Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Heart and Soul

Dear Indigna,

I read a headline recently: "Prison Loses Its Heart and Soul." It was about the retirement of some dude from San Quentin. My question is, can a prison have a "heart," not to mention a "soul"?

Devout Law Abider
Normal, IL

Dear Tight-Ass,

It wasn't the executioner, was it? That guy is such a sweet-heart. And sweet soul.

If it wasn't him, it was probably this guy who comforted the death-row prisoners with his rendition of the famous "Heart and Soul" piano ditty. You know: do do-mi-sol la la-do-mi fa fa-la-do do do-mi-sol etc. ad infinitum. He would play this song, amplified to about 80 decibels to ensure that all could enjoy it, continuously during his twelve-hour shifts. During his twelve-hour down time he arranged to have the music continued on an infinite loop tape, so that the prisoners could enjoy his "heart and soul" 24 hours a day. Now, that speaks volumes, my friend. This fellow poured his "heart" into his musical ministry, and his "soul" lives on in the minds of those inmates who could not help but listen to his performance day in and day out for years at a time. No doubt some of the prisoners whose "hearts" failed during that time were simply overwhelmed by the solid-gold "Soul" of the music they came to know so intimately. The San Quentin Prison has truly lost its "Heart and Soul" with the retirement of this fellow, who will in years to come no doubt be symbolically memorialized--in random, even spree fashion--through the actions of any of "his" inmates who are released.

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