The Morally Mature, Civic-Minded, Grown-Up Thing to Do: Yet, Another Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Dear Mr. Phicks,

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Oh, come now, Mr. Phicks, don’t be that way. Really, there’s nothing to be afraid of!

I know you asked me not to contact you again, but I also know that your request arose from a state of ignorance and cowardly panic. You didn’t have all the facts and mistook your fear as evidence of actual danger. You saw that I got arrested for something, jumped erroneously to the conclusion that I was therefore guilty of something, subsequently forgot that you were an adult, and chose to flee and hide like a frightened child.

Hey, I get it. It happens. Behaving like a morally mature, civic-minded grown-up is often a challenge. But that was a few weeks ago, and you and your client have had a chance to breathe, cool down, come to your senses, get your bearings, pull yourselves together, think things through.

Perhaps by now you’ve recognized that innocent people do get arrested sometimes. Perhaps you’ve taken a closer look at why I got arrested, and why I committed the alleged “crime” (they’re calling it “misdemeanor breaking or entering”). Perhaps you’ve come to see, as I do, that what I actually did was really just what any morally mature, civic-minded grown-up would do in the situation I was in at that time, which is to say:

Perform some alarming (and of course non-violent) gesture in order to draw attention to, and warn the public about The MetLife Meat Grinder

…which is to say, MetLife’s systematic, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

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MetLife wants to crush me like an egg for exposing their cruel, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

Mr. Phicks, make no mistake: MetLife will stop at nothing to guard the secret of this corrupt and diabolical revenue stream. No doubt the company wishes to crush me like an egg for trying to expose it. If I am successful in doing so, MetLife could face tremendous losses due to litigation, not to mention the effort it will take to revisit millions of previously denied disability claims, and of course all of the benefit payments MetLife will eventually have to disburse as many of those previously denied disability claims are finally approved. Who knows how long MetLife has been cheating and shenanigizing the psychiatrically vulnerable in this way?

The upshot here is that my success will entail an epic financial disaster for MetLife, and I expect the company will spare no expense in order to avert that disaster. Heck, really no one should be shocked or surprised if I die mysteriously or disappear suddenly in the coming weeks or months. At the very least MetLife will try to discredit me, make me look like a criminal, and send me to prison for as long as possible.

I need help here, Mr. Phicks, and by “help” I mean corporate sponsorship. If I am to see this project through to success then I need a corporate ally to have my back on this: one who can match MetLife’s financial muscle. I need at least one major corporation (the more the merrier, really) who can fund my legal defense: a company like your client, I believe, is exactly what I need right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no middle ground here, Mr. Phicks. Last year when MetLife did what they did to me and my family, it was like the company drew a line in the sand and shoved me on one side and themselves on the other, and now absolutely everybody else on Earth must choose a side, including your client. Unfortunately, your client’s expressed wish to “not participate”

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There’s no middle ground here because MetLife captured it from all of us. They invaded it, took it over, built office buildings and parking lots on it, leaving the rest of us with precisely two places to stand: MetLife’s side or mine. Ugh! What a sucky situation!

is simply not an available option. Especially since they have also exploited my psychiatric disability for profit, then to my view they definitely do not have the option of not participating. Of course, your client is definitely not obligated to choose my side, but with just two sides available in this situation, if they refuse to sponsor me in some way in this fight, then by default they ally themselves with MetLife.

Please, Mr. Phicks, perhaps millions of psychiatrically vulnerable people are counting on you and your client to step up and do the right thing here. Please do not turn your back on us like the effete, privilege-bloated cowards who run MetLife. This is your opportunity to do some good for a great many people. I implore you: embrace this opportunity to act like the morally mature, civic-minded, grown-up we both know you can become!

I believe in you Mr. Phicks! You can do it!

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


Image Credit: (mysterious businessman skulking away in the night) Pixabay

Oh, Great, Now I Need a Permanent Alibi

So apparently my physically harmless, civilly disobedient, one-man protest at the MetLife campus on June 14 has left a number of my former colleagues traumatized and fearing for their personal safety. In several sworn affidavits submitted by MetLife last week on their behalf, four of them affirmed things like like:

“…I feel targeted by Mr. Scholten and fear for my personal safety.”

“…I fear for my personal safety and the safety of my family.”

“…this post [a reference to this post], coupled with the fact that Mr. Scholten broke into MetLife and came specifically to the executive offices, cause me to fear for my safety…more importantly, I fear for the safety of the MetLife employees….”

