'Jingle Bells ... Prison Cells' | Front Porch | Indy Week

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'Jingle Bells ... Prison Cells'


Well, it's that time of year again, and it looks like we may be watching Martha Stewart's holiday shows filmed on location--from the Connecticut State Junior League Prison and Spa for Women. I do admire the woman. (I admire anyone who can take four thumbtacks, a jelly doughnut, and a lawn chair, and turn them into a seven-course meal and a birdbath.) But, it must be tough to smile serenely through the 12 days of Christmas when it's more likely to be 5-to-7 years of Christmases! That's gotta bring out the humbug in most people.

Even so, I wonder whether a go-getter like Martha would be stopped by a little thing like prison. I don't think so. After a few weeks to settle in, meet the other ladies, and figure out some camera angles, she'll be right back at it. I'm betting we'll see new books this season, with titles like, "Convicts and Christmas Cookies," or "Solitary Confinement: The Real Silent Night," or even "Mistletoe, and Other Things to Avoid in The Shower." And, the new shows will have snappy names like, "Oh Come, All Ye Felons," or "When You're Naughty and Nice," or maybe "Insider Trading: Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Each chapter or episode will show us how to make the season a little jollier while serving time. Subjects could include how to: decorate those cold cell bars (in lieu of a tree) with colorful strips of your worn orange coveralls; use a laundry marker to connect the stains on your mattress, forming a lovely map of Bethlehem; carve a turkey with a plastic spork; go caroling (not down in Carol's cell, which, trust me, is a whole different thing). And then, there are also the obvious shows, like on how to artfully bake a cell phone into a fruitcake, or what gift to give Butch and Babs in the next cell (Hint: probably not frankincense!). Can't you just smell the chestnuts roasting now?

But, there are things those ladies on the Inside can teach Martha, and I'd like to see those episodes, too. In fact, I would imagine one could only look down one's aristocratic nose at one's fellow inmates for just so long, before we tune in one day to see Martha lisping along to "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," or maybe a "substitute host" doing a new show called "Yo, Martha, I Got Your Rum-pa-pum-pum Right Here!"

Martha won't be up the river for too long. Minimum, she'll get out early for teaching the warden how to knit a fabulous personalized Christmas stocking that, after the holidays, becomes a delightful personalized crockpot. When that time comes, her last show could be, "I'll Be (Out) For Christmas" or "Baby, It's (Cool) Outside." Or, perhaps it should simply be "Martha Stewart's Coming Out". Hmmm.

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