Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The cheating game

Yesterday, Saturday 19th December 2009, a couple of things happened which, whilst completely unconnected, are worth a bit of a mention - well, I thought so.

The first came about as I idly watched a pair of hooligans pretending to be Ronnie O'Sullivan on the snooker table. As everyone is fully aware, I am not allowed to name either Noel or Israel so I have to give them noms-de-convenience. Therefore, I shall call these two fine, upstanding villains er... Christmas and Syria. No connection there then.

So, Syria is playing properly in that he attends the table when Christmas takes a shot. On the other hand, Christmas buggers off when it is Syria's shot and Syria has to wait until he comes back. This is annoying to Syria, and so it should be.

In the end I say to Syria during one of Christmas's absences, "Why not just cheat? Move a red!"

"What!" answers Syria in shock. "I'm not cheating!"

"Why not?" I ask, curious.

"I don't cheat," says he sanctimoniously.

"So," say I, "you are quite happy to rob, cheat, steal, lie and point guns at people, but not to cheat at snooker eh?"

A crook by definition spends his time cheating society yet won't cheat at a silly game! Curious indeed.

The second thing was a letter from my probation officer. She tells me that there is to be a video-link on Thursday 14th January at 2:15pm during which she hopes to see my sad and raddled countenance and have a chat. I've never been involved in such an enterprise before, it should be very interesting to say the least. I'm not at all sure why she has this desire, but I suspect it probably has something to do with the new parole hearing scheduled for the New Year. She has to make a report. She also seems a bit, shall we say, 'put out' by the fact that she wasn't asked to contribute to my recent Sentence Planning Meeting/Board. (Incidentally, at that board they promised me a copy of the minutes - I am still waiting.)

Well, Syria may have an aversion to cheating but the prison service has no such moral qualms. It will not only cheat but will lie blatantly to achieve its own ends. So, who is the better? The prisoner, who makes no secret of the fact that his social conscience leaves a lot to be desired, or the person working for the prison service, who does exactly the same thing with the full support of a failing system?

I hope everyone who reads this has a good Christmas and I wish them all the luck they wish for themselves in 2010. Dear me, the year two thousand and ten .... I'm still struggling to get used to the nineteen seventies!

The Voice In The Wilderness

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