Advice Column Break: WordPress Blogging Tips For The Recently Incarcerated

2 Mar


Jesus H. Christ. When I first started absentee dad blogging a couple months ago, I had no idea what a pain in the ass it can be to keep updating your blog on a regular basis. While it’s true I don’t have the kids consuming all my time anymore, there’s still shit like jail. Jail really fucking cuts into your blog time.

So for the second time in coming up on 3 months, I ended up in Cook County Jail, the goddamned greatest shit hole of a jail in all the U.S., trust me, readers.

This place is NOT Search Engine Optimized. At all. Trust me.

Another complete bullshit case, of course. My slum landlord was sort of letting this former tenant squat in the garage behind my apartment building, because he had just gotten out of jail, himself, and had no where to go. Long story short, I was cool with this guy squatting in the garage out back, being the extremely laid back kind of guy I am. I was so cool with it in fact, that I invited him in for a few beers here and there, mostly when I was shit-faced drunk. Big mistake. I woke up a couple mornings and found some shit missing (my backpack, my Fender, few other things). This pissed me off. So the next time I got drunk, instead of inviting him in, I went out back and kind of pepper sprayed him in the face. I don’t remember any of this, how I got the pepper spray, why I had it, or why I decided to be such a sissy about it. I admit that it was probably a sissy move to pepper spray him like that, but seriously, readers, this guy is about 250 pounds, and kind of crazy, so I probably didn’t want to take any chances.

Anyway, again, long story short, the whole thing turns for an unbelievably audacious twist when he has the nerve to calls the cops on me. So, best I can piece things together, the cops showed up at my doorstep, with this guy obviously freshly-pepper sprayed and claiming to be a tenant of the building, which isn’t true, because he’s really a thief-squatter who just got what he deserved. But it was my shitfaced drunk word against his at that point, I guess, so he won, and I got the silver bracelets.

Now let me tell you about Cook County Jail for a minute, readers and fellow bloggers. I can say, with authority and a decent amount of experience, that it is the most inconvenient place to be when you’re due for a blog update.

The first 24 hours are the worst. That’s when you’re in the holding cell, or the bullpen, as it’s so affectionately known.

Like this, but with no women at all. And literally, 12 times more crowded. They only let the cameras in when things aren't atrocious.

Actually, you’re not in just one bullpen, but slowly being paraded through about 4-5 of them. You and dozens upon dozens of other unlucky people are in intake, getting processed into the system– basically, the state is sifting through all of you, sorting you out, categorizing you, assigning you numbers, figuring out who you are and where you belong in the Great Iron Bar Castle.

In Cook County, what this means is that, for that 24 hours or so, you’re packed in with a hundred sweaty, usually quite dirty, often-times vomiting and bowel-evacuating(due to heroin withdrawal) people, some of them murderers, some of them minor offenders or actually-innocent people (like myself, of course, as usual)– the thing is, you don’t know who any of those people are, because the state is still in the process of figuring that all out, assigning the murderers to go here, the shoplifters to go there, the kids who got caught with bags of weed to go there…etc.

This takes the form of being called out of the bullpen, one, by one, by one, every 10 minutes or so, all fucking 100 of you, for hours on end, standing room only, cockroaches scurrying around, fights breaking out, gang members quickly forming allegiances, people vomiting all over themselves, others shitting in the one open-air toilet in the bullpen’s corner (don’t like the idea of going to the bathroom in front of people, fellow bloggers? Well, you’re just going to have to give up that aversion the day you end up in Cook County Jail.) You go through all of this, your name is finally called, a C.O opens the cell doors–

He won't let you blog.

–you walk up to a clerk at a desk who stamps a number on your arm, finally, you think, you’re going to get your shower, your hot and a cot….and then…they walk you to another bullpen, with an all new cast of inmates, where you start the whole process over again.

Just multiply what I just described by about 6, then imagine not being able to update your blog on top of it, and you’ll get an idea of how fucking horrible it is.

Long story short, again, I ended up in Division 2, which is good, because that’s where all the innocent inmates g0, the ones who won’t likely stab you. 2 is actually a big dorm-style deck–

No stylish themes to choose from. Very few visitor stats to obsess over...visitor hours are actually extremely limited. Just insufferable, trust me.

–bunk beds and all that, as opposed to the usual two-man cell deal. A lot more freedom. But again, blog updates completely out of the question. Your readers are just shit out of luck.

Look, I’m tired of typing about it. Final long story short: I plead not guilty to a battery charge, court date on April 4th, and that motherfucker better not show up, I swear to God.

I’m just glad to be home, back to my readers. And back to beer and cigarettes. One last thing, that first cigarette is really fucking harsh after you get out, readers and fellow bloggers, it smokes long, harsh, but sweet, kind of like the first blog update, if I do say so myself.

At any rate, let me get out of here. Oh yeah, I actually received 2 responses to my “cat picture competition” thing. God, it seems like I posted that months ago right now. One of them was actually really good, so I’m going to post it. A reader who would like to be known as J.H. submitted an article featuring a lot of cat pictures. I have to say, he did actually come up with a fairly dignified means by which to get cat pictures on this blog. And so, J.H. wins the cat picture competition. As promised, I will post J.H.’s article on here, probably tomorrow. I will not, however, pay J.H. the 8 dollars that I promised would go to the winner of the cat picture competition, because I’m fucking broke. Sorry, J.

(Speaking of that, if you clicked on this article actually expecting WordPress blogging tips, you’re an idiot. But I feel as though I should deliver in some way, so here’s my tip: don’t have your blog on WordPress when you get incarcerated, in the first place. Have it on Blogger. Be incarcerated for something really fucking controversial and newsworthy. Have your blog AdSensed to high hell. Pray the ad dollars accumulate to the point where you’ll be able to get yourself something nice from the prison commissary. Like, maybe a ham sandwich, or a bottle of juice.)

Fuck off, and goodnight.

-John Leonard Ferris


4 Responses to “Advice Column Break: WordPress Blogging Tips For The Recently Incarcerated”

  1. The Other Teacher March 6, 2011 at 4:24 am #

    I took an LOA the last week of February and March 1st- until today.

    As I mentioned to my children – ahh jail…where I can sleep undisturbed most nights and who ever does disturb me gets in a whole whack of trouble and I will get forced to eat all of my 3 meals a day again undisturbed and get taken care of when I am sick and some else does my laundry and…and….and…

    Lucky you…my LOA was due to hubby having an elbow infection…

    • absenteedaddy March 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      Yeah, jail isn’t so bad, OT, compared to being locked up with the spouse and children situation. For me, anyway, at least. It’s just those first 24 hours of jail that are the worst.

  2. Rechelle March 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    You were totally channeling Amy Winehouse when you wrote this weren’t you? Speaking of Amy Winehouse – she seems to have completely disappeared off of the pop radar. Do you have any strategies for bringing her back? She does have a spectacular voice.

    • absenteedaddy March 6, 2011 at 4:43 am #

      Rechelle…I don’t think Daddy’s over you yet. I’m gonna need you to not open any fresh wounds. I have no advice for you. I’m actually the one who needs help, in this case, miraculously, and for the first time.

      I have yet to work through the tattered remains of that first blogcrush incident we had.

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