Now, because I know for a fact that I pose absolutely no threat whatsoever to the personal safety of any human being, MetLife employee or not, at first I had serious doubts about the sincerity of these highly defamatory allegations. But in a hearing yesterday at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh I had the chance to face three of my accusers, and after watching them testify I must say that I now have no doubt whatsoever that these folks are frightened.

My sister had come with me to the hearing and the two of us did what we could to reassure them that I am harmless and that they are safe, but in the end it was all for nothing because the District Judge granted MetLife’s request for a 1-year No Contact Order Pursuant to the Workplace Violence Prevention Act which imposes on me a long and fundamentally useless list of restrictions that…

1. Cannot possibly make me any more harmless than I already am.

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Hmmm. How could we make this cute little duckling even more harmless? Image Credit: Pixabay

I am already harmless, and these restrictions won’t make me any more so. I have no history of violence; no interest in violence; I own no guns nor weaponry of any kind; nor do I know or practice any martial arts (karate, boxing, etc.). I don’t even play violent video games. Once a gun has been unloaded, disassembled, and melted down into scrap metal, really the only thing left is to cast a magic spell over it. That’s really all this No Contact Order is: just a worthless magic spell that the Judge has cast over an already harmless person in order to make him harmless.

2. Cannot possibly even make me seem anymore harmless than I already do.

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Would this gargoyle seem less frightening with a nice coat of paint? Next to some flowers? With a duckling on its head? Image Credit: Pixabay

These folks are truly frightened and confused. Of course, they’re not really frightened of me, but rather their misunderstanding of me. I am not their misunderstanding of me. Their misunderstanding of me is an imaginary bogeyman who is so deranged that he intends to harm them, and I am absolutely not that guy. But if he’s truly that deranged, then surely he won’t let some court order stop him in his blood-thirsty quest to hurt them.

These folks aren’t thinking straight. They all believe that on the afternoon of June 14 their bogeyman stood right next to them while they were working. It was actually just me, of course, but were I really as dangerous as they imagine their bogeyman to be, they’d all be injured or dead right now. The fact that they aren’t proves that I’m not their scary bogeyman. But their fear blocks them from seeing it that way. Maybe they think that the visit on June 14 was just a warm-up. Maybe they think their bogeyman was just there on some sort of reconnaissance mission and that now that he understand the lay of the land, he’ll be coming back for the real kill.

What’s more, this court order only protects them at the MetLife campus. What if their imaginary bogeyman visits them at home? Or what if he ambushes them while they’re sitting at a traffic light on the way to work? Of course I — the utterly harmless real me who is definitely not their bogeyman — would never do anything like that, but they have no idea that the real me actually exists. For all they know their bogeyman is an extremely clever sociopath who truly exists, but who is pretending to be a harmless autistic person who has merely been misunderstood as a dangerous sociopath, etc., etc.

This is not reasoning. This is just rampant, ignorance-fueled imagination run amok, and the No Contact Order can do nothing to get it under control.

3. Makes it impossible for them to get to know the real me.

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These giraffes look pretty friendly. I wish they would get to know me better and see that I’m friendly too. Image Credit: Pixabay

One of the best ways to get over any irrational fear is to choose to encounter the very thing that frightens you. Obviously that won’t work if you’re afraid of jelly fish or hungry sharks, but as long as what frightens you is harmless (like me), then the more you interact with it and see that no harm comes to you, the safer you will feel in its presence.

Really, the only way to help these people with their fears is to give them the opportunity to face them, which is now prohibited by law. These folks desperately need to get to know the real me, at least well enough to see that I’m not their bogeyman, that I’m harmless to them. But because of this No Contact Order, such an encounter is now impossible.

4. Means I now require a permanent alibi.

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I’m fresh out of excuses! Image Credit: ShutterStock

With this No Contact Order in place, I need a permanent alibi. For the next year at least, if anything happens to any of these people and which is even remotely mysterious, I am going to be suspect number 1. If one of them gets a mysterious flat tire I can be promptly arrested, booked, charged, and tried — even if I’m totally innocent. Even if I do have an alibi, that won’t help until after I’ve already been arrested, booked, and charged. Then the real investigation will begin and the alibi will exonerate me. But if I don’t have an alibi, then what?

Because of this fundamentally useless No Contact Order, I now need a permanent alibi. And something tells me that “Sorry, your honor, I’m autistic” won’t cut it.

