A Cherished Compliment—Weird, But Wonderful!

Living the Dream at Busboys and Poets 10.20.13   The other day, I was doing my thing—Prison Ministry. I’m in jail two Fridays a month, conducting Bible study, which means for me, a myriad of things. So I made it through the pat-down, the Sally Port, and the steel door to the classroom, bolted, with me inside. I sat there preparing in prayer, and awaiting those, whom I affectionately call my girls.  On this particular day, I could see that the ages of the ladies ranged from early twenties to at least mid-sixties. It’s also important to note that I had spied some new faces. The ladies rushed in with a buoyant buzz about them—like they had been conversing amongst themselves and the subject had been left suspended in the air. Mind you, I ascertained this observation in delighted hindsight. As they scurried in, passed out Bibles and claimed their seats, one young woman announced to the others, “Yeah, I told you. She’s just like us!” Her statement caused her to stand and swish her arms in a swag move.  Shocked, my gaze fixed on her like a statue’s. My mouth reflexed an opened smile. My innards mused joyful. Some in the room nodded their affirmation.  In real-time, I began to realize that her statement was a continuation of a prior conversation to which I had not been privy. That’s also when the hindsight began to wash clear. Okay, lemme go deep.

You see, they had all read my novella, The Prison Plumb Line. My novella and my novels are included in the detention center’s library. Some major reading had been going on, and a behind-the-bars debate had ensued. Folklore—if I may be so humbly bold as to use such a word in reference to something that I composed—a bit of folklore was crowning. Okay, I’ll take it down a notch—a rumor had arisen. Rumor had it that the author of The Prison Plumb Line (me), had indeed served prison time, had pulled herself together, and post-incarceration, she had penned and published her story!

Usually, whether or not I’m conducting a Bible study or a writing workshop behind bars, for men or women, as they parade in, it’s customary for me to say, “We’re on holy ground.” It sets the tone before we proceed (even if what we discuss is edgy) and it sets things straight because God is holy, and the written word can serve up blessings and empowerment—if you learn to work it right. That’s my thought, anyway. But on this day, I held back my declaration. I decided, instead, to take in the debate that was being lobbed back-and-forth across the table. Some said that in the novella, I was the main character, Evie. She journeys her way through her jail sentence, her struggle to survive, and through the internal enlightenment that eventually guides her to miracles. Others in the room declared that I was the Church Lady character—one of the vessels, God uses to push the process.

Well, after a while (and before a fight broke out), I clarified, but also, I affirmed. “Wait,” I said, throwing up both hands, using them to cosign, “I am just like you! Because though I have not lived through your particular experience of incarceration, many times, such fate has lingered near.” I went on to explain how at times, I have been unlovable, misunderstood, mistreated/abused, weak and uncertain in my flesh, and in turmoil. I have been both, unfairly and fairly accused and criticized. I have been mean, mad, frustrated, and way too often, I have been powerless. Also, sadly, my mind and heart have been imprisoned. I have been on the ground floor needing to push the button pointing to the not-giving-up mode. However, through it all, whether or not I realized it, I have always been loved. “It’s the same truth for you,” I said. “Today, I am grateful.” I continued my assertion to them, “I’m here, and my love for you inspired me to write this book.” Their looks on me fell nourishing.  I continued, “I know you love me because you read the pages of my heart, and saw me as being a part of you.” I think that’s the biggest compliment a writer can receive.

As a mere volunteer trying hard to live God’s Word in John 13:34-35 (it talks about loving one another), I pray to become purposeful at it. For two or three hours, we pass back-and-forth, the Word of God, enlighten, impact, and uplift as best we know how. In the midst, I might also shoot the Holy Ghost breeze, up-in-there, or share pivotals of my personal testimony—accrued back-in-the-day. I might share a mainstream film, a documentary or colorful prose—all thought-provoking—to hone in on a God-inspired point. Next week, I’m bringing them Get On Up, the James Brown story. You figure out why.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, Lovers!

But remember—lasting love can shine through in many ways!!!!!!!

