Saturday Night: Quiz Night

1 Apr

6.30 approaches, I head over to the Chapel for an event of biblical proportions.

It’s quiz night. I’ve been invited to come along by J – Boiler Room Fraud; as I approach the building I sense an element of nervousness. Did he mean me to join him and his team, or was he being generalistic.

“Sure… come along to the quiz.”

Paranoia that I haven’t experienced since school, dissipates quickly as he and his motley crew beckon me over to join them. We pull out some chairs from those stacked up around the hall and a couple extra to make writing surfaces. J and I have a mutual friend, whom he saw today, it was nice having a non-prison topic of conversation with someone.

The team is made up of Al, a maths graduate by the time I write this, imprisoned for fraud;

Tony, a loveable chap in his late 40s that reminds me of Bungle, imprisoned for fraud;

Paul a man with a roll-up never far away who reminds me very much of Private Walker the wheeler-dealer of Dad’s Army, imprisoned for fraud,

J, imprisoned for running a Boiler Room Operation;

and myself. Not having been sentenced for fraud myself, I am practically the shrinking violet amongst the team, criminality speaking.

It’s little wonder some say they should rename this place HMP Fraud.

The team named ‘News International’ is a competitive operator and we finish a solid 3rd. I am able to offer a couple of corkers for answers that would have otherwise missed the team and collect my share of the prize – a packet of Custard Cremes – with a sense of pride. In between answering questions, we chat about our offences and other idle chit-chat.

“Where’ve you been… how long did you get….When do you get home leaves etc?”

It’s a nice evening, it is a sense of normality again that I harp on about. It’s enjoyable and I wouldn’t begrudge such an event on the outside. Circumstances considering, the quiz night isn’t a bad old affair.

Evening roll check’s at 8.45, the quiz comes to a halt pretty close to the cut off point. I’m unwound and relaxed, perfect preparation for an irritating evening trapped in a small space with a man never likely to get any easier to live with. I do my farewells to my intellectual peers and head for something a little less high brow.

Law and Order USA is on, apparently its a favourite of his. I stick my headphones in, face away from my cellperson and try to write home. Tomorrow it’s a lunar month, 28 days. It’s ticked by fairly quickly I guess; but time is beginning to drag in this environment. Delroy continues to have a one-sided conversation with me and/or no-one regarding the events on the telly, its difficult to ignore, I do have manners but my patience is  as limited as anyones’.

I’m unhappy in spite of my evening’s diversion. I have 12 hours every day for the forseeable ensconced within a limited space with this intolerable human being. Worst of all, he’s irritating with no idea at all.



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