I really don’t understand the purpose of this No Contact Order. Is the goal to ensure the objective safety of these individuals? Or is the goal merely to help them to feel subjectively safe. Although these are not mutually exclusive outcomes, in the end, being safe and feeling safe are really two different things. For example, many people are afraid to fly in an airplane, but feel perfectly safe in a car, which is objectively much more dangerous. Many people dread kittens, while others have no fear of texting while driving. Further, the pharmaceutical industry makes a ton of money selling anti-anxiety medications to people seeking relief from anxiety that they themselves know has no function whatsoever.

The fact is that fear is an unreliable indicator of objective danger, just as feeling safe is an unreliable indicator of objective safety. The one simply does not imply nor guarantee the other, and in any case, this No Contact Order will achieve neither goal, for the reasons described above.

 

You Don’t Fear Me; You Fear Your Misunderstanding of Me: An Open Letter to All The Sheeple Who Imagine Me to Be Dangerous

#KeepFamiliesTogether

Note: If you would like to donate to help the 2,500 immigrant children that were recently kidnapped from their families as a result of the Trump Administration’s cruel Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy (protested yesterday by thousands throughout the US), please see the links provided in the following article: Here’s how to help immigrant children separated from parents at U.S. border.

Dear Sheeple,

Everyone who actually knows the real me knows that I am nothing like a threat to your personal safety. I am 54 years old, have no history of violence, have no interest in violence, and own no guns nor weapons of any kind.

I don’t even play violent video games.

Because I know for a fact that I pose no threat to your personal safety, it simply cannot be the case that I am the cause of your fear. If indeed you are afraid of anything, then it is your misunderstanding of me that frightens you.

To be clear: I am not your misunderstanding of me. Your misunderstanding of me is an imaginary bogeyman who doesn’t exist. The person I really am is nothing to fear.

I have almost no control over your misunderstanding of me. Other than pity you, the most I can offer as consolation is the opportunity to get to know the real me. If you can find the courage to do so, then I’ll be happy to sit with you and talk, answer your questions, help you to see that you’ve been afraid of nothing.

Other than that, what can I say? You are on your own.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

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Mr. Phicks and the Hill o’ Beans

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Uh oh, I think I may have frightened poor Mr. Phicks. Autism strikes again! Image Credit:

Oh, well, so it looks like the whole Mr. Phicks thing has phailed. All of that great “mysterious Mr. Phicks” schtick and it didn’t amount to a hill o’ beans.

Here is his response to my most recent letter to him:

Daniel,

I can’t talk with you anymore. My client has asked me to stop our discussions. My employer has asked me to stop our discussions. And it is clear from your actions leading to your arrest last week that my involvement in your life is counterproductive. We talked about moving on from your obsession with Metlife and you immediately go out and physically invade the Metlife campus. I clearly am not helping matters.

Please do not contact me again.

Ugh! Note the language used:

“…physically invade the MetLife campus….”

Yeah, that’s a great way to describe what I did. Physical invasion. I just totally invaded the MetLife campus. Like in 1945 when the allies invaded the beaches of Normandy, or that time a garbage fly invaded our car and our two-year old daughter screamed hysterically for 20 minutes.

“…physically invade….”

And did he really think he could help me move on from my MetLife obsession with a single phone call? I’ve been obsessed with this MetLife bullshit in one form or another since, like, August 2016.

Oh, Mr. Phicks. Did you really think you were going to phicks this mess that easily?

Listen, amigo, the DSM V is not a book of problems that can be phicksed with a single phone call. The DSM-V is a book of hard problems — e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bi-polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc. These are serious problems that require the training, knowledge, and skill of real experts who are trained to recognize and handle them.

But I guess you realize that now.

In any case, and for the reasons explained in my final letter to you: going forward I will consider you, your client, and your employer to be not my allies, which is to say, by default, that you are all allies of Frederick Fritz T. Smith and his high-schoolish gang of Inappropriate Behavior Police.

Well, at least we cleared that up!

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

[Note: For background and context, please read No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.]

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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I don’t know if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, but if he is, I bet he can make himself look like this dapper fellow. Image Credit: Shutterstock

…In order to understand the point I wish to make in this letter, I first should tell you that this rift that exists between me and the roughly dozen or so folks who colluded to fire me last year has much in common with a gang war.

