42 Responses to Freaks Share Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. fauxmccoy says:

    for colin … mark twain’s ‘roughing it’, chapter 16, 2nd paragraph

    The book seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history, with the Old Testament for a model; followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint, old-fashioned sound and structure of our King James’s translation of the Scriptures; and the result is a mongrel—half modern glibness, and half ancient simplicity and gravity. The latter is awkward and constrained; the former natural, but grotesque by the contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern—which was about every sentence or two—he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as “exceeding sore,” “and it came to pass,” etc., and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass” was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet.


    mind you, i come from a long line of scottish sheepherders who wound up in utah. i’ve read the book myself out of idle curiosity, but am very glad my dad escaped utah, the church and settled in california.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know Twain had critiqued the Book of Mormon.

      • fauxmccoy says:

        i find it fascinating 🙂

        • colin black says:

          Ditto and when its all you have to read its even more so .It also has an autobiography of sorts about J Smith an his life an how Angel Moroni told him about his mission an Gods plans ect.

          Its not mentioned about his conman an snake oil salesmen past
          I am not a Mormon a moron at times for sure but Mormon was my stated religion in Prison because you got a bag of drinking chocolate an powdered milk every day.

          Plus you could con the screws that all sorts of things were against your religion like cutting your hair dureing daylight hours an shaveing ect.

          An they would accept it..

          Faux did you ever read of this guy his name escapes me but a brilliant forger whom conned the Mormon Church out of millions by produceing fake artifacts

          And writeing most purported to be by J Smith an sheding bad light on him an the religion admitting its a con an made up hoo ha.

          An the church bought them to keep them under lock an key.

          He would get his paper from books of the time period at the library .
          Take the blank pages most books have before you get to the printing. Make his own ink out of cranberrys an such.

          He was an absolute master conterfiter also turned out to be a phyco as well whom ended up killing someone with a bomb .

          Do you know whom I mean?

          • fauxmccoy says:

            i remember that incident colin, but not the dude’s name. it’s fair to say that by the time my dad left utah, he had had enough of it. i learned at a young age that JS was a convicted conman (you can even find record of his arrest online if you go looking).

            your story about your religious preferences in the pokey make me laugh.

      • colin black says:

        His real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens Mark Twain was his Authouring Psudomom.

  2. colin black says:

    Im a bit of a bah humbug person when it comes to Christmas Birthdays to for that matter nothing would make my day better if I got through the 24th June without a Birthday Card or a HAPPY BIRTHDAY Greeting honest.

    My better halfs the opposite her Birthdays March 21st an She starts reminding you on March 22 theres only 364 days to my Birthday an dropping hints on what she wants or would like.

    Same thing for Christmas never used to send cards out to anyone even nearest an dearest an certainly didn’t apreaciate receiveing them..

    So back in December of 1987 I was in H M P Horfeild Prison Bristol
    Serveing 2 years with 6 months suspended wich meant in reality I was doing 18 mnth locked up but if I behaved would get 6 mnths off good time so was actually doing 12 months.

    Back in those days they still had the punishment of solitary an punishment diet of bread an water.

    An when sent to solitary you had every thing stripped from you no radio no tobaaco if you smoked all your toiletries taken all your books except your book of religion if you reqested

    Wich of course I did as I loved a read of the book of Mormon

    Your bed is just a raised piece of concrete an your mattress is about three inches thick rubber stuffed with sawdust

    No sheets an two threadbare blankets .

    Wick they take away from you at 6 am an don’t return tiall 8 pm in the evening when your allowed to lie down again

    You also have a chair an desk made out of coorigated carboard , realy theyre very strong you can sit on them

    Also your not allowed paper or writing material or any letters you’ve received are confiscated until yoor time down the block is over.

    And any mail you receive is not given to you until your released from punishment.

    And also joy of joy did I mention punishment diets were still applicable then?

    That’s bread an water to you am me .

    An that’s exactly the position I found my self on the Christmas of 1987 Down the block seven days plus three day bread an water the offence disobeying a direct order an cheek an insolence to an officer.

    Bacicly screws stormed my cell an I swalled a piece of hash an swallowed it rather than spit it out an told the scre to f off.

    23Dec up on report next day Govener gives me seven day loss of good time seven days loss of priviliges wages seven days solitary an three days bread an water.

    Thing is by law when you were given three days punishment diet it wasn’t three days without meals .

    You had one day normal diet an one day bread an water so in order to do three days punishment diet it took at least 6 days.

    An it worked out I was down the block for christmas an on Christmas day it would be one of my bread an water days.

