In prison, there are a lot of list you really don’t want to be on. A few of these include “known gang members” and “tattoo artists”, and guys who run gambling operations…but one list even worse than these I have mentioned is “the hot list.”
The hot list is a special little place solely reserved for individuals who fit one of two criteria, or both. 1.) This person has previously pissed “dirty” or 2.) They have a “drug conviction history.”
Being as I have a drug conviction history I am on the hot list.
All this really means is that once or twice a month I am called to various locations around the facility at various times of inconvenience to piss in a cup. Tests are usually administered by the most “colorful” of correctional officers this compound employs. And by colorful, I mean complete assholes. These are the most hard-ass officers who are completely by the book and play no games. So, as if you weren’t already uncomfortable enough pissing in front of someone, you’re now pissing in front of an officer whose sole purpose on this planet is finding any reason at all to send your sorry ass to “the hole.”
It’s a hell of a lot of pressure, and some guys can’t handle it. It gets quite psychological, too.
You are asked to step into a single stall restroom with another grown man, most likely he wants you to drop your pants to your knees, life your shirt to your chin, and then hang your dick in a cup. Then he is going to watch as piss exits your urethra. I’m not just talking about a passing glance neither, this guy’s sole focus is “the wood.”
I could tell you a hundred stories about the crazy shit I have seen dealing with life on the hot list. But that’s not what this story is about. I only mention all this to give you a better understanding of just how crazy it was the day my entire housing unit was locked down and piss tested…82 people being piss tested in chaotic fashion….
All of this begins with a “domino effect.”
First, one guy in another building, drops a note saying some other guy might have drugs. Then, in the middle of the night, officers shake down that guy and do in fact find drugs. That guy then goes to the hole. Next thing that happens is the entire housing unit gets locked down and piss tested.
Did the guy who got caught with the drugs have a vendetta? Or did he try to cop a deal? Was the reason for this because of the guy who had originally dropped the note? No one really knows. There are only a lot of rumors and assumptions. And for those of you who don’t know, rumors and assumptions are the heart beat of prison.
Some kind of way, all of this shit rolled down hill. Eventually, it made its way all the way to my housing unit, which is an entirely different building!
The first sign that there was trouble brewing was when we weren’t allowed to leave the building. The rest of the compound was under normal operations and the guys in my housing unit were being sent back from work and school.
“Oh shit”, I thought, “this isn’t good.”
The housing unit in the other building where all of this had stemmed from had just been locked down and piss tested less than 3 days ago. So, most everyone already had an idea about what was coming. Yet, as with anything else in life, there were still a few silly motherfuckers who refused to accept the inevitable. These guys tried justifying why we were being locked down.
“Maybe it’s a surprise pizza party” one guy said.
Another said “I’m too young to die! They’re gonna pump chlorine gas through the ventilation system and KILL US!!”.
The tension and anxiety was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Then it happened.
A team of correctional officers that rivaled the “A Team” burst through the front door with coolers in tow full of test kits. The housing unit erupted, and pandemonium ensued.
Guys began drinking tons of water; some did this just hoping it would help them pass the test. Some just to make sure they could go when needed to take the test.
Long lines began forming in front of the restroom, CO’s were barking out orders and commands, tons of chaos everywhere.
Some of the guys who had been drinking water ended up having to piss long before they even made it to the test. They had to piss so bad they were pissing in bags in the back corner of the housing unit.
One guy had to shit so bad, he was shaking uncontrollably and crying while begging the officer to either let him go shit next door in the other housing unit, or kill him before his intestines ruptured.
As I watched this tumultuous disarray play out all around me, it began to have a mild psychological effect on me.
Finally I lined up in an attempt to get this over with, the line was long but even being so, I noticed everyone at the front of the line was crowded round the entrance to the restroom transfixed on the action taking place on the inside. At first I thought maybe something had happen on the inside. I mean, why else would all these guys be standing around staring in there like that? But then, reality struck me, nothing was happening other than the piss test that were being administered. These guys were just a bunch of nosey bitches who might be entertained by the sight of penis’s and hairy ass cheeks.
I waited for all eternity and then finally it was my turn to enter the “slaughterhouse”.
If I thought what I had seen thus far was crazy, then upon entering the restroom area, that craziness instantly multiplied ten-fold!
The first thing I noticed was behind the wall in the shower area. There, stood the pitiful fucks who couldn’t perform and were there sentenced to endless embarrassment that was pelted upon them anytime someone new entered the arena.