I’m not even sure that’s a metaphor, actually. Although I personally have no history of violence and will keep it that way, the other gang is now in a position to send me to jail, which is arguably a potential act of aggression they might make against both my person and my family. Also, last year my wife fell quite ill from the intense stress that followed from the psychologically cruel machinations involved in the other gang’s underhanded tactics (I call it the “MetLife Meat Grinder”). Finally, although my daughter has survived it all just fine so far, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so (autistically) obsessed about this rift that I’ve forgotten to give her her anti-seizure medication. Every time I forget to give her her medication I increase her risk of seizure, and seizures are dangerous — they can cause brain damage or even death.

So, although I certainly don’t expect to be shot or stabbed or have my car blown to smithereens by anyone in the other gang, my family and I do seem to be quite at risk of having to endure even more physical and/or psychological hardship (e.g. jail!) following from decisions the other gang will make.

Although the dozen or so members of this gang all have jobs — most work for MetLife, one is a law partner of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and three work for Donald Trump’s now corrupted and worthless “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — for me this really is less about the organizations they work for than it is about the  particular gang members themselves. In fact, my only beef with any of these organizations is that they seem hell-bent on defending the actions of these corporate thugs. To the extent that they do so, I really have little choice but to consider them members of the hostile gang.

Which brings us to your client.

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Is this a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks? Nah, it’s just Sherlock Holmes. But if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, I bet he can make himself look like Sherlock Holmes, which would be cool! Image Credit: Shutterstock

I hope you can appreciate that for me, at least, this is a highly polarized situation. Again, I’m not even sure that gang war is a really just a metaphor for what’s going on. The whole thing may in fact be an actual gang war, to the extent that one accepts “sending a person to jail” as a true act of aggression against that person. On the other hand, a proper metaphor for this situation is that when Seyfarth Shaw Partner Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith and his MetLife/EEOC Innappropriate Behavior Police did to me what they did to me (and indirectly to my family — my children!), they effectively “drew a line in the sand” (metaphorically speaking), shoved me on one side, stationed themselves on the other, and now everybody  else must pick a side.[1]

I’ll say that again: everybody must pick a side. That’s everybody in the whole world. And the choosing process is really quite simple — most of it actually happens up in my own head and is based mostly on my own perception of the world. The rule is as follows: pretty much everyone on Earth is first assumed by me to be on MetLife’s side of that line, which is to say not my side. That’s the default assumption that I make about everybody. And this includes my own friends and family, of course — everyone (you too).  You are all on MetLife’s side, by assumption, at least at first.

Then, anybody who doesn’t like that for some reason (perhaps because he or she cares about me, our relationship, whatever, and thinks that it sucks that I’m all alone against every human being on all of Planet Earth) — anyone who wishes to come over to my side of the line may, if he or she so wishes to, prove to me his or her loyalty.

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I’m usually a real middle-ground kind of guy, but in this case the middle ground has been completely overtaken by the MetLife/Seyfarth Shaw/EEOC folks who made me a victim of their collusive violation of Federal Statute Title 18 USC Section 241. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The point here is that there’s no middle ground, no neutral territory, no “fence” to sit on, so to speak. The dozen or so people who did this to me and my family captured that hypothetical middle ground, invaded it, turned it into a battlefield (so to speak). Because of what that dozen or so people did, now absolutely everybody is either on my side or theirs.

Yes, it sucks, I know. Tell me about it. And to be clear: it is not my fault. I want to be clear on this point because I’ve met quite a few people who seem to think that I am somehow responsible for causing or perhaps maintaining this rift between us, but that’s not the way I see it. To my view: this mess is entirely on them, not me. I am still and have been all along merely defending myself against their relentless aggression. Believe me, I’m almost always a middle-ground kind of guy. I wish there were a middle-ground in this situation — a nice fence we could all sit on. But there is not.

Now, here’s what happened last Thursday morning when we spoke before my MetLife (so to speak) shooting rampage. First of all, I really enjoyed our conversation, and was quite happy with the topics we discussed, but there was one thing in particular that you told me and which I found quite troubling, and this was that your client — the people who fired me for the second time in a year for being autistic (after MetLife) — you told me that they “didn’t want to participate” in, well, what in the end equates to a situation in which we must all participate.

Like I said: Everybody must choose a side now, including your client.

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No fence-sitting allowed with respect to my gang war with the “Batman” and his “Justice League Gang”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

To “not participate”, as you described it, is simply not an available option. To “not participate” is what you call a “middle-ground” option, and like I said, MetLife destroyed the middle ground. I know it sucks. Please offer them my sympathies.