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This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

1.       A Political Talk show in Athens, Greece turned violent when one participant, a man, chose to violently disagree with another participant/pundit’s political views, a woman. He showed his disapproval with repeated slaps across the woman’s face. Then the man/coward/big baby/dummy fled the scene. He was briefly held at bay in the studio, while the police were on its way, but he slipped out of grasp. At this telling, no word on whether or not the small-minded Jackass was nabbed. (I wanted to kick his a%$.)

2.       An 18-year-old man was sentenced to two years in jail for vehicular homicide. He was texting while driving, and in case you haven’t caught it, this bumps up the talking-on-your-cell-phone-while-driving offense. The Massachusetts Judge meant to make a statement—Quit it!  In the courtroom, two families were in tears. The family of the young man, who only had his driver’s license for all of five months, and the family of the man (a father) who was killed by this senseless act turned horrific. The 18-year-old man will not be granted another driver’s license for another 15 years. (Here’s a note: To date, 39 states ban texting while driving. In New Jersey, drivers can be jailed if they cause an accident by driving while drowsy. Beware. Be safe. Be sensible.)

3.       A woman was arrested for cheering too loud at her son’s high school graduation. Arrested! She was handcuffed and led away in front of her child, and an auditorium filled with people. I don’t believe the young man was able to receive his diploma either. (Really? I mean, we get it. Everyone wants to be able to hear his or her child’s name when called to celebrate the long awaited achievement. But was causing this level of humiliation (even though the mother had been inappropriate) really worth it? Do you think that next year, folks will be totally quiet? See yah, next year. Can’t wait to see that.) Question: I wonder what the decision would have been if the yeller had of been a celebrity or if the young graduate had of been – ahhhh, let’s say, P. Diddy’s son or Sen. John McCain’s daughter. I wonder.

4.       Mega-church Pastor Creflo Dollar, arrested for allegedly assaulting his 15-year-old daughter during what he said was an argument that had gotten out of hand. He denies choking his daughter – as the charge states (But who hasn’t felt like choking their teenager? Huh?). The police said that after it saw a scratch on the daughter’s neck (Babygirl, called the police) it served as reason enough to make an arrest. Reportedly, the argument abounded when the father told his daughter she could not attend a party. (Well, apparently, if he did choke her – after she must have been full of lip and attitude; no doubt—he must not have done it right because she had breath enough to call the police! JUST KIDDING!!) While there is no excuse for domestic violence (no excuse), the publicized particulars surrounding this case feels fishy. Dollar has many, many supporters; and many critics as well. And up ‘til now, his critics and doubters have not been able to nab him for anything fraud-ish (or anything concretely fraud-ish). While Friday’s arrest took place made national headlines; by Monday, there was not a peep. (Where’d everybody go?) During the coverage, the press had a field day, calling up reasons for previous failed attempts to take him down a peg. It provided fertile ground upon which to poke fun at his prosperity preaching, mega-church growth and lavish lifestyle. There must have been a mere sentence or two on the alleged assault. One reporter led off with the phrase “Creflo Dollar’s followers…”  It sounded like he described a cult not a church.

     All I gotta say, y’all is God in Wingtip Shoes —check out God in Wingtip Shoes. Then let’s talk—if you’re big and bad enough. It’s intricate storytelling laced with spice so keep on your thinking caps!

5.  Washington, DC road rage was perpetrated by a retired DC police officer who allegedly swerved his vehicle to knock a man off his bicycle (that’s while the two were maneuvering on the road.) He first yelled at the bicyclist (or bicycler) then swerved toward him. The retired officer turned himself in once the alleged tape that caught it all was publicized.

6.    At last reporting, a woman, a supporter of Tom Barrett may be charged for assaulting Mr. Barrett. She slapped him then hugged him (maybe it was the other way around. I can’t remember) for conceding the Wisconsin gubernatorial race while the votes were still being counted. Barrett got slapped, and lost the race besides. (I think it was a loving slap—if such a thing exists. I know that if my beloved candidate loses, I’m gonna wanna slap somebody!).

7.    DC Council Chair Kwame Brown received multiple criminal charges for bank fraud and campaign fraud. He faces the possibility of jail time, and he’s looking at the heartbreak of the citizens he was charged to serve, and, I imagine, his own expectations and that of family members. (The hurt we cause goes deeper than we can first imagine—as soon as we can imagine it. I know.)

