Pizza, Nachos & Prison

Once upon a time a fellow inmate (Mark) invited me to join him and his celly (Bryce) for nachos? This was back in Minnesota where cell visiting was allowed.

As I entered their cell I received a dish of corn chips topped with ramen, rice, and some type of cheese sauce? A concoction that hardly resembled nachos.

I graciously ate the offering as I thought, “These must be Midwest Nachos, because back on the West Coast, our Nachos don’t look or taste like this.”

But little did Mark and Bryce know, the fun was just about to begin.

The following week I invited the guys over for some homemade pizza.

Just like I assumed I was getting nachos, they assumed they were getting pizza, made with ingredients from the prison commissary: pizza crust, pizza sauce, a variety of cheeses, meats, sausages, pepperoni.

Oh no, this was a special pizza from special ingredients. Everything was made from the state issued trays.

I made the crust out of soggy bread mushed together then crafted into a large circle, then microwaved to a semi crisp. I topped it with ketchup packs, shredded lettuce, corn, and little chunks of mystery meat that the menu calls meat loaf and salsberry steak.

It actually LOOKED half way decent. My celly and I were busting up with laughter as this thing was coming together.

I cut it up in the traditional wedge slices and then my celly and I each took a piece. I dared him to take a bite. At first he refused, but then we negotiated through the ol ”if you do it, I’ll do it.”

We each took a bite. It was horrible!

So we called the guys in. ”Dig in!” I say as I nod towards the pizza. They kinda look at it before taking a bite, but they don’t really hesitate. Probably because they see me and my celly eating a piece.

Little do they know, we spit our bite in the toilet. And right before they came in, we each took a bite of a Honey Bun. So yea, while they’re chewing on this gross pizza project, we’re chewing on some sweet pastry.

As they take bite after bite, its getting harder to contain our laughter. So I give reason to laugh via way of a joke:

“How do you make a tissue dance?”
“You put a little boogie in it.”

The flood gates open. Me and my celly start laughing way too hard for that silly little joke. Bryce asked, ”are you guys high?”

As they finish their slice of heaven, I say, ”Eat up, there’s plenty, get your fill.” That’s when Mark asked, ”Man, what is this?” as he goes in for a closer inspection. My celly and I lose it again, laughter erupts.

The gig is up. Full disclosure ensues. We all laugh together. They were good sports about it. Then Bryce says, ”Man, I didn’t even want to finish the piece I had, but I didn’t want to be rude.”

Mark chimes in, ”I knew it looked funny but I saw you guys eating it.”

That’s when I pulled out the partially eaten Honey Bun and said, ”You THOUGHT we were eating it. This is what WE were eating.”

Again, we all laughed. Then we split up the rest of the Honey Bun.

Right about then another guy comes to my door. We invite him in for some pizza. He’s like, ”Wow, thanks guys. Are you sure? I don’t want to impose.”

I tell him, ”Eat up man! This is our third one, were getting full.” He happily digs in.

To everyone’s surprise, he LIKES IT! He genuinely likes it. So we sit around and kick it while this dude eats piece after piece.

Its getting hard not to laugh. So I tell a joke, ”How do you make a tissue dance?”
“You put a little boogie in it!”

All four of us laugh even harder than when it was originally told. Even the new guy laughs as he’s stuffing his face with semi soggy bread, ketchup, corn, lettuce and mystery meat, AKA: Pizza!

With each new piece he picks up, he asks, ”Are you sure you guys don’t want anymore?”

We assure him, ”That’s all you buddy, eat up!”
And ”eat up” he does. Every last piece!

Although the food wasn’t all that good, the memories are great, always bringing back a little laughter. That was definitely one of the more lighter moments in a prison that soon slammed me down in their hole for seven months! (Read my ebook “Stone City: Life In The Penitentiary” for more about that.)


Steven Jennings



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