Please offer them my sympathies, along with a good-faith second chance to re-think what they want to do. MetLife has practically infinite resources and doesn’t need their help. My own allies in this gang war and I could definitely use your client’s help, and would greatly appreciate it.

If they do wish to help,  I think the most cost effective way for them to do so is simply to reinstate me to the job they took from me a couple of months ago now. From my perspective, that would give them and me the most benefit for the least expenditure. But I’m open to other possibilities.

Please let me know soon what they decide, or I will assume they’ve chosen MetLife’s side of this, and treat them accordingly.

Best,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

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Image Credit: Pixabay


[1]To drop all the colorful metaphors for a moment, what they did literally was to commit against my person a violation of the Federal “Conspiracy-against-Rights Statute”, Title 18 USC Section 241.

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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SMOKING IS NOT COOL, and this is not a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks smoking. I really hope the guy doesn’t smoke. Really, nobody should smoke. It’s a filthy habit that kills people and makes their breath stink. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me last Thursday morning. Shortly after we hung up, I went on a crazy shooting rampage over at the new MetLife GTO Campus in Cary, NC.

Of course, not literally, right? Goodness, I’m autistic, for crying out loud, not a murderous psychopath. As I went to great lengths to explain in my recent 6-part series Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, I’m merely a SO TO SPEAK lone-wolf terrorist, by which I mean an utterly harmless, but perhaps intensely frustrating (some times, and for some people, at least) Frustration Artist.

It’s a metaphor, for crying out loud. Like when I say that I got gang-raped by a bunch of my former colleagues at MetLife, along with their slimy and unscrupulous Seyfarth Shaw attorney, and three employees of the EEOC. Of course nobody literally gang raped me. In street-talk I would just say that these people “fucked me over”. When one says that “so-and-so really fucked me over” one is not suggesting that so-and-so made sweet, tender love to me. No. One is saying that “so-and-so raped me” — you know, “figuratively speaking”, whatever.

Similarly, and to be absolutely clear: I’m using the term shooting rampage here strictly as a metaphor. Absolutely no guns were involved, no blood was shed, and nobody got hurt. To put it less figuratively, I only mean that I quietly and politely walked around “shooting” lots and lots of MetLife employees with my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera.

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This is a black-and-white photograph of my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera sitting on black velvet. It’s kind of hard to see. For a better image click here. Image Credit: There’s no actual image to credit, it’s just a picture of blackness.

It was a harmless “photo-shoot” (video-shoot, really), as they say. None of the people I videographed even knew that I was doing it. I’d show you some of the footage here now, but I actually got arrested the following morning (Friday) for committing this victimless “crime” and I’m thinking I should probably speak with my public defender before I release any of the video I “shot”.

I’ve been officially charged with misdemeanor Breaking and Entering, although I broke absolutely nothing and really just entered the MetLife buildings by “tailgating”, which is when you walk in through an open door behind the person who opened it. Anybody who works there can tell you how easy it is to do. MetLife currently has a worthless “no tailgating” building-security policy that burdens its thousands of employees with the task of checking badges of anyone who tries to tailgate. During the two years that I worked there I only ever witnessed one person who actually tried to follow that policy, and he eventually stopped trying because after annoying half-a-dozen of his MetLife colleagues that he just didn’t recognize because he was new, he realized nobody else was stopping tailgaiters and wound up feeling terribly foolish.

Of course, that terribly foolish-feeling person was me!

Hey, what can I say? I’m autistic. If one knows anything useful about autism, one knows that we autistic types like our rules. I was trying to follow MetLife’s “no tailgating” rule, and the way I see it, “no tailgating” means NO TAILGATING!!!

Except with MetLife (and companies like it) “no tailgating” seems to mean “tailgating is actually just fine”.

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I don’t really like to see people as being stupid, but sometimes we do stupid things (there’s a difference). For example, MetLife’s “no tailgating” building-security policy is a stupid rule that just confuses people like me while accomplishing nothing of value. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Is there a better word for that than stupid? Is there some politically correct euphemism that isn’t dangerously misleading? One that doesn’t foolishly suggest that a “no tailgating” building-security policy is perfectly fine in some circumstances? It’s like telling people “please set the building on fire” when what you really mean is “please do not set the building on fire.”

Stupid! MetLife has at least one stupid building-security policy. If my MetLife Shooting Rampage last Thursday afternoon accomplished anything useful, at the very least it proved to the company that their “no tailgating” building-security policy is stupid — and it did so without hurting anybody. Now they will fix it. If they don’t, I’ll just come back one day and remind them again.