8.    A babysitter story again! A babysitter in Stafford, VA, was arrested after the three little boys, ages 4, 6, and 7, placed in her charge were found wondering around a ways from their home. Reportedly, two of the little boys were found at a Taco Bell, the third, in an empty field. The babysitter had let them out (alone) to play. She was charged with three counts of felony child neglect. (Lots of people figure they will babysit because they think they don’t have to do much. They can sit and watch TV all day. To all you lazy lima beans, who think that—go work/swindle elsewhere! And stay away from our children!)

9.   In San Diego, a man just released from jail decided to board a plane, illegally and undetected. He nearly made it (that fact is scary). Alas, he was nabbed when the plane’s headcount went askew. Last check, he was getting a tax-paying free ride back to the pokey.

10.    An Upper Marlboro couple charged with human trafficking/transporting and imprisoning a Filipino woman. The couple forced her into indentured servitude (my words) for 10 years. (I bet, while living and working in the community, acting holier-than-thou. Again, my words.) At last check, the couple faced five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

11.   A Texas high school student (with good grades!) was arrested for missing too many classes. The judge said, “One night in jail is not that bad.” (“Oh yeah?” I say. “What about the strip search?”) (Again, I said, “this student must have only missed the class time that must have been joke time because it didn’t affect her grades.”)

               People, people think before you act. And think: compassion toward others!!!!

                Remember: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!!!

  Don’t understand? Think The Prison Plumb Line, a novella. Because you may never really get it unless you really get it! (Yeah, I used that line—salted up!)

  BTW, I will be in jail this Friday—conducting Bible Study!!

  Here’s to sending a loving and sincere shout-out to all my incarcerated peeps!!

www.yvonnejmedley.com

This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

  1. Man arrested in an alleged immigration scam. Here’s a word to the wise—if you wanna become a U.S. citizen, get your family members over (legally) to these shores, even seek asylum, etc. don’t make your hookups, and give monies (upwards of thousands of dollars) with people strolling around in the mall. If you’ve got that kind of money to throw around, I could use some cash to fix my air conditioning (it’s getting hot in here), and I could teach you English skills (my day job) as a return. (I don’t know exactly where to point you, but I’m sure the proper destination would involve an official-looking office.)
  2. What the Hay Were You Thinkin’?  A D.C. Fire and EMA Lieutenant allegedly steals 20 bales of hay from a Upper Marlboro, MD horse farm/stall/farm/hay lot (sorry, I was a city kid. I haven’t a clue about what you’d call homes for hay.). The victim knew the alleged hay-thief, and said, if she (yes, I think it’s a she-thief) had of only asked for a couple of bales, he would have just given them to her. Who knew? (What makes a person hard up for hay? How much does hay cost? I heard about $6 per bale. (I almost spelled it bail.) Perhaps it was needed for a scarecrow that was on fire, and the Lieutenant showed up on the scene only to determine that she needed emergency hay to perform emergency Hay-surgery. If so, I can see why there was no time to just politely ask.) One last bit of trivia about hay: I don’t know why we always see people smiling during hayrides. I took a hayride, once, and that darn hay hurts! I had on jeans and it still pricked my thighs, something awful. I got in trouble for trying to stand up on the ride back!)
  3. Campaign aids/staffers and such going down for the cause. In this instance, it was for the wrongdoing during the last DC Mayoral race. (Don’t look now, but I think playing dirty is the same as riding dirty.) Lord only knows where all this mud-reveal is gonna lead and/or finally land.
  4. Spycam Case of Former Rutgers Student. So for giggles, at the expensive of the pain and anguish of a classmate, this young man (who perhaps is truly sorry—for a variety of reasons, now) films his fellow student engaged in a private intimate moment (a kiss, it was reported). The student/victim commits suicide. I’ll stop here because if you’ve been following this, you know it’s just too much to comment on, but… note to self and to anyone else within eyeball shot of reading this blog: Anything/idea that begins with the description of Prank just throw it in the trash before it has time to fester and/or materialize into something irrevocably and hurtfully tangible.
  5. The Parliament Fistfight in the Ukraine. I don’t know if anyone got arrested, but it was hilarious to watch. (I wonder what or who started it? Can I call it a Parliament? Do they have a Tea Party over there?)
  6. The Case of the Neighborhood Nanny. So the six-year-old boy is playing alone on the playground near his home (I don’t know why he was out there by himself, but I’m just gonna try to let it go). Someone dubbed the Neighborhood Nanny takes it upon herself to take the child to her home without telling the parents or anyone else. A community-wide (and perhaps, beyond) panic and search ensues.  At last check, it was reported that the boy was not harmed. (Perhaps this person thought that she was doing a good deed, but it wasn’t well-thought out. And now (at last report), she’s facing charges.
  7. The Baby-in-the-dryer at the Laundromat Fiasco. This stupidity made national news. As a peekaboo prank (there goes that “P” word, again), a man, first thought to be the 2-year-old boy’s father, places the child in a dryer and shuts the door; while a woman, who was first thought to be the little boy’s mother, folds laundry and looks on. There’s a panic among all who witnessed the act when the dryer starts to tumble (as dryers tend to do) and the man could not get the dryer door to open. It turns out that the woman/the laundry-folding onlooker was the babysitter. The man—well, his identity has yet to be determined. (Any bets on why he hasn’t come forward, yet?) I guess we’ll see if charges will be filed. Having grown up at the hands of babysitters (my mom was a hardworking single parent who loved me), my heart just goes out to all parents who must entrust their children to someone who ultimately proves to be untrustworthy (and stupid). And my heart goes out to trustworthy childcare providers who make their living giving their best and their all, and have to be subjected to this kind of bad publicity. Thank God the baby is okay.

