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Short People

Randy Newman, who wrote the song “short-people” was accused of being prejudiced. When I first heard it in the seventies, I understood it to be about prejudice. As the word “short” is comparative and not absolute, words such as: Short-sighted, short-minded, and short-circuited come to mind.

A “short” but true story: At the March 4th Commissioner’s work session, Paul Havel announced that a new phone system had been installed at the jail.

I estimate that for about sixteen days, inmates at the jail received no visitors. Service was restored on Monday, March 3.

A recent visitor to the jail told me there was a problem in the visitor room. The room was a bit rough looking with an unfinished piece of plywood screwed to the wall, and the phone cords were too short. This visitor was forced to hunker down into an awkward position and get really close to the inmate who was on the other side of the safety glass. The visitor had to force his eyeballs upwards to have eye contact and then asked the inmate: “Is the phone cord short on your side also?” The visitor received a solemn nod. Another visitor confirmed the first one’s opinion: The cords were too short.

We can and will assume the installer was one of those “short” people and didn’t notice, or he ran out of cord and had to make do, or the installation was a quick fix to be redone later. A tall person would have a hard time with a short cord. Personally, I think they just don’t want “tall” people coming around.

On March 4, 2013, prior to the work session, and as required once a year, the Commissioners toured the jail. It may be they elected to take a “short” tour as it took them approximately 25 minutes. Winters said “they were very proud of where we’re at with jail standards today.” We think they skipped the visitor room.

Bonnie Gonzales


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