    And I was esstatic I kid you not remember my bah humbugness??
    Well whilst I had quite often managed to escape birthday cards ect by simply never mentioning when my Birthday was due ect.

    Id never ever managed not to receive a Christmas Card ever an I thought this is it my time has come.

    So I start my seven days down the block first day bread an water second day Christmas eve normal diet wich was worse than the bread an water t be honest

    Im keeping my self buzy jogging on the spot an warm b t w an execiseing reading the book of Mormon.

    An then Dec 25th same thing 6 am matree an blankets out cup of water three slices of bread that’s for the entire day by the way a pint of water.

    Any way Im paceing the cell shadow boxing doing push ups an feeling realy realy smug that no ones wished me a happy Christmas nor have I received any Christmas cards.

    Then for some reason about 9 am as you know the time in jail by the sounds inmates in the wing being led to exercise ect.

    Anyway my eyes were drawn to the cell door an there were two brilliant white envelopes.

    Obviously slid under the door I wearly walked over an picked them up an then sat on my carboard stool an placed them on my card board table an stared at them .

    Both had my name on them an prison number but no stamps no post marks obviously internal not external mail.

    I cant repeat the languge I exclaimed but I opened the firt one easily as it was unsealed.

    Merry Christmas from the Samaritins more exclimations an curses.

    Opened the second one M erry Christmas from the Govenor even more curses an expeatives an then a confetti of carboard an enveloves enveloped my cell an settled like snow all over my own wee white Christmas.

    That was it my best shot an the friggin samaritins an the prick who had sent me down there had to ruin it.

    On the bright side I definetly had a peacefull Christmas that year.

    • Wow, blown away by this, thank you for sharing it. I think solitary for anything beyond a brief period is torture, I really do. Um, it’s always hard to read about these experiences, but it is important that people know what really goes on in the prisons.

      In the US right now, solitary is rampant. Read today for instance, where a man who is dying has been in solitary for four decades, I can hardly read it. We’ve lost our humanity.

      That said, the punishment diets I had not heard of. Totally unacceptable.

      Thanks again ever so much for sharing your experience. You come out of that with the thousand-yard stare, I would imagine. I admire you, and your strength, your humor, your presence.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      colin — you are a masterful storyteller. someday i’m gonna email you about my scottish relations, how i came to be born in this country, and the book o’mormon.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      and again, i quote mark twain to you, for the second time today

      ll men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the “elect” have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so “slow,” so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle—keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Brilliant story, Colin.

  3. fauxmccoy says:

    that would have been graves disease, crane, and it is utterly miserable. i was never so happy to have a body part removed in my life as when they finally yanked my thyroid after trying to control it with medication for over a year with no luck. i never got the eye bulge thing, but goiter galore!

    the thanksgiving menu you found sounds exquisite and like something i would do only to find that no one in my family appreciates such things, i have since cut back on the effort i will expend (and expense).

    as always, i love re-reading frog gravy. i know it was hell for you, but your cell/dorm mates were damn lucky to have you.

    • Thank you so much, um. Graves disease, yes, that was it, her eyes looked like Marty Feldman’s in this photo:


      I feel for you having experienced this, I had no idea how miserable it was, to have this condition, thank you for sharing this.

      Appreciate the re-read. Re-posting helps me to edit. I have come across some things that needed to be redone. Plus, I may be adding more. I have come across a whole sea of other notes, for Frog Gravy.

      Part of the deal is, I am writing about the legal case also, which I have not shared completely online, because I am filing a bar complaint. Takes time to do this; the legal case file is huge. And surreal. I actually think it may amount to two manuscripts, because the voice for Frog Gravy is completely different. Sort of makes inmates come to life…not a legal analysis at all. And when the inmates become people, it’s sort of less and less about what they did to get there. It’s more about who they are.

    • colin black says:

      Thanks for shareing Crane what a disgracefull way to treat anyone let alone an elderly Lady in he eightys.Dont they have hospital prisons for the infirm inmates in America or do they need blue cross?

      Hi Faux cant Glaucoma cause bulgeing of the eyes?

      • No, it was actually Graves disease, if you click on the photo above of actor Marty Feldman (played the hunchback in Young Frankenstein), that was what her eyes were like.

        And no, the US is shameful, they incarcerate the old, the disabled, and the mentally ill, no hospital prisons. There are medical sections in the prison, but the old woman in the wheelchair, diabetic, with the ruined knee? She didn’t qualify.

        • fauxmccoy says:

          barbara bush is also one who had graves. it is what caused the premature grey hair, eye bulging, can make it difficult to control your weight and for some reason causes the sufferer (about 95%+ women) to be unbearably angry until it is under control. i’m surprised my marriage lasted and was very grateful for my father’s recollections of his own mother’s struggle with the disease at age 40, same as me. he helped a lot.

