We have elves at Camp Prisoney Land. They are assigned as dormitory workers. I am grateful to elves who clean the bathrooms and common room daily. I am especially grateful I don’t have to worry about my cell passing the white glove inspection every week because someone touches up the windowsills and blankets with OCD attention to detail.
The bedmaker elves ensure every bunk is made precisely. They use a measuring tape. I do make an effort to do my hospital corners and stiffly folded sheet cuff at 4:15 every morning. If its not right the elves will be on the prowl.
Each week there is a mass inspection. Really, it is a competition amongst the eight dormitories. Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the cleanest dorm of all? The prize is an extra visit to the overpriced canteen and bonus visit to the recreation yard where we get to run amok and smoke contraband cigarettes without retribution. As you might imagine, the competition is fierce!
Thursday is inspection day. As I was waiting to go to early breakfast, a magical elf appeared at my cell door asking if she could remake my bed while I was out. ‘Sure’ I replied, thinking nothing of it. When I returned to my cell, I noted my patched blanket was patches side down. Thus, I knew an elf had remade my bed.
About thirty minutes later, elf two dropped by the cell. ‘Catherine, do you mind if I remake your bed? The cuff is too wide and the corners aren’t right’. I was on my way to pick up my daily dose of allergy medicine at the morning pill line. I said ‘Sure, go for it’, and left. Upon my return, I noted the blanket was patches side up. Thus, I knew the bed had been remade.
At 6:45 a.m. elf three came rapping on my door. ‘ Hi, Catherine, I’m making all the beds on the top tier. Do you mind if I remake your bed? It’s not tight enough.’ I did pause a moment. ‘Sure’, I said, ‘Have at it while I go make a cup of tea.’ When I got back to the cell, I noted the blanket was once again patches side down. Thus I knew the bed had been remade.
Moments later, Casual Observer Elf came knocking to tell me while I was gone three people had entered my cell and – by the way – did I know my blanket wasn’t tight enough? She offered to remake the bed. I shrugged my shoulders in a what’s-a-girl-to-do manner. Thus my bed was made….you guessed it…..patches side up.
After count, elf five came by to wipe down the doors. ‘Hey LaFleur, do you mind if I make your bed when you go to work? All I could do was say, ‘No, I don’t mind at all.’
I never told any of the elves about each other. I am fairly certain they were all criticizing me and my bed-making skills, unaware they were in fact correcting each other’s work. Still when I returned to the dorm that evening, I discovered I was marked for my laundry bag being not in compliance.
I remain your faithful correspondent.
Homestead Correctional Institution
19000 S.W. 377th Street, Ste. 200
Florida City, Florida 33034
Categories: Catherine LaFleur