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Feb 25, 2024
This week’s theme
Words for prisons

This week’s words
lob’s pound

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Relative usage over time

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AWADmail Issue 1130

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

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From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

The World Capital of Endangered Languages
The New York Times

Disappearing Tongues: the Endangered Language Crisis
The Guardian

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bridewell

I’ve never been in prison, but I have a copy of The Purge, by my late friend Chandler Davis, about what happened to him and other mathematicians in the time of Joe McCarthy. He did indeed spend six months in jail, for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, during which time he wrote a mathematical paper, and credited the federal government with providing room and board. He came to Canada, much to the gain of Canada, Chandler himself, and his wife, the distinguished historian Natalie Zemon Davis.

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada

From: Tony Seton (tonyseton tonyseton.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bridewell

I was arrested when the woman I was living with got upset because we were going in different directions ... something that was clear for several months. She called the police and said that I was scaring her. I did raise my voice, but never my hand.

I was in jail for 22 hours. Out on bond. And a week-plus later, the DA dismissed the charge.

I was out $7,000 for the attorney and the bail.

I wrote a book about the awful time. It is called 13 Days of Fear.

The woman and I are email friends.

Tony Seton, Carmel, California

From: Ian MacLeod (icmacleod telus.net)
Subject: Prison experience -- inside under an assumed name

The Matsqui Institution, a federal medium security prison is located in Abbotsford/Matsqui, BC, Canada. In 1983-84, when I lived in Matsqui, there were both male and female inmates. It currently incarcerates about 446 prisoners, about 19% being “lifers”, so some hard-core criminals.

A couple of the Abbotsford churches set up an outreach program to the inmates through a small soccer league. There were six teams: two in the penitentiary (one first nations and one everyone else), two from the churches and one each of local doctors/dentists and lawyers/accountants. I played for the lawyers/accountants. The inmates had no road games (obviously!), so the other teams had to go into the pen to play. Our first game was in the fall of 1983.

Before going in, our team manager had to supply a list of our team members names, so that advance security checks could be done. When we arrived on game day, our manager just signed us all in. The prison staff didn’t even do any identity checks on us. It was only later that I discovered that he had forgotten to give my name in advance of our first game, so he just signed me in under another player’s name!

There had been no security check on me, and I was inside the prison. If there had been any incidents while we were in there, I could have been in very serious trouble.

I well remember going in for our first game. As we walked down the aisle inside a chain link fence with razor wire, there were female inmates lined up on the other side. They were catcalling, whistling and calling out “Fresh meat! Fresh meat!”

It was clearly a violent place (those who whine about mollycoddling prisoners should actually be forced to spend some time themselves in an actual jail -- it would change their minds in a hurry!). If, during the game, one of us got fouled by an inmate and we complained to the referee, 100 inmates around the field would yell, “Boohoo, kick the f***ing sissy again.” But if we said nothing, and the next time that fouling inmate came close we threw an elbow into his jaw, the cons around the field would clap and yell “Good play, good play, guy!”

Ian MacLeod, Richmond, Canada

From: Kenneth Kirste (kkkirste sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Prison

When I was 5 years old, there were only two occasions during which my parents kept all the window shades drawn during the day: when it was very hot out or when my Uncle Cary visited. I was also taught that if any strangers asked about Uncle Cary I should only answer, “We haven’t seen him” and “We don’t know where he is.”

The FBI caught up to my uncle, and a judge sentenced the convicted forger to five years in the McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary in WA. In retrospect, my mother must have told our closest neighbor, but no one told me. So, when the neighbor casually asked my mom, “How’s your brother?”, both women were stunned when the small boy at their feet blurted, “We ain’t seen him and we don’t know where he’s at!”

Ken Kirste, Sunnyvale, California

From: Marni Hancock (mrh330 gmail.com)
Subject: Prisons

When I was in college (sometime between 1965 and 1969) a friend of my mother’s got tickets for my parents and me to attend the dress rehearsal of the prisoner’s talent show at Folsom Prison. It was an educational experience -- the musical talents of the prisoners were amazing. However, the security of the setting and the total lack of privacy available to the prisoners made a huge impact on me. I am so fond of my privacy that it was that lack which most impressed me.

Marni Hancock, Springfield, Oregon

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From: Donald Ardell (awr.realwellness gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bridewell

In the mid 70s, I spent time in California’s infamous San Quentin State Prison, though not as an inmate.

