For years, my sister and I have had this motto, “One illegal thing a day.” It’s more of a joke than anything, and usually revolves around piddly stuff like making a U-turn when there are signs posted that you’re not supposed to or stealing a handful of Sweet N’Low packets from a restaurant. It’s nickel and dime stuff. Because, trust me, I would never do anything that I knew had a good chance of getting me thrown in jail. Nope, I FEAR the jail cell way too much for that! For me, the thought of being locked in a prison cell for anything more than a second is the biggest deterrent to being a bad girl that you can imagine. I remember even being on a trip once and visiting this old historic jail cell and everyone was going in and closing the doors and having their picture taken “behind bars,” and I wouldn’t do it. I was afraid that, knowing my dumb luck, the door would get stuck or someone would mess with me and pretend to lock the door and I’d be trapped in there, like a caged animal, and I just couldn’t risk it.
Equally scary, I think, is being confined to a hospital room for any length of time. That very thing happened to my dad recently when he spent 70-plus days at Medical City Hospital in Dallas. He went in October 10 and didn’t get out until December 24. Can you imagine? I honestly don’t know how he didn’t lose his mind. Especially since for all but a few days, he couldn’t get up out of bed. He was pretty much resigned to sleeping, eating (when he could ingest anything other than ice chips, that is), and watching the tube. As much of a couch potato as I am, even I can’t fathom the boredom! My dad’s obviously a calmer, saner individual than I.
So which do you think would be worse, being in the hospital for that long or in prison?
In the hospital, my dad at least had a window to look out of, which some prison cells don’t, but then he also had a steady stream of doctors and nurses poking and prodding him all hours of the day and night. Although in lock-up you may well encounter a certain criminal element looking to poke and prod you in other, let’s just say less clinical, ways. Even given the reputation of how bad hospital food is, my dad probably did eat a little better than the average inmate, but then he didn’t have the privilege, like most prisoners have, of being able to go out in the yard and stretch his legs and breathe fresh air.
So I’m inclined to think it’s a tie. I just pray I never have to find out for sure.