Many years ago in Big Spring FCI… The BOP was putting in a new phone system. We had to repeat our names a few times until the computer could register it correctly. Well, I had a friend we called Cowboy. He was 4’11 and talked with a real high nasal pitch that sounded like a whistle when he spoke. A great guy with a Christian attitude. He was from the country and he liked to shoot guns and use a little meth. Which got him a 60-month bit in federal prison.
Well, he and I walked up to the phone system as the officer running the new program helped us to make sure we didn’t have any issues. Well, Cowboy would say his name and it wouldn’t take it. I said mine around 4 or 5 times and I was done. So I stood there out of the way of the next guy as Cowboy continued to say his name over and over. It sounded like a man screaming his name while taking a hit of helium. I would guess around 10 or so inmates passed through the phone system’s requirements while Cowboy still got no cooperation on his name being accepted.
He finally turned to the officer and said, “The damn phone won’t take my name!” And the officer said, “What are you using? Hill Billy or Hick?” And Cowboy replied, “Hell, I tried ’em both!” We laughed and laughed and for a few seconds I felt like a normal person in a place that feels anything but normal. I appreciated that day and still tell it to folks when we need a good laugh.
— Roger R.