During a time when I was the reigning handball champion in the San Francisco Bay area, an invitation came from the prison warden to the Embarcadero YMCA’s Executive Director to recommend two handballers to visit and play their best. The games would be a spectacle viewed by the prison’s general population. I was chosen, along with one other player. We underwent varied screenings and other procedures (e.g., background checks to establish that we were upstanding lads, two interviews and the signing of liability waivers. We were instructed that the prison operated on a strict “no hostage” policy of which the inhabitants were well aware. This policy meant there would be no negotiations if the “locals” took us “under their wings,” so to speak, as “get out of jail” bargaining chips. While it seems insane to me now that I went along with these conditions, I did, considering that it would be a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the inside of this storied facility, one frequently in the news as a scary and dangerous place.

Fortunately, it was a positive and quite amazing experience. My fellow handball guest and I were treated as VIPs by the staff, dined (but not wined) before the event, and shown around (though not the gas chamber), so we (naively, perhaps) felt quite safe before, during and after the games. It turned out that our inmate challengers were grateful for our presence, interested in tips for improving their handball skills and, as it turned out--gracious in defeat! (The other guest and I had seriously discussed taking a dive to avoid unpleasantries, not having any reasons to assume our opponents would be good sportsmen if defeated, but that proved to be quite unnecessary.)

The experience was a major story in the Marin newspaper, The Pacific Sun and has been a favorite story of my grandchildren, who seem to revel in telling their friends that Grandad was once in San Quentin. I can only hope they don’t usually leave it at that.

Don Ardell, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Billy Rainbow (billyr cruzio.com)
Subject: Prisoners

When I was in stir they offered to let me teach in the prison school. I imagined myself giving instruction in algebra and calculus. What I discovered was a need not only for rudimentary arithmetic instruction, but for help learning how to count and even just to read numbers.

It might not be too surprising to realize that the crimes putting those unschooled unfortunates in prison were, if not caused by, certainly significantly abetted by problems with math. For one example, a student I was helping learn to add and subtract had gotten into a dispute with a clerk in a convenience store over change. My student thought the clerk was shorting him rather badly and, doubtless in part because of the clerk’s disbelieving, perhaps scoffing attitude, the dispute escalated rapidly. The end of it was also the clerk’s end. My student shot and killed him over a disagreement about change that surely wouldn’t have occurred if my student had known arithmetic.

Billy Rainbow, Santa Cruz, California

From: Elizabeth Block (elizabethblock netzero.net)
Subject: Solitary confinement

Solitary confinement, conceived by Quakers as an alternative to worse forms of punishment, also demonstrates the limits of the Golden Rule. For a Quaker, time to sit alone and contemplate one’s sins would be a good thing. But as George Bernard Shaw said, “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”

Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada

From: Jane Freeman (wordplayjane yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--bridewell

Bridewell was the subject of a charade in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Ch. 18. Quite funny, Rochester in chains and Blanche at the biblical well. “Bridewell!” exclaimed Colonel Dent, and the charade was solved.

Jane Freeman, New York, New York

From: Sharon Zaharka (szaharka yahoo.de)
Subject: Words for prison

Though now located in Germany, I grew up in California, and the word we used there for prison was Alcatraz.

Sharon Zaharka, Constance, Germany

From: Amy Loewenhaar-Blauweiss (ablauwei bard.edu)
Subject: Prisons

I teach psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory to incarcerated individuals. I think it may well be the very best job in the world. One of the things that has struck me, working among various facilities, is the ineffable difference in, for want of a better word, “vibe” between those that were initially conceived of as penitentiaries (you are here to be penitent, to repent) and those that were conceived of as reformatories (you are here to be reformed), even if the initial conception is lost to posterity at this point.

I am struck by my feeling of absolute safety when I am with my students, a kind of security that is harder to experience in the same way out in the world. The prison classroom is a place of total commitment and total focus and time seems to stand still for a little while, before we inevitably return to our respective realities.

Amy Loewenhaar-Blauwiess, Kingston, New York

From: Michael Hegemann (micheg.schlebusch googlemail.com)
Subject: My experience with prisons

In 1977, I spent a night in a prison cell voluntarily.

I was 19 years old and I spent my summer holiday in Scotland travelling around with my rucksack. I had no tent -- I stayed overnight in youth hostels.

