(The title of the post is something I frequently say to The Boyf when I’m just about to launch into something seemingly – seemingly – deeply tangential to the current topic when, in fact, there is a complex and surely highly respectable whole series of thoughts that led me there.  At any rate…)

So today I read a post by apostropher which links to the latest Steve, Don’t Eat It!, which is volume 8, which is about “prison hooch.”  It’s a hilarious post, and you should go read it. 

In this particular example of gustatory error, though, he mentions having gotten the, er, recipe from a book called You Are Going to Prison,
a sort of prison-life-for-dummies book about how to spot the gangs,
avoid being murdered and, obviously, make illicit alcohol in a trashbag
concealed in your prison cell.  I, being the descendant of some of
the first settlers of what was then a penal colony,
was immediately fascinated and had to go check out the book’s
description on Amazon.  The whole concept seemed amusing enough
that I scrolled right on down to the user reviews section and found
this gem:

You’ve Got Jail!, December 23, 2002

Reviewer:    Charles Henry Higgensworth III (Boston, Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

This detailed and eye-opening guide makes the perfect gift for any
prison-bound friend or colleague. Street-dumb executives caught up in
white-collar crime sweeps will find the sections on surviving prison
riots and identifying deadly prison gangs to be particularly
illuminating. I came across this remarkable book shortly after our
family was served a notice of expulsion from our social & athletic
club. Although our ancestors were amongst its founding luminaries,
circumstances had sadly caused us to fall several years behind on our
dues, and in the face of our record-setting delinquency the Membership
Board surely had no other option. Despite that, I was overcome by an
urge to take some sort of petty revenge, and this book proved to be an
ideal avenue to that. Our club – one of New England’s oldest and
grandest – now has a truly national membership, and many of the
best-publicized players in the current corporate crime wave are
affiliates based in Philadelphia, New York, and (especially) Houston.
Since many of these new celebrities are indeed amongst the potentates
of the Membership and Steering Committees, I decided to make an
anonymous gift of “You Are Going to Prison” to several of them, with
appropriate passages highlighted or flagged with Post-It notes. Readers
with similar aims will find Chapter Six (“Don’t Drop the Soap – Sex in
the Slammer”) and Chapter Nine (“Blood In and Blood Out – Prison Gangs
and Violence”) to be particularly rich in opportunities to draw
attention to poignant passages (e.g. “saw this bit on chain gangs and
thought of you!”).

This… this is art.  If you go to his page (just click on
his name up there), you’ll be treated to some of the most amusing
short-form, subdued humor you’ve seen in a while.  Check his other reviews.  They’re worth it. (more…)