Hay/Hey Peeps—think before you act!!!! Remember: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!!!

This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

  1. First there was a naked man shopping in Walmart (remember that, a couple of weeks ago?). This week a naked woman shops in a lumber store. (Do you think she was worried about getting splinters?)  Well, she was arrested—not for shoplifting (because it was apparent that she was not)—but for nudeness/lewdness.
  2. A Philadelphia man gets into an argument about whether or not he paid the cashier in a doughnut shop. When he gets his doughnut and coffee, he throws his hot coffee at the young lady (scalding her arm). Then he storms out, but not before the entire rage is logged into the surveillance camera. After seeing his (stupid) face plastered all over the media, he surrendered to the police. (So what was it fella? Were you running late for the office? Were you stressed from work? Did you have an argument with your wife that morning? Or did the consumption of carbs laced with caffeine mean just that much to you (I know that sometimes it means a great deal to me, too, but…)? Now, I ask you, in retro-common sense; was your stupid behavior worth it? Was it?
  3. J.P. Morgan Chase Blunder/Scandal. Shouldn’t somebody go to jail over all this? (I did hear that somebody was allowed to keep their (his) bonuses/raises and such.)
  4. Hospital worker sells patients’ medical records. (Did your momma teach you anything about integrity?)
  5. Bicycle thief sells his ill-gotten-gain on Craig’s List. Before he went to jail, the owner set up a meeting and stole it back. (While I don’t encourage such hutzpah, Hooray!!!)
  6. A man snatches an iPhone from a woman. She gives chase and renders a bloody-murder scream! Metro passengers look then invoke a collective, “Oh-hell-naw,” and give chase as well. The robber gives it some re-thought—after he’s cornered—and gives the iPhone back. (Too late. Off to jail you go!)
  7. A teen attempts to rob a Police Station (I don’t even wanna know what city this little boob-head lives in. what happened? Did the munches make you do it?)
  8. A man tries to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. (He learned that if you don’t quite make it over the side, you get arrested. [Hopeful that didn’t add to his depression.])
  9. A drunk man, outraged by the room rates at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC, pulls a gun on the desk clerk. (But you don’t have to feel sorry for him. The Arlington County, VA jail put him up for the night in one of its 6 x 9 cells for free. He slept off his high and his dumb decision.)

People, people think before you act!!!! Remember: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!!! 

BTW, I will be in jail tonight—conducting Bible Study!!

Here’s to sending a loving and sincere shut-out to all my incarcerated peeps!!

