Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Prison

A trip to the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution is always on my Monday schedule. This week I made my way to the facility and when I came to the stop sign at the junction of Highways 50 and 136 I saw my friend, Anita. She had driven to town for a visit to the prison and she had brought our mutual friend, Jo.

When we all drove onto the parking lot, Jo and Anita hurried into the Gatehouse with their sandwiches. They barely got inside the door when Anita was called to go to the visitors' room. She rushed away and Jo and I waited to be processed so we could attend the meeting of LibOrators 986233, a club within Toastmasters, International. They meet in the Educational Unit of TSCI every Monday of the world.

We were joined by two other Toastmasters from the streets and went to our meeting, blissfully unaware of the drama that was brewing in the Gatehouse!

As we mingled during the social time, one of the club members asked about The Normanator. "Oh, " I assured him. "He and Anita are watching 'Dancing With the Stars' and I'll take Jo home with me for dessert before they drive home."

It wasn't QUITE that way...

After the meeting, our escort brought us to the Gatehouse, where we were met by one frantic Anita. She was nearly crazed and it showed in her face. She wore no coat and begged me to look in my pocket for any keys I may have.

HUH? I had my locker key. Why would I have any other? She insisted, "I'm sure you found MY locker key; I'd expect you to bring it with you."

I was more puzzled than ever. The staff, who had by now gathered in a rather large number, shuffled papers, exchanged looks, asked a million times if we were all SURE...

I suggested they get the master key. Oh, my, no. It could not happen.

That decision did nothing assuage my puzzlement and it most certainly did not soothe Anita's nerves.

Because the weather was uncertain, Anita and Jo had prepared to spend an overnight. Anita's car has keyless entry so they could gather their belongings, but without a locker key, they could not access Anita's coat, keys OR HER SANDWICH! I reminded them of our guest bedroom and promised to feed them if they came home with me.

And that's what they did. We fed them potato soup and coleslaw. Of course we had the great, healthy water from High Tech Health we are famous for providing. The Normanator served up his special butter pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting and we all wondered WHERE WAS THAT LOCKER KEY?

About an hour after they had arrived and were discussing the sleeping arrangements and what time they'd need to leave to make their Tuesday appointment schedule the phone rang...

The officer from the Gatehouse announced that the lost key finally had been found, after all. You may have heard the sighs of relief Jo and Anita let out. You may even have heard me cry, "Aww, I wanted to make a slumber party out of it!"

It had fallen between two chairs in the visitors' room but did not hit the floor so no one knew it was lost until Anita needed to open the locker.

All's well that ends well. I still want to have a slumber party.

High Tech Health

Connie Baum


  1. I was there! For days like this I have learned to "accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur.....every problem is an opportunity in disguise". This was taken from Deepak Chopra's 4th Spiritual Law.


  2. I was thinking about the soup and cake again today.

    MAN that was yummy!

    Thanks again for saving the day.

    Love, Anita


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