One evening, I climbed a bus from Inverness to Aviemore. The bus was crowded with young holiday makers on their way into the highlands. The bus started later than scheduled and reached Aviemore much later: about 10:30 pm.

The small town was barely lit and almost deserted. The inn near the bus stop was closed, no hostel or B&B to find. I prepared myself for a night outdoors and lay down on a bench. After one hour I froze miserably and got up. I walked through the village and discovered the blue lantern of a police station. A gaze through the window: two officers sitting inside. I entered the police station and asked for permission to stay till morning.

The officers offered the only cell, with the door open and the caveat that they might need the cell as the night progressed. I slept like a baby on the plastic mattress until being woken up in the morning when officers’ shift changed. I had breakfast in a small cafe and travelled on to Loch Morlich youth hostel.

Michael Hegemann (now 65 years old), Leverkusen, Germany

From: Henry Canarsky (hcanarsky gmail.com)
Subject: prison guard

In Sep 1966 while stationed in Augsburg, Germany, with the 24th Medical Battalion, I was sent to Dachau to be a prison guard for three months on temporary duty. The U.S. Army had a contract to use one of the original prison buildings to house prisoners some of whom were soldiers who had been transported from Viet Nam for committing crimes including fragging their commanding officer.

The shifts were nine-hour days on a rotating basis. Wearing a .45 on my hip was a new experience, smoking cigarettes and looking through the bars at young men looking back at me. The museum now there of its days as a Nazi concentration camp was not quite completed. However, I walked past a lineup of rusted ovens with the barbed wire above and also down into the gas chamber. It was almost as if one could feel the souls who had perished, and smell death. Half of the prison building had enlarged photos of the emaciated prisoners. It has influenced my thinking, my consequent education in history, and my political beliefs.

Henry C. Canarsky, Minneapolis, Minnesota

From: Jim Hart (kaktuspatch gmail.com)
Subject: Prison experience

Being 35 years clean and sober through a close association with Alcoholics Anonymous, I was tasked with drug and alcohol abuse counseling for male prison inmates. I chair a weekly session at the Cochise County Main Jail, located in Bisbee, AZ.

Like Bertrand Russell, I find prisoners to be a normal cross-section of society. Unlike Mr. Russell, though, I do not see these men as less educated. Many have university degrees or have finished high school and possess a normal level of intelligence. Most are street smart.

What the majority of these men lack was the presence of a strong adult male presence in their formative years. Most come from a broken family, wards of a working single mother in a low-paying job.

With little supervision and a lot of time on their hands, nearly all started experimenting with drugs and alcohol as pre- or early teens. Many remain functional, but the use of mind-altering chemicals removes inhibitions and clouds judgment, resulting in incarceration.

James Hart, Sierra Vista, Arizona

From: Robert Carleton (enchanted128 outlook.com)
Subject: Prison?

As an undergrad, I planned for a career in prison administration. I was too short and wore glasses so I couldn’t qualify for police work (those rules have changed in more recent years). My major was in delinquency and corrections (sociology). I was a senior before I spent much time at a prison. The Minnesota State Prison was a garden spot among such facilities of that day. Internal industries involved manufacturing, horticulture, and more. Inmates could pursue work experience or continued education in various ways. Tables in the dining hall were round and a greenhouse provided floral centerpieces. It was all clean and neat. But! It was still a prison with locked gates and doors in front of you and behind you wherever you went, and relatively isolated from society. I didn’t like being in a locked-up setting and never pursued that career avenue.

Bob Carleton, Albuquerque, New Mexico

From: Sharon Cregier (scregier pei.sympatico.ca)
Subject: Prison Peace

A few years ago I was the guest of a prison psychologist who had invited me to spend a day with her at a maximum security prison for male offenders in Georgia.

We entered the prison through an underground tunnel, at the end of which an officer was seated raising funds for a police benefit, selling, of all things, Krispy Kreme donuts.

The prisoners were allowed one hour of TV a day but I don’t recall who selected the program. I do recall thinking what a blessing the limitation was -- if only hospitals could be so thoughtful of others’ need for quiet.

I remember one particular moribund-looking inmate walking between two guards, his eyes flat in a 100-yard stare, his short faded red hair bristling in various directions, leaving me with a haunting wonder of what could ever restore a spirit to this shell.