This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

1. New Jersey mom, described as a Really Tanned Mom, was arrested for allowing her five-year-old daughter to be tanned (along with mom). Tanning for children, age 13 and under, is illegal in New Jersey. The mother says she merely took her daughter with her, who stayed in a common area (while her mama got fried). , and it’s all a misunderstanding. Right now, all signs point to yes. But did you see the mom? (Respectfully, a ray of help is needed somewhere. But I’ll be gosh darn, if that lady’s not getting her fifteen minutes of sun-fame, anyhooo. Hey God, what-up-wit’that? Huh? Do You really think that’s fair?)

2. And speaking of misunderstandings, Re: the retrial of Rodger Clemens, Andy Pettitte—Clemens’s former friend and teammate, said that perhaps he misunderstood his friend say he took steroids and human growth hormones. (You know, perhaps Clemens said, “Do you think my butt looks too big in this uniform? Oh, I know, I’ll take a couple of laxatives tonight.” I mean, I could see Andy zoning out of the conversation the minute Roger directed him to look at his butt. Lord-only-knows what he heard after that. (Oh well, big boys and their balls — baseballs, basketballs, footballs, tennis balls, hockey balls [I mean, pucks] — you gotta love’em! I do.)

3. Medicare fraud, a reportedly 107 counts of it, in seven cities. That’s phony claims made by otherwise law-abiding citizens; doctors, nurses, owners of healthcare facilities, oh my! (Can you say, “$452 million worth”?)

4. Texting when you’re driving/steering a huge Barge, and a Duck boat filled with tourists. This caused a deadly accident in Philadelphia. (I wonder if the men at the helms of these boats thinks “sorry” is enough.)

5. A Valet guy taking a spin in somebody else’s car. (Oh, I know you’ve seen it done, classically, in the movies, but …life imitating art can land you in the pokey if you’re not careful.)

6. Greedy councilmen! (Okay, I hate to turn this into an about-me moment, but this just happened in Washington, D.C., y’all, and the scene that played out in the courtroom, at the sentencing, is the exact scene that played out in the Preface of the novella, The Prison Plumb Line. Check out Delta Dover’s upbringing and fall. Of course, I do pray for this councilman’s family, especially his mother, who’s heartbroken and going, I don’t understand, but the similarity gave me chills.)

7. Former Presidential candidates/adulterers, and their helpers. (Oh that’s right, the helpers a million dollars for their help, and got immunity for their ratting out/testimony. Snitches get stitches, y’all. That’s a little poem I learned from my former inmate friends.)

8. A new study reports that marijuana use has gone up eighty percent among teens. (No comment. I don’t know if I’m jealous or appalled. I just know that my typing fingers are shaking. [Oops, that’s a comment.])

9. Administering/injecting free-flowing silicone into the behinds of women—not happy with the behind that God, and their mama gave them—in a hotel room, not even a hospital. And reportedly, the silicone wasn’t even good! (I mean, C’mon, just how unhappy could you be to fall for that stupidness [is that a word]?)

10. Road rage, people, road rage—it’s making murderers and fugitives out of some people, victims out of others and landing some folks in jail, at the very least. (Take a Tylenol before you get behind the wheel of the car. Self-talk (yourself down off that ledge), and resign yourself into thinking that if you’re running late, the good stuff ain’t happenin’ until you get there, anyway. [Even if that ain’t true, isn’t it better than landing in jail, the hospital or the morgue? Dummy!])

11. Getting charged for embezzlement of a Fire Department’s funds, after (I-say-after) you died. (Now just where do they plan to hold this trial? Who’s digging up the restitution? I mean it gives fresh meaning to the phrase, “I’m coming over there, and I’m takin’ it outta your ass!” [Lord knows, I’ve said that before!]) (Technically, perhaps, this guy’s going to Heaven Gate’s Jail or to the Jail-of –the-hereafter.)

