Blogging has been light, admittedly in part since I ‘discovered’ iTunes, but this favorite Tom T. Hall gem made me think about bologna sandwiches in the Travis County Jail. After being arrested for speeding while ‘sitting at a red light’, the narrator discovers the pleasures of what can only be small southern town 60s or 70s justice:
Well, they motioned me inside a cell with seven other guys
One little barred up window in the rear
My cellmates said if they had let me bring some money in
We ought to send the jailer for some beer
Well, I had to pay him double ’cause he was the man in charge
And the jailer’s job was not the best in town
Later on his wife brought hot bologna, eggs and gravy
The first day I was there I turned it down
Well, next morning they just let us sleep but I was up real early
Wonderin’ when I’d get my release
Later on we got more hot bologna, eggs and gravy
And by now I wasn’t quite so hard to please
I sometimes ask clients what they were given to eat during their overnight stay at Downtown Travis County, and while the majority insist they weren’t in the mood to eat at all, many of them tell me it was bologna sandwiches, sometimes with cheese, sometimes with a small cup of jello.
My theory is that the Travis County Sheriff’s Office deliberately makes the stay unpleasant. My clients tell me they run into some recently arrested that act like they were there last weekend, and expect to end up in jail the week after that.
I doubt the bologna has much effect on them. But for the others? You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.