Sharon Cregier, Montague, Canada

From: Lynn Austin (laustin interserv.com)
Subject: A Soledad “Sister”

Years ago, my new wife, an amateur make-up artist, quickly joined the drama troupe at Fort Ord where I was serving three years in the military. She soon convinced me to take the role of Sergeant Schulz in Stalag 17. The troupe performed several places. The last was the Soledad State Prison (think Sirhan Sirhan). Our bus entered slowly through two sets of ominous 30-foot-tall concrete gates. There was no curtain or barrier of any kind to separate us on stage from the 200+ convicts sitting in the audience a few feet away. Between acts the lights were simply dimmed while the stage crew rearranged the set. My wife was a crew member. When she went on stage, I heard a massive murmur from the crowd. Scary.

Lynn Austin, Las Cruces, New Mexico

From: Hindi Greenberg (hindi.artslover gmail.com)
Subject: Experience with prisons

Some years ago when I was a business lawyer in San Francisco, a friend who had gotten himself into some trouble was placed temporarily in San Quentin State Prison which, at the time, was used as a transitional location for prisoners being sent to a different venue. (That didn’t include the death row inmates, who remained in San Quentin for years.)

Because I had my lawyer identification, I was allowed to visit my friend on a “lawyer visit” -- he was not allowed to have visits from friends. I had to walk inside a heavy metal door and stop before another solid metal door while my body was x-rayed. I was then allowed to enter through the second door and was taken to a phone-booth-like compartment with a phone on a ledge in front of a plexiglass window that looked into another phone-booth-like compartment.

After some minutes, my friend was brought into the other compartment, wearing an orange jumpsuit and with his hands cuffed behind his back. The entry door to his compartment was shut behind him, but he then had to back up and put his hands through a hole in that door so the guard could unlock his handcuffs. There was a phone on a ledge in his compartment and, for the next ten minutes, we were able to face each other through the half-inch thick plexiglass and talk on the phone.

When the guard came to retrieve my friend, the process was reversed--he had to place his hands behind his back and put them through the small door opening so that the handcuffs could again be placed on his wrists. Then the door was opened, and he was taken back to his cell. I was escorted out through the two thick metal doors. It was a surreal experience, one I have no desire to ever again experience, even as a visitor, let alone as an inmate.

Hindi Greenberg, Nevada City, California

From: Pascal Pagnoux (pascal.pagnoux gmail.com)
Subject: Prison

Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison had (at least) two very interesting thoughts about it:

At the start of his prison time, he wrote: “In prison, you come face to face with time. There’s nothing more terrifying.”

When he was finally freed, he said: “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and my hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Pascal Pagnoux, Saint Gaudens, France

From: Paula Budnick (pbudnick15 gmail.com)
Subject: Prison: Inside/Out

I am part of an advocacy group of people with “lived experience” regarding prison. We rally governmental/political/educational/financial/religious/familial constructs to think and act on second chance reform. A workgroup helped the producer/director create his vision for “Pardon Me” touring PA. Shuja Moore also produced “Walkies” about formerly incarcerated people who are “free”. Episode 1 (15 min.). The question is: when have we really paid our dues?

Paula Budnick, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

From: Paul Boyer (pwboyer91 yahoo.com)
Subject: prisons

Thanks for bringing awareness with this week’s theme about incarcerated populations. The Freedom to Choose Project is doing transformative work with men and women in a number of California prisons. It would be amazing if such programs could be expanded to prison populations in other states.

Paul Boyer, Seattle, Washington

From: Steven Williamson (sfwmson charter.net)
Subject: Underground prison

I live near an historic underground prison called Old New-Gate Prison, in East Granby, CT. It’s a fascinating half-day trip and you can go down below and see where prisoners were kept, even the shallow bowls they scraped into the stone to collect water to drink. It’s always slightly scary to go down there, should anyone care to close you in!

Steven Williamson, Ashford, Connecticut

From: M Conway (resdr2chi gmail.com)
Subject: Gulag & Alexei Navalny’s murder

Your examination of the word gulag is especially poignant, given Putin’s ultimate attempt to murder Alexei Navalny in one was successful.

M. Conway, Chicago, Illinois

From: Giba Assis Brasil (gibaab uol.com.br)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--calaboose

In Portuguese, calabouço is an underground prison (a dungeon), but also any dark and damp room. In the 1960s, Calabouço was the name of a restaurant that served cheap meals to low-income students in Rio de Janeiro. On Mar 28, 1968, during a protest against the price increase, the military dictatorship’s police invaded Calabouço and killed student Edson Luís de Lima Souto, 18 years old, with a shot in the chest. His body was taken on a march and laid to rest at the Rio de Janeiro State Assembly. The event triggered protests against the regime across the country.

