As any smart tourist would, we took a half a day out of our hectic trip to San Francisco to see its second biggest tourist icon: Alcatraz. It’s a great place, really, even though it was a prison where unspeakable injustices surely occurred — if you ever saw that one Kevin Bacon film, you know what I’m talking about — but to use the prison island for timeout is too much for even a seasoned kid of discipline such as myself to endure.
I don’t remember the name of the Kevin Bacon movie, but it’s one we all have a connection with — by six or fewer degrees of Kevin Bacon no less. His was a mere $5 crime, and even though I have no concept of how much money that is, I can still assert that it’s insufficient to warrant his timeout; and my crime is likewise as little as his.
I was misbehaving. There, I admit it, what’s the big deal? I support the rights of the misbehavors as much as I support bacon’s right to be devoured by me and my siblings, but it’s these very rights I stood so very proud and tall for (though still only to about 3-feet) that got me into trouble, and thus I was handed down my sentence.
Mouthing off and misbehaving is typically just a minordemeanor crime. It’s the sort of thing that earns its perpetrator a minute or so in the corner, but not at Alcatraz. Please, have mercy, don’t put me in timeout here!
Above – Shot from the placid waterfront pier beside the will call ticket booth. Get your grub on here, because there ain’t no cafeteria on Alcatraz, and frankly, there’s no escape.
Alcatraz is where Bugsy what’s-his-loony and Machine Gun Kelly wasted their days away in timeout. They committed horrible crimes (mostly decriminalized today, such as rum running and murder) and they deserved their sentences. I was tried by a jury of my peers, but Patrick and Dominic are my brothers, they wanted to see me go down for this. It wasn’t hardly even misbehaving, I was running ahead a bit to check out the next leg of the pre-authorized adventure, that’s all.
I was set up, I tell you, set up. Fortunately, after scratching 30 whole seconds into the wall of my un-walled corner cell my appeal was heard and I was set free. I wasn’t acquitted exactly, but my sentence was commuted. Specifically, it was commuted by ferry, specifically back to the mainland. It’s a much better way out than swimming the (allegedly, though not factually) shark-infested waters against the (genuinely fierce and often terminal) tide.
When you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, but when you go to Alcatraz stay on your best behavior because you just don’t know when your misbehavory will be noticed and when they’ll reopen the prison, even if just for a few minutes, even if just to accommodate you in a solitary corner of merely two-walled confinement.
AboveCaption reads “Indians Welcome, United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island — Area 12 acres — 1 1/2 Miles to Transport Dock, Only Government Boats Permitted, Others must keep off 200 yards, No one allowed ashore without a pass.”