Now, in case you’re wondering what all of this has to do with our conversation earlier Thursday morning, it was all partly a spontaneous response to something you had said to me during our conversation, and which I found a lot more disturbing than you may realize. Please note that I said “partly a spontaneous response”, because really I’d spent several months thinking about and planning this utterly harmless little stunt. But before we spoke on Thursday morning, I still had no clear intention to go through with it yet. I hadn’t decided  in advance to do it that particular day, and I certainly had no idea I would be doing it until shortly after we hung up.

 

This post continues with No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.

 

Thank You! — An Open Letter to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison

Dear Sheriff Harrison,

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Image Credit: Pixabay

I wish to express my gratitude for the outstanding professionalism and humanitarianism demonstrated not just by your Detention Officers at the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road and my own arresting officers of the Cary Police Department, but equally for the kindness, helpfulness, and camaraderie of my fellow arrestees and the few inmates I had the pleasure to meet. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting before my arrest, but it certainly didn’t include any of that, and I must tell you that I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover it as part of the overall arrest/booking/charging experience.

Now, before I convey the wrong impression, I should tell you that despite that very pleasant surprise, overall I actually found thoroughly unpleasant the 13 or so hours between the moment the cuffs were placed on me at about 9:00 AM Friday morning and the moment I was finally granted release at 10:00 PM Friday night. Although as it began I was quite curious about what would happen next, it only took about two hours for my curiosity to be completely gratified, and then it all became thoroughly unpleasant. Although the anxiety was fairly mild, the 11 hours of uncertainty and chilly, gelatinous boredom were all but excruciating.

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Although my own jail experience involved clothing, plenty of light, and absolutely no bars whatsoever, this picture does convey the intense boredom I felt for, like, 11 hours! Image Credit: Shutterstock

I tried to transform it all into a kind of meditation retreat, but my meditation skills are sorely lacking. For the most part I was bored, bored, bored. Oh, my goodness, the boredom. If that’s all by design, then kudos to the designers. Eleven hours of sitting or standing around in a jail cell with a bunch of other equally bored arrestees, all of us waiting, waiting, waiting for the next step in the process, or at least for information about when it might take place.

That is actually not a complaint, by the way. I wish to express my gratitude even for that aspect of things. I think jail should definitely not be seen as pleasant. Really nobody should enjoy jail. Of course, nobody should be gratuitously tortured — even psychologically — but I see nothing wrong with boredom, even though I find it very uncomfortable. I actually think perhaps the best time to meditate is when one is bored, so when we bore prisoners, we’re actually giving them a chance to practice meditation, which is a good thing, I think, and could lead to less crime, to the extent that the prisoners accept the opportunity to practice mediation.

Of course, I realize that’s easy to say from the comfort of my own home, but still, as I reflect back on it all, I have to say that I find myself actually looking forward to going back to jail for more of the same. I am actually excited about my upcoming trial, and half hoping that I lose badly. Part of me seriously wants the full Orange Is the New Black experience. Naturally I’d write my own memoir. I even have a possible title for it already: How to Help Save the World and Make An Honest Living as an Ex-Con.

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To be clear: I’m only half-hoping for that. I actually have plenty enough to write about, so the possible 3-months maximum sentence I could receive is definitely not something I really need. And of course there are many ways in which even a brief period of incarceration or a small fine would be extremely inconvenient for me and my family. I’m not too concerned with the criminal record I would have (this is probably an autism thing, but I actually feel proud of my new arrest record, and will probably feel even more proud of an actual convinction record) but I do have two young children whom I love dearly, would miss terribly while I was away, and who would no doubt suffer from my absence. And of course, their mother would suffer too. Obviously, she needs my help to take care of our children.

So…there’s that too. I guess my real point here is that I’m feeling quite ambivalent about the outcome of my upcoming trial. However much I may actually want to lose, I also have a lot of good solid reasons for winning too. I’m not quite sure yet what to make of all that, but I suppose “time will tell”, as they say.

But what I’m not ambivalent about is my gratitude for all that I experienced last Friday as a result of my charges (“Breaking and Entering”), my arrest, and my day at your Wake County Detention Center.

Once again, I thank you, your staff, the Cary Police Department, and everybody else who helped make the day such an amazing one for me — including the inmates and my fellow arrestees.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


Image Credit: Pictures of Sheriff Donnie Harrison can be found on the Sheriffs official campaign website.