Composer Sèrgio Ricardo (1932-2020) wrote a song, “Calabouço” (video, 5 min.), which was censored for 5 years, but became one of the anthems of opposition to the dictatorship. The lyrics played with the double meaning that the word calabouço came to have (the prisons of the dictatorship, a space of resistance) and also with alliteration: “Cala a boca, moço / cala o bico, cala o beiço / calabouço, calabouço” (“Shut your mouth, young man / shut your beak, shut your lips / calaboose, calaboose”).

Giba Assis Brasil, Porto Alegre, Brazil

From: Hollis Guill Ryan (hollisr comcast.net)
Subject: Pioneer Jails

Thought you’d like to see pictures of old-time hoosegows. The Jail Tree is in Wickenburg, Arizona, and the other is in Custer, South Dakota.

Jail Story, Custer, South Dakota Jail Tree, Wickenberg, Arizona Jail Building, Custer, South Dakota
Hollis Guill Ryan, Des Moines, Washington

From: Emanuela Appetiti (eappetiti hotmail.com)
Subject: Panopticon

I highly recommend the book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (French: Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison), a 1975 book by French philosopher Michel Foucault. He thoroughly analyzes the Panopticon and how discipline and punishment work in modern society.

Emanuela Appetiti, Washington, DC

The Specter of Solzhenitsyn
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: gulag and panopticon

The word “gulag” reminded me of the Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, The Gulag Archipelago (1973). Solzhenitsyn endured eight years in a gulag for his dogged criticism of Stalin. He was later forced into exile, emigrating to America, but returned to his homeland in 1994 to live out his final days. Putin, not unlike Stalin, has perpetuated the gulag system, imprisoning or killing those who would oppose his dictatorial rule.

No Escape
Manzanar, situated in the California desert, was one of ten concentration camps where the US government imprisoned more than 125,000 Japanese-Americans, from 1942 to 1946. Constant surveillance was the norm. At its peak, 10,000 people were held at Manzanar. It had eight guard towers, each manned 24/7 by a machine gunner and equipped with a spotlight. They were instructed to shoot to kill in the event of an attempted escape. This had to be one of the sorriest chapters in US history.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


This week’s theme: Words for prisons
1. Bridewell
2. Gulag
3. Calaboose
4. Panopticon
5. Lob’s pound
= 1. British palace
2. USSR labor camp
3. Dungeon is deep below
4. Tower sight looks down
5. Fool’s pen
= 1. Felons’ boot camp
2. Wow - bad Russian prisoners go to die
3. Brig
4. All seen lockup
5. Held the POWs
-Josiah Winslow, Franklin, Wisconsin (winslowjosiah gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)
= 1. Gaol
2. Forced labor; blows impel
3. Hoosegow bit
4. Walk up under spies’ constant heed
5. Prisons
= 1. UK-inspired slab of cells
2. Imposed labor op
3. Or, hoosegow
4. Watchtower
5. Entangles, binds up
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com) -Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

1. Bridewell
2. Gulag
3. Calaboose
4. Panopticon
5. Lob’s pound
= 1. Gaol
2. Pen
3. Coop
4. Ideal big all round bοοb
5. Can plus stew
-Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

Make your own anagrams and animations.



Bridewell prisons, when first introduced,
Aimed at social reform. They conduced
Change of heart, and taught work
To slack youths who would shirk,
And well-disciplined servants produced.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

There are stories from bridewell to tell.
Two guys once got married there. Well,
In spite of the laughter,
They ever and after,
Lived happily in their own cell.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

A bridewell is where Trump belongs
To atone for his numerous wrongs.
But not all will agree --
Some believe him, you see,
When he’s singing his woe-is-me songs.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Surprisingly, they give a tour,
And to tell the truth I think that you’re
Gonna find that that bridewell
Has “something just died” smell!
Better there than at my place, for sure!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“Although stuck in this lousy bridewell,
At least I’m away from my Mel,”
Said Donald. “My money
Once made her my honey,
But now she says, ‘Shag you? Like hell!’”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Not a word, nor a concept, to mock,
Or treat lightly. Far rather take stock.
Thank the stars our regimes
Oppose gulag-like schemes;
Let us find something wooden, and knock.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

