Courtesy of Wiki Commons and Billy Surface

Humor

The Big Spring Redemption

A prison story for the ages.

Man, I’m telling you, we all thought it was a joke at first. We thought he was a joke, coming in here from the jump acting like he ran the place, trying to get these young cats to pull their pants up. Shoot, we’re in federal prison, you know what I’m saying? I’m not trying to tell nobody nothing. Just do my time and bounce back to Dalworthington Gardens. 

But Dwaine’s not built like that. No, sir. He had all these ideas. So we started calling him the Mayor of Big Spring. You know, just messing around, trying to take him down a notch or two. Listen, there were already some important people in here, OK? A state senator from California. A cartel guy. Anthony. He used to work for Michael Jackson and, ah, who’s the guy from Top Gun? Yeah, Tom Cruise. He was a PI. I mean, who was Dwaine?

I thought he was probably a preacher or something, maybe got his hand caught in the collection plate. Had no idea that he actually had been the mayor of Dallas before he came down here. He was mayor for only a couple months, but still. Once we found that out, we all took him a little more seriously. The young guys started listening to what he had to say, stopped sagging, kept their shirts tucked in, made sure they looked sharp every day. And it may sound crazy, but I’m telling you, you could really feel the difference. These guys felt better about themselves, and the mood of the whole damn place improved. I don’t think we had a single person attacked in the shower for months. Oh, well, yeah, Floyd. But he had that coming. 

Anyway, it’s funny, but Dwaine kind of did become the Mayor of Big Spring pretty quick. It wasn’t a joke. People were picking up after themselves in the yard, trying to keep everything orderly, things like that. It was all good for a while there. Yeah, there were a few weird things, sure. Like, Dwaine had set up a weekly card game, running it out of his cell, and the numbers never seemed to add up. It felt like maybe a few smokes and stamps might be going into his pocket. But like I said before: we’re in federal prison. Unless you got a shank in your hand and a mean look in your eyes, me and you ain’t got no problem.

He really was running things for a minute. Probably, he could have served out the rest of his time like that. That’s what I would have done. But not Dwaine. That wasn’t enough for him. His ideas got crazier. Dumber, you ask me. His big thing was trying to convince Warden Rick to get an old F-22 and put it in the yard, so the boys could sit in it and, I don’t know, pretend they were gonna fly on out of there? I’m not sure what was the point of it. He said something about honoring Big Spring’s history. It had used to be part of Webb Air Force Base, apparently. That’s what he said. And I don’t know how he thought he was going to get one of those combination Panera Bread/Starbucks here. How many cigarettes you think Baja Mac & Cheese goes for?

But I’m sorry; I got sidetracked. What was the question? Oh. No, sir. I didn’t know that Dwaine had been digging a tunnel behind the Beyoncé poster in his cell. And I’m still trying to figure out how the hell that man managed to get six dang phones into a federal prison. 

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