Everything I know I learned from television

Once upon a time – at my previous job – there was talk of sending a reporter to spend the night in jail to write about the experience. It never ended up happening, but I like to think I’d have done just fine if I’d been chosen. (I had a 50/50 chance as there were only two reporters there).

In fact, not long ago, a couple of my co-workers and I were talking about Orange Is The New Black** and they told me that they both were confident I’d survive just fine in jail/prison (there are differences, people).

**If you have not watched this show, you need to. First of all, it’s awesome. Second of all, I never steer people wrong when it comes to TV show recommendations. Third of all, the whole first season is on Netflix so you can binge-watch in four days like I did.

Between OITNB and repeated viewings of Locked Up/Locked Up:Raw /Locked Up:Extended Stay /Locked Up:Abroad, a few episodes of Oz, lots of Law & Orders and those three times I watched Brokedown Palace, I feel like I’m sufficiently prepared, should I ever decide to take up a life of crime and, well, not be great at it.

Seriously. I’ve made a list of the qualifications that would make me a good prisoner (at least in terms of taking care of myself). And because I got them hooked on Orange too, I made my sisters and Mom make lists as well. Who would last long? Probably none of us, if we’re being real honest. But here we plead our case.

Me:
I would survive prison because:
1) I am tougher than I look. Like, when we were younger (and sometimes it still happens, lets be honest), my sisters have to be reminded not to hit or pinch or hurt me because I will retaliate and mine always hurt worse.
2) I am a people-pleaser. I will at least be agreeable to someone’s face. Don’t like having anyone mad at me. And I am good at sharing…comes with being the oldest. You want my lunch? Sure you can have it.
3) Due to my repeated viewings of these shows about incarceration, I have learned how to be resourceful. I can most likely make shoes, a shank and some pretty disgusting hooch if called upon to do so.
4) Since I not only watch(ed) shows about the wrong side of the law but the right/other side as well (See: Justified, Law & Order again, COPS, Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Wire), I can help my fellow prisoners work on their case/appeals. Kind of like Andy in Shawshank. And even if I can’t, I know a lot of legalese/Latin that would make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. “Objection!” “Habeus Corpus” “If it pleases the court..”
5) I’m a damn good snuggler.

Rachel:
Reasons I wouldn’t survive prison:
1) I’m really weak so I’d probably lose any fight I got into.
2) My nose is really sensitive and I imagine there’s some funky smells in prison
3) I don’t like being told when I can and can’t eat.
4) I’d spend all my money on snacks instead of necessities to barter with
5) They don’t serve donuts in prison.

Sami:
Yeah I’d make it because:
a) I’m a people pleaser, I wouldn’t piss people off
b) I’m resourceful
c) I don’t take shit from people
d) im short, I’ll go unnoticed
e) I ain’t no snitch

Mom:
I wouldn’t survive because:
1) jail is too dirty.
2) I don’t like the shower situation
3) Probably wouldn’t be able to defend myself.
4) Not good at hiding my emotions, so that would probably get me in trouble.
5) rats.

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