Siberia’s to all of us known
As a place where folks freeze to the bone.
That’s swept under the rug,
But let’s not get too smug;
We’ve got gulags galore of our own.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

Solzhenitsyn, I’m sad to relate,
To the gulag was sent by the State.
That’s the place that you went
If you dared to dissent,
And it sure was a terrible fate.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“In our swamp there’s no place for a blue frog,”
Said the mob. “For your kind, it’s the gulag!
You’ve a weird mutant gene!
Keep America Green!”
But their captive escaped to a new bog.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“Don’t belong in this here calaboose,”
I explained. “Why you ain’t turned me loose?
I was drunk at the time
I committed my crime --”
“And the law says that that’s no excuse.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

For too long Trump’s been out on the loose,
His big mouth spouting lies and abuse.
But now, it’s high time
To convict him of crime
And commit him to some calaboose.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

In the calaboose criminals go,
Where no mercy the sheriff will show!
For committing a crime
They will have to do time --
That’s unless a good lawyer they know.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

You’ve come to the end of your stretch;
You’ll no longer feel like a wretch!
‘Cause they’re turning you loose
From that dread calaboose;
No more need to gripe, grumble and kvetch!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

Once he saw his friend Sally’s caboose,
Harry fell into love’s calaboose.
“Such a cute derrière,”
He said, “just isn’t fair.”
And he gave his now ex-pal a goose.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


Our panopticon world has us seen
By observers who watch us, unseen.
We don’t know when or where,
So, behave and take care,
Less misdeeds should be captured onscreen.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

A panopticon’s dreadful, I think.
It’s much worse than the usual clink.
You’re always on view,
Your privacy’s through --
Such conditions could drive one to drink.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Though it’s 5 am, I’m out of bed!
Oh gosh, have I something to dread?
There is nothing to fear;
No panopticon here.
Surveillance is all in my head!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“For us gays you could build a panopticon,
But it won’t hold me in,” said the positron.
“I’m invisibly small
And can pass through a wall,
So just try it, DeSantis; I mock you, Ron!”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

lob’s pound

There are some situations in life
That are certain to lead us to strife,
Where one faces lob’s pound
Or disgrace. Middle ground?
Bite the bullet and make her your wife.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes54 outlook.com)

Goodbye, dear, I’ll see you around.
To you I’ll no longer be bound.
Though I still love you dearly,
I’m sure you’ll see clearly,
Your place has become my lob’s pound.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

He’s been sent to an awful lob’s pound,
Where the worst of humanity’s found.
They caught him red-handed,
So jail’s where he landed --
Of late, Uncle Bob’s not around.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Anu claims that a verb can be nouned,
And vice versa -- by no rules we’re bound!
But what words at their birth
Are assigned on God’s Earth
Mustn’t change! For you, Garg, it’s lob’s pound!
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


The bridewell-ed up with tears when she heard The Wedding March play.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Is the bridewell? She looks very pale,” the future mother-in-law asked before the ceremony.
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (powerjanice782 gmail.com)

“Me and new bridewell in starter cave for now, but have big plans for when me invent wheel,” said Oog.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“The goblin’s in the lead, while the ghost and zombie vie for second and the gulag-s behind in fourth,” called the Day of the Dead race announcer.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“If we calaboose-ter shot by some other name, like ‘anti-gay serum’ or ‘the blood of Christ’, maybe people will take it,” mused Dr. Fauci.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Welcome to New York, Ms. Bell. Should you and Mr. Panopticon fast-track an entertainers’ visa for the two of you and Mr. Hook for the duration of your show,” said the immigration officer.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

His frequent lobs pound-ed his opponents use of the drop shot during the tennis final.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“A good pastry chef should look the part with proper grooming and a clean apron and hat. I wouldn’t touch that s-lob’s pound cake with a 10-foot pole,” wrote the food critic.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Shoe Business

Ever the snake oil huckster, Trump launched his signature gold-colored, Old Glory-emblazoned “Never Surrender” sneakers last Saturday. He received a mixed audience response, from hollers of support to a good share of boos. Trump has tried to hawk numerous products, all of them unsuccessfully, including Trump wine, steaks and cologne. Will his sneaker line suffer a similar ignominious fate?

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

The pain passes but the beauty remains. -Pierre-Auguste Renoir, artist [responding to Matisse on why he painted in spite of his painful arthritis] (25 Feb 1841-1919)

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