Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

2 Girls in a Bar (Part 2 of 3)

First of all I have to note that this story is probably not going to be nearly as scintillating as the title might suggest. Sorry to disappoint you, but at least I did get your attention since you are reading this.

As I noted in my last post, two friends, both female, suggested I basically cut off all my hair before I leave for prison tomorrow, which I did.

I recalled a previous experience, almost exactly 4 years ago when I was in Israel (for business) for several weeks. Amanda was not with me during this time so after work each day, I would walk up the street to this little bar called Bordo in Zichron Yaacov. When I say little, I mean little (see pictures to the right and below, Bordo is small building on left; click to enlarge).

In any case, I would have dinner there and a glass of wine almost every night (I told you I was a "rut" kind of guy) and talk with Sarit and Carmit (see pictures below) about Israel, which is an endlessly fascinating subject. (I was there when the Shuttle blew up on re-entry carrying the Israeli astronaut in early 2003. Very sad subject in Israel.)

Near the end of my stay in Israel, we had become rather good friends and they decided they wanted to tell me something. For the previous 10 years, I had a full beard, though trimmed very tight. In fact, my wife had never seen me without full facial hair. However, these "two girls in a bar" boldly suggested to me that I would look much "sexier" if I shaved the sides of the beard and left just the mustache and goatee. Again, I do not give too much thought to my appearance once it has been "set." I just do the same thing everyday; change is rare.

Nonetheless, this got my attention. What man approaching middle age wouldn't want to look "sexy?"

When I got home, I told Amanda the story and shaved the sides of my beard off and she liked it. So did I. I have had a mustache and goatee for the last five years, occasionally re-growing and shaving the full beard. All because of "two girls in a bar." And now here it is four years later, and I have shaved my head (almost) because of the prompting of "two girls in a bar."

Kinda funny. Well, maybe not that funny. But it does bring a smile to my face thinking about it.

Carmit (click to enlarge)


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