Remember the old days when disgruntled prisoners lashed out against The Man using cliché methods, such as riots and hunger strikes?
Well, they’re far too clever for that now. In Washington state prisons, true power lies with convicts who know how to use an industrial sewing machine.
They can create a weak trouser seam, a faulty zipper or a blouse with improperly spaced buttons exposing a woman’s cleavage.
Inmates in the textile plant have apparently committed this first-degree fashion felony while making uniforms for corrections officers – the very officers who boss them around, revoke their privileges and give them the stink eye.
Some guards testified at the Legislature this year, claiming uniform conditions were cruel and unusual, or something like that.
To hear a lawmaker from Walla Walla describe it, the inmates had set up quite a peep show.
“There was some hanky panky going on with the uniform making,” said state Rep. Maureen Walsh, quoted in the Seattle Weekly. “The seams were a little tight on the seat of the pants on the men, and there was some gap around the bra area on the women’s blouses. One lady told me she had a thick gap and you could look right into her shirt.”
Last week a new state law went into effect that restores the balance of power. It ends a requirement that prisons buy uniforms from correctional industries, and it bans inmates from making clothes for the workers who supervise them.
Sorry, jailbirds. Looks like you’ll have to go back to smuggling porn to get your jollies.
But if you want to keep having fun at public employees’ expense, don’t despair.
You still have the uniform contract for state ferry workers.
Everyone loves a good prison prank: We didn’t realize state correctional industries made so many products. Even after losing a uniform contract, many opportunities for mischief abound.
Not that we’d want to put any ideas in their criminal minds, but they could make:
• Dorm room furniture with collapsible legs.
• Prescription eyewear with Groucho Marx nose/moustache.
• Random insulting license plates such as UR UGLY and IM SMELLY.
• Mattresses without the required tags.
Animal attraction: A memo this week sent to employees at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium reminds them to close the gates securely behind them.
To keep the inmates from breaking out? Nope. To keep outside deer and possible other wildlife from sneaking in.
Can’t say we’re surprised. With the free meals and swingers club atmosphere they’re running over there, it’s only a matter of time before they hire a bouncer.
A motel only a mother could love: Sometime in the last few months when we weren’t paying attention, demolition crews knocked down the Norman Bates Motel in Fife.
Too bad. It was a great place to drop off your visiting mother-in-law for a night’s rest and a refreshing shower.
Don’t know if Norman will retire in the area, or if anyone has seen him lately.
On that stretch of Pacific Highway, a man carrying a butcher knife while wearing a fright wig and his dead mother’s dress could blend in unnoticed.
Sticky fingers: Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and a few celebrity friends handed out free fudge samples at the Sumner Sounder station and the Bonney Lake park-and-ride on Monday.
Not just any fudge. We’re talking Sumner’s legendary rhubarb-flavored confection.
P-Mac was there to promote transit options. Her anti-obesity initiative will wait for another day.
She’s chairwoman of the Sound Transit board. She’s also running for a second term as the county’s No. 1 kahuna. (Not that she’d ever try to win over voters through their sweet tooths, of course.)
One thing is certain with McCarthy’s office and dozens of others up for election this year:
Expect record amounts of political fudging.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. @thenosetribune