In our modern society, questionable statements of fact by one person are generally followed by another’s Google search to verify the first individual’s claim. And thus, know-it-alls get outed for their indiscretion. But not so in the joint. Know-it-alls get to operate with impunity in that Google-deprived setting.
Enter a guy I’ll call Harry, a thirty or forty-something black inmate of European heritage who speaks English with a heavy French accent. While watching a soccer match with the boys, I remarked that I never liked soccer and disliked playing it as a child because owing to the size of the field, all the running involved wasn’t for me. In response to that statement, Harry claimed that in fact, a soccer field is just about the same size as an American football field. Somehow, I felt it looked significantly larger, but Harry assured me that all the lines on a football field have fooled me into thinking it’s smaller than it really is. Without Google for verification, I simply let it go figuring “Who the fuck cares, really? Regardless of the field size, soccer’s a snore by me. Time to go read a book.”
Harry was something of what I call a conspiracy theorist. This dude would discuss politics endlessly and interject his odd takes on the realities of international affairs. While discussing something about WWII, Harry made the claim that the city of Berlin is actually due east of Czechoslovakia. I wasn’t so sure but again, with no Google on hand, I’d check later.
Curious as to how much a corrections officer is compensated for performing a job I surmised was somewhat below police work, I asked and more than one inmate claimed they’re banking 100k a year. That struck as an inflated figure. But who knows? I understand that the guy or girl who takes your ticket on Metro North is earning close to that amount. So why not a corrections officer? Never having worked a similar type job (except when I took tolls on a county bridge for two bucks an hour), I’m mostly in the dark on the subject.
With not a lot to after returning home, I remembered to Google all these jailhouse claims. And here’s what I found: A soccer field is ten yards longer and twenty five yards wider than an American football field, making the former more than 60% bigger than the football area of play. Studying a map of Europe, I found that only 10 – 15% of Czechoslovakia’s land mass lies west of Berlin. The rest is east! And the average yearly salary of a New York city corrections officer is 50k. Apparently when it comes to jailhouse know-it-alls, their representation at the Tombs is almost equal in number to jailhouse criminals. Go figure! Whatever…it doesn’t really matter. I’m not fond of know-it-alls whether they’re inside or out. The only difference is that on the outside you can call a dude on his bull shit. On the inside, nothing’s verifiable.