Jeremiah Rodgers

GALLOWS HUMOR, by Jeremiah Rodgers

“Among those whom I like, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can all of them make me laugh!” (poet W H Auden) And…strange as it sounds to hear myself say it–I think I might be learning to love the Florida department of corrections! I mean, they keep me amused on a daily basis with their agendas and petty pursuits and subtle rubs. I don’t blame them for despising prisoners–after all, there are some authentic turds in this sewer, just like there are in the free world. Well…’humor’ is literally what we’re all made of, etymologically speaking (from the 14th century, meaning the four fluids of the body mental disposition…and by the 16th century it came to mean the mood, temper, disposition, of that which excites amusement, etc…) One simply has to possess a rich and varied sense of humor in a place like death row, believe me. For example, this morning we all received another institutional email from the, uh, ‘Caregivers’ at the top regarding HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS and WHAT TO LOOK FOR. I may be as slow as a three-legged mud-turtle, but I suspect that their email is meant to mock us…? For example, they suggest we ‘keep rashes dry by using baby powder.’ REALLY! For one thing, they banned the sale of baby powder years ago, and there’s no way to get it. They suggest we MOVE TO A COOLER PLACE if we experience any heat-stroke symptoms. Are we NOT supposed to split our seams at such a ridiculous notion? There is no cooler place here–it’s ALL boiling hot. They suggest we HELP LOWER THE PERSONS TEMPERATURE WITH A COOL CLOTH OR A COOL BATH. Oh my god…that’s rich. That’s outstanding! I haven’t had access to cold or even cool water in 20 years, except in the visiting park when my smoking-hot blond haired blue-eyed honeypie comes to visit me.

They inform me that one of the main symptoms of heat-stroke is ‘confusion.’ Well I must be thoroughly stroked-out because I’m thoroughly confused as to why our great Caregivers would suggest options which we clearly do not have access to. Now here’s a conflict–they say NOT to drink any water…and a few lines lower they say we should sip water. Huh?? Is sarcasm and humor basically the same thing? I don’t know…I should probably read a book about it. Anyway. Next they suggest we LOOSEN OUR CLOTHES…except that it’s ‘against the rules’ to loosen our clothes. We get a trip to the oubliette for that infraction. One of D.O.C.’s tactics to intentionally make us hot and uncomfortable and miserable is to mandate that we wear shirts and pants at all times–while shorts and T-shirts are permissible on the yard. If I ‘loosen my clothes’ like they suggest, I’ll be in the ‘hole’ for ‘sexual misconduct,’ believe it or not! And then some austere old Misses will pay me a visit to inform me that I’ve been placed on the dreaded Sexual Offender Registry!

Then they say I should get medical help if I’m THROWING UP. Well, I throw up often enough from food poisoning, but have never managed to get any ‘medical help’ for it. HEAVY SWEATING? MUSCLE PAIN OR SPASMS? Pshh. It’s so hot here I’m drenched in sweat around the clock–and this steel bunk I sleep on has me feeling like I’m on the Rack in the Popes dungeon with a Franciscan Friar at the ropes! But…oh this is good. They suggest I have a SPORTS DRINK. WHAT?! Oh that’s too much! And WHERE in all Gehenna am I gonna get a bloody sports drink? Yes, yes…we’re starting to see that the joke’s on us. Well–nothing can stand against the assault of laughter…So I laugh and take it in stride.

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
(Institutional email:)

HEAT STROKE:
High body temperature (103°F or higher)
Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
Fast, strong pulse
Headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Confusion
Losing consciousness (passing out)

WHAT TO DO:
Call for assistance right away-heat stroke is a medical emergency
Move the person to a cooler place
Help lower the persons temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
Do not give the person anything to drink

HEAT EXHAUSTION:
Heavy sweating
Cold, pale, and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting
Muscle cramps
Tiredness or weakness
Dizziness
Headache
Fainting (passing out)
WHAT TO DO:
Move to a cool place
Loosen your clothes
Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
Sip water
Get medical help right away if:
You are throwing up
Your symptoms get worse
Your symptoms last longer than 1 hour
HEAT CRAMPS:
Heavy sweating during intense exercise
Muscle pain or spasms

WHAT TO DO:
Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
Drink water or a sports drink
Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
Get medical help right away if:
Cramps last longer than 1 hour
Youre on a low-sodium diet
You have heart problems

SUNBURN:
Painful, red, and warm skin
Blisters on the skin

WHAT TO DO:
Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals
Put cool cloths on sunburned areas or take a cool bath
Put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas
Do not break blisters

HEAT RASH:
Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin (usually on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases)

WHAT TO DO:
Stay in a cool, dry place
Keep the rash dry
Use powder (like baby powder) to soothe the rash
Be careful in the high heat of the summer and watch out for others!

Jeremiah Rodgers #123101
UnionC.I.
P.O.Box 1000
Raiford, Fl. 32083

Categories: Jeremiah Rodgers

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s