Have you ever once thought, There, but for the Grace of God, go I? Well, start thinkin’ it. Start thanking God and start thinking before you act because—It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think! http://www.yvonnejmedley.com

This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

  1. Fighting, no assaulting a couple over a cab. (Really? I hope that person was late, anyway.)
  2. Making school bomb threats. (Would you cut that out? Just cut it!)
  3. Walking naked on the George Washington (GW) Parkway (N. VA).(Actually, it really got this gentlemen a ride to the nearest mental health facility. But walking naked in the public is usually frowned upon. So take that off your bucket list.)
  4. Suppressing voter turnout by falsely declaring a winner via automated phone calls. (That’s designed to keep his or her supporters from voting. If my guy or gal’s won already, then I don’t need to keep pressing forward, right?) While we’re on the subject, here’s a few other tricks used: Passing out flyers stating that before you can vote, you need to bring a current phone bill or electric bill to the polls; Spreading the rumor that there’s a fee for voting; Misstating the deadline date for voter registration, and the list goes on. (Know your rights, kiddies. Seek and ye shall find.)
  5. A university basketball player arrested for disorderly conduct. Exiting a venue, frequented by college students, reportedly, there was a fight that spilled onto the street. Reportedly, the basketball player was not in the fight, but was shouting. That’s why he was charged. There was no mention if the fighters were charged with anything. (I wonder what the heck, did the basketball player shout! I have an outside voice. I’m often accused of shouting. OMG, I’m so frightened now.) Reportedly, the police said something like, “Oh no matter, it was a light charge.” (Oh. Well, okay, then.)

The Prison Plumb Line, check it out! A swift read with a lasting impression.

This Week’s Winners: It’s Easier to go to Jail Than You Think!

  1. The University of Maryland at College Park student who leveled threats via email. He was charged for the threats, but then admitted to the hospital for a psych eval. Well, he’s been released from the hospital, and he’s been sacked with an additional charge – the misuse of email. (I bet you didn’t know that was a crime. It’s a stupid crime to commit. Use some common sense, people. Hey, hey, you—get off that Twitter. Writing that crap. Yah dummy!)
  2. Another alleged dummy writing anti-Semitic slurs in a Maryland University elevator. (You got all the way to college and you didn’t learn (1.) not to write on the wall; and (2.) Your writing utensils are for jotting down class notes, and writing your homework papers and assignment drafts? (The police are looking for you, alleged Dummy.)
  3. DUI ramming into a Seven-Eleven—with his SUV. He narrowly missed a young woman purchasing a lottery ticket (both times: when he crashed into the store, then skidded out on the fearful run). Young lady, you’re already blessed. May God continue to be with you. DUI-guy, you’re blessed, too. You get to live the rest of your life not in remorse and shame for killing an innocent person with your frivolous non-thinking actions.
  4. Somebody arrest that Tornado in Dallas, Texas that threw around those trucks like Tonker Toys! (I’m just sayin’.)
  5. California teacher makes headlines when he leaves his family to play hide-and-seek with an 18-year-old student; then gets arrested when it’s discovered that he had an inappropriate relationship with an even younger student. Allegedly he dipped his wick in an even younger student age pool. (C’mon man, leave the kiddies alone. Go play with someone your own age and size—at least appropriate.)
  6. Air Traffic Controller mistakes pilot’s distress call for a prank. He didn’t hear all the identification numbers like he should have, the report said because perhaps he was distracted (i.e. hadn’t devoted his total attention to the task at-hand.) [Charges may be filed. Funny (not) what can land you in hot water when you’re not paying attention. Especially when lives are at stake.]
  7. Four Fairview, Illinois women beat down a waitress in a restaurant because reportedly, she messed up an/their order. (Really? When I’m that hungry, I just swing past the drive-thru. No sittin’ down and waitin’ for me. Seriously, you need to take that aggression around the world! Beat the Hell outta some injustices. Some shhhhh..t like that!)
  8. To the woman who tried to smuggled drugs by sewing them in the wig…See where all that misplaced ingenuity got you? Now go figure out something that can help get us to world peace or something. And at the very least, woman, buy a better-looking wig!
  9. State Department Employee, one who passed all the bells and whistles of security checks and so on, arrested for pornography. Not the first; and sadly not the last. (Just stop it. Stop it, now!)

The sad thing about mistakes, stupidity and gall (especially all of the aforementioned when you can’t take it back), and misguided judgment (in case I wasn’t clear) is that these acts have no respect of person! Believe me, I know that, too (not the porn thing)! Been-there-done-that/Don’t-want-the-T-shirt!