the girl next door, Pic­ture this, we were both butt-naked, bang­ing on the bath­room floor, How could I for­get that I had given her an ex­tra key, All this time she was stand­ing there, She never took her eyes off me.”

The mere thought of in­ter-anal tele­phonic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is pretty mind-bog­gling but it should, per­haps, be seen as in­dica­tive of the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances achieved by the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs in its cease­less quest for ex­cel­lence in the ar­eas of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“How you can grant the woman ac­cess to your villa, Tres­passer and a wit­ness while you cling to your pil­low, You bet­ter watch your back be­fore she turn into a killer, Best for you and the sit­u­a­tion not to call the beaner, To be a true player you have to know how to play, If she say a night, con­vince her say a day, Never ad­mit to a word when she say, And if she claims and you tell her baby no way.”

Now if I were a psy­chol­o­gist, or at least had that sort of imag­i­na­tion and lived in a fan­tasy world, I'd sus­pect that this last stanza was writ­ten in prison code. Woman would be cell phone; villa would be anus; clearly “cling­ing to the pil­low” in­di­cates the agony of anal pen­e­tra­tion, as does “watch your back”. “Turn­ing into a killer” re­flects the ever-present threat of vi­o­lence. A “beaner” may be yet an­other “boner”; the use of “she” clearly refers to “prison bitches”.

“But she caught me on the counter (It wasn't me) Saw me kissin' on the sofa (It wasn't me) I even had her in the shower (It wasn't me) She even caught me on cam­era (It wasn't me) She saw the marks on my shoul­der (It wasn't me) Heard the words that I told her (It wasn't me) Heard the scream get louder (It wasn't me) She stayed un­til it was over, I had tried to keep her, From what she was about to see, Why should she be­lieve me, When I told her it wasn't me.”

This sce­nario ob­vi­ously por­trays sex­ual abuse in show­ers where sur­veil­lance cam­eras, usu­ally in­op­er­a­tive, can­not record events. Signs and screams of phys­i­cal abuse, so preva­lent in pris­ons, are taken for granted. Voyeurism re­places TV view­ing – ac­tu­ally, cop­u­lat­ing in pri­vate in prison is pretty dif­fi­cult.

“It must be some­thing I ate,” ex­plains the of­fi­cer with the mu­si­cal anal ring. “It wasn't me!”

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