Ahhh, the convict story. This is a family favorite. Really, actually.
When I was in college, I interned at a radio station in Boston. One of the biggest shows we put on for the year was Earthfest - a giant free concert at the Hatch Shell along the Charles. As you can imagine it take a lot of planning and labor. Luckily, interns weren't charged with doing too much heavy lifting. The state of Massachusetts was gracious enough to lend us some of their finest...convicts. I mean, these guys would be getting out soon on good behavior, so they weren't so bad for felons.
Our work together began 2 days before the concert. Weather was nasty, it had been raining for days, so I came equipped with raincoat and giant yellow galoshes. When I arrived, my friend charged me with managing the convicts - state issued jump suits and all. I talked to the warden, who explained they shouldn't be any trouble and, if they were, I should let the ol' warden know immediately.
By end of the day, they were calling me by my shortened name, which only my extended family still uses. I was a little disappointed because there were 2 convicts who didn't open up to me at all (who do I think I am?).
Day 2 on the job, one of the two started asking me where to put a table and where to set up chairs. He was a big guy - you know the "I played football in high school and now I lift weights in the slammer" type - with a crazy Boston accent. At the end of the day, my friend thought it would be a good idea to give her card to the warden with the hopes of setting up a pen-pal system between station interns and convicts (not one of her brightest ideas, sorry M).
***6 months pass***
I'm back at the good old Hatch Shell where we're preparing for the final Dispatch show, ever. I was just swinging by to drop of beverages to put backstage for the band. I opened the back of the Suburban and stared at the vast sea of water, soda, sports drinks and booze. I walked backstage and grabbed a dolly (not a baby doll, smartypants) to unload the truck. I felt defeated before I even lifted my first case. I knew it would take forever.
"Do you need help, miss?" I turned to see a stocky man in an orange jump suit. Convict.
"Oh, no I'm fine thank you."
"Yeah, just a couple cases. I should be able to handle it with this dolly. I'm in no big rush." So sue me, I lied.
A few more convicts offered to help me out and I politely declined them one by one.
Then, "Excuse me miss, can I help you with those?"
I turned to explain, yet again, that I was ok. Before I could get a word out I heard "Oh, no. She won't need your help. She's a strong independent woman."
Uhhhh. The convict behind the voice walked over, extended his hand. "Hi, [insert my name here], right? I remember you from the other concert we helped with."
He was giant.
"Oh sure." How in God's name do you remember my name, scary spice?
"Oh wow, I'm surprised you remember me. I was too shy to talk to you the first day."
After a minute or two of small talk with this convicted felon, the conversation took an unexpected turn.
"So do you have a boyfriend?" Now, when in a bar, girls are crafty and know how to lie on the spot. At this moment, in broad daylight and caught completely off guard, I couldn't do it.
"Oh, no. I don't."
A "shocked" look crossed his face (note: guys, even if you are shocked, don't say you can't believe we're single. We can't believe it either and being reminded of it isn't terribly rewarding). "How can you be single?"
"Oh, I don't know." ugh.
"Well, if I wasn't in the situation I'm in, I would ask you out. I can't believe it."
What the HELL do you say to that?
"Actually, I'm getting closer and closer to release. I'd love to take you out when I get out."
"Oh, well, it's tough. I'm going to be studying in London next semester then I'll be interning in New York."
"Well, if you don't meet anyone there, then. When I get out would you like to go out sometime?"
Seriously? This is what it has come to? And, helloooooo, I don't know what this guy is in for...stalking, killing his ex, removing mattress labels...Think non-committal response, think non-committal response.
"That sounds nice..."
"Wow, really? You mean, you don't think your parents or family would disapprove - me being in this situation and all..."
shit shit shit.
"I mean, you seem to be a nice guy." SHIT.
"Great! Ok. Wow!" Lord, he was like a kid in a candy store. "Well, I have the card for your station, could I write you?"
"Oh good. Are there any other people with your name at the station? I want to make sure you get anything I write."
I assured him I was the only me, told him I should get back to work, unloaded the Suburban and hightailed it out of there...