          • Interesting, I did not know that. The woman in the post, new she did have a bit of a weight problem, but sort of like Barbara Bush- not obese. Also, she cried, and I mean all the time. This could have to do with her terrible situation with the sentence length, and all that. Hard to tell when someone is first in prison, because it can be pretty devastating for anyone who has feelings like she did. But anyway, I remember a terrible sadness rather than anger, although on the outside it may have been different. Don’t recall if she was married or not.

      • fauxmccoy says:

        crane’s the nurse here … i’m not sure if glaucoma does that. thyroid disease (enlarged thyroid) can often do so.

  4. crazy1946 says:

    Crane-Station, Just when I think you have written a piece that could not be out done, you pop out another masterpiece…. all I can say is simply wow, you put into words things that many people see, yet fail to see the truth behind the vision… Thank you for sharing with us…

  5. lurker says:

    Not freaks, I suspect. In some of the most unusual, and damaged, packages we often find true value.

  6. Taisha   says:

    great blog I’m a big soccer fan from germany

    • Not sure if it’s coincidence or not, but I am a long, long time soccer lover. I played myself from fourth grade until I was in my forties, and would play today, if we had Old People’s soccer here.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Ooo, I would love to play old people’s soccer. I should look around for a team.

        • When I was in Seattle, it was glorious. You can play both indoor and outdoor soccer until you drop dead. At one point, I played on five teams, two indoor, three outdoor, one for each weeknight. Never had so much fun in all my life. Old People’s Soccer is a game for heathens where adult show up and act like animals on a nightly basis, then get up the next day and blend.

          I am not sure it’s as brutal as Old People’s Softball, or Old Men’s Basketball though. It’s amazing most of those people aren’t in jail.

      • colin black says:

        football Crane football only Americans use soccer because of there insane idea to basterdise Rugby an call it football to piss us Brits of

        An the reason I say basterdise Rugby is there are no forward passes allowed in Rugby only backwards or level passes.

        Whilst American football is all about forward passes.

        • Oh I love rugby. ‘Rock em ruck em roll em fuck em.’

          Yup. Sure do. I played fullback in college for a year or so, until I got my ass kicked by some woman from UCLA, who was the size of a damn train.

          Been so long ago I can’t remember the rules, but do remember it was pretty brutal, without pads and protective gear.

          Actually, American football is getting to be pretty dangerous also.

          Yup, rugby’s a great game.

  7. This was the most touching – the notebook. I would love to get a hold of a few of my old sprital notebooks from high school thru grad school days and see what I was thinking…Wonderful selection today m’am.

    • Yes. Um, this area where we live is impoverished, so what happens is that people cannot afford to move anything- so they leave it behind. Pretty typical in an apartment complex. At any rate, there is a LOT of rich history that gets discarded. Things from the depression era, for example, used to be available for purchase in the antique shops, but almost all of them have gone out of business.

      That said, the culinary student’s menu had gone through the stages to where it had been to the printshop, and it was quite lovely.

      • Trained Observer says:

        It’s the same in college towns like Boone, N.C., Gainesville, Fla. or Bloomington, Ind. where kids just dump stuff at the end of the semester or school year rather than move it. Judging from their cars in parking lots, I don’t think it’s impoverisment, but more than mom and dad paid for their furnishings when they move in and they fail to value it like they would if they’d actually worked for it. I’ve picked up everything from unbroken glassware and vases to a matched set of director’s chairs and hauled them on home or to a nearby friend’s house. Met a nice Appalachian State football player at the dumpster in a complex where I was waiting for a friend to finish up business. I was too short to fish out a designer lampshade but he was happy to assist. SCAD students in Savannah often leave behind marvelous art projects in apartments of those old Victorian houses. Trash is often my treasure.

        • Oh, now you got that right. You don’t even hardly have to get out of a vehicle, just drive up and down the street, picking things up from the curb. Great basic furnishings, clothes, books, all headed to the landfill, but useful. Better to re-use and recycle.

          So much treasure, and history, in the trash.

        • Two sides to a story says:

          When I went to uni in the UK, most students and parents didn’t have room in their small vehicles to take home everything from dorm rooms (or the students had arrived on trains or buses) and sometimes didn’t want to rent storage for the summer so astounding piles of stuff, too much for the charity boxes, piled up in the trash areas around the dorms. I still have stuff I picked up from those days.

  8. Trained Observer says:

    Like most of us, have had some memorable Thanksgivings, and have read both fictional and nonfictional accounts of memorable Thanksgivings. But none — none I tell you — holds a candle to this.

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