Like “hey look at you bunch of sorry assholes! What’s the matter? Did your dick shrivel up inside your stomachs! You guys suck!!”
Then I noticed our wheelchair guy parked in the corner by the urinals like he was on “time-out.” His head was in his hands and I could tell he was having no easy time of this.
“OK, I’ve got this”, I thought to myself.
I pulled up to the urinal, took the cup, then proceeded to drop my pants to my knees and lift my shirt to my chin like I was instructed to do.
Standing in front of the urinal with this “super trooper” locked in on my inadequate man parts, the psychological onslaught took a major turn for the worse.
“Oh my God!” I thought. “I’m standing here with my entire ass out for the world to see in front of a bunch of guys staring at me!”
I had to pull it together.
On one side of me was wheelchair guy, and on the other was “Robo cop.” I attempted a little small talk to lighten the load.
“Pretty nice weather we’re having wouldn’t you say?” I said as I looked him straight in the face.
His eyes never left my penis as he responded, “sir, do not say ANYTHING to me, just fill the cup.”
Holy shit, I am about to lose it.
With no dignity left, and no piss in the cup, I handed it back to the officer. I tell him that I cannot perform at the moment and will now join the other losers behind the wall.
Behind the wall, shit got real, too. No really, like at that moment I realized just how bad I had to take a shit. With that thought festering in my mind, I listened as the other guys who suffered the same performance anxiety as I did, justify why they couldn’t hit the shot when it counted and the game was on the line.
“Dicks too big”, one guy said. I didn’t really understand that line of rational. But another guy seemed to sum it up just fine when he said “I CAN’T FUCKING DO THIS MAN!! THEY’RE WATCHING US PISS!! EVERYONE IS WATCHING US PISS!!”
I understood his rational a lot better.
The moment that really stole the show and will forever be burned in my memory bank, stored in a file titled “Things in life that have totally fucked me forever” was what happen with wheelchair guy.
I peeked around the corner (yes, I know, I’m no better than the barrage of onlookers myself, I guess) and saw wheelchair guy standing up, or more so, leaning against a wall in front of the urinal. His back to me and on it seemed to be written “utter defeat” as he tried for what must have been his 4th or 5th attempt to “make water”.
At that moment, he just lost it. He threw the plastic cup at the urinal which “clink-tink-tinked” as it ricocheted off multiple surfaces, then hit the ground.
“I JUST CAN’T DO IT!” he snapped. “I JUST CAN’T DO IT!! MAYBE IF I SIT DOWN I CAN DO IT!”
“What?” the terminator officer said.
“MAYBE IF I SIT DOWN I CAN TAKE THE TEST!” Wheelchair guy said.
“I NEED TO SIT DOWN TO PEE!!”
“Did you just say you need to… sit down to…pee?” Nazi cop said.
“Sir, you are going to STAND and take THIS TEST!”
At this point, I once again lost it. This was fucking crazy.
I came from behind the wall and said “hey look, I gotta shit.”
The officers must have forgotten I had been in there, because they acted like I hadn’t been.
“What the hell are you doing in here!?!” One officer said.
The other officer said “you are in violation of the rules!! This is a restricted area!!”
“Whatever” I said, “I’m going to take a shit.”
I walked out, went next door to the other housing unit, yeah at that point they were letting guys do that who really had to go now.
I went, I shit, and I came right back. I walked in the restroom like I owned the place. I cut in front of like 20 people including wheelchair and said “hey officer, give me that fucking cup, let’s do this thing.”
I took my shirt completely off and threw it on the ground. Then I leaned into that cup and squeezed out like 10 drops.
I did it.
There never was a worry about whether or not I would pass the test. I knew I was clean. I’ve never had a “dirty” urine. So that played on my psyche none.
I guess it was the whole seal team 6 approach, accompanied by everyone else’s difficulties that made the moment a little overwhelming.
But even with all that, I accomplished the objective. Tango six. I put the fucking ring around Rosie.
As for everyone else, they eventually produced as well. Some passed. Some failed. For some it was easier. For some it was harder. For a few it was life altering. They might never be the same again.
Wheelchair did just fine. The guy who had to shit so bad he was in tears failed and went to the hole. Another guy took like 4 hours to piss. He passed though. He’s just really gun shy I guess. And now anytime he’s in the restroom pissing, he might scream out “STOP STARING AT ME!!”
After all that, it was over. The day went back to normal operations. Or at least as normal as it could get after going through something like that.