I read today that the Miss Penitentiary 2005 trophy was awarded today. Yes, this was a real news item. Apparently in South America they have this pageant to “boost the inmates self-esteem.” It sure is nice to know that someone is worrying about the criminals feeling badly about themselves. Isn’t the point of prison to make people feel badly? What do you suppose they did for the talent portion of the competition? “And now taking the stage will be Miss Penitentiary Uruguay! Her talent will be completely disemboweling an opponent in under 30 seconds using only a kitchen knife!” Female inmates? I think I’ll pass on watching the swimsuit competition. Their swimsuit competition probably involved crossing the Amazon in a two piece while evading pirhanas. During the interview do you suppose any of them stated that they wanted to cure cancer, stop global warming, and make the world a better place for our children? “Miss Penitentiary Brazil, if you win the Miss Penitentiary title, what is one thing you would do with your new fame?” Miss Penitentiary Brazil: “Well, the first thing I’d do is pawn that tacky crown. It may be hideous, but those diamonds have got to be worth a fortune. If I don’t pay back Vinny for that kilo I lost going through customs he’s going to kill my little brother.” Sweet. Yup, it is important that when these women are ready to return to society that they do so with their pride intact. Being named the prettiest prisoner is a lot like being named the smartest member of the Bush family.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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