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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Youngest Gel had to get herself fingerprinted for a summah camp counseling gig she has coming up. After a couple weeks fussing about the importance that the the prints be electronic and the printer be “FBI-approved”, she announced that she’d found a place downtown and would I please go with her to get them.

I looked the place up, realized just where downtown it was, and said, “We’re not going there.” (Just think about the sort of neighborhood where you’d expect to find a biznay that specializes in fingerprinting and drug testing. Yup.)

After a little more research, I found that she could get them done at a much closer county sheriff’s office (and at a lot lower cost, I might add). So she went over yesterday.

I am very happy to say that my children have virtually no knowledge of the world of law enforcement in any of its manifestations. Indeed, the only time any of them has set foot in a court complex has been to pick up their driver’s license. So this was a very new experience for Youngest.

She came back slightly shaken.

“It was so weird,” she said, “I felt like everybody was eyeing me and wondering what I was in for. I wanted to yell ‘It’s just for a JOB!!'”


This brought back to mind a dim recollection of being taken on a tour of the county lockup when I was a kid, perhaps on a school field trip, but more likely with my cub scout troop. (I couldn’t have been older than maybe 5th grade?) I remember them putting us in a cell for a few minutes and I remember the general tone of the tour being, “If you don’t want to end up here, you do what your momma and daddy tell you to do!” Not that I needed the advice myself but yes, it left an impression.

I wonder if anyone does that anymore? Different times. Different times.

(I also remember a deathtrap of an elevator that jerked and swayed and even free-fell down a floor while we were in it. Gave me a phobia it took me a long time to get over.)


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June 2021