One of the (many) great aspects of playwork is the way it takes you to exotic destinations and new, strange professions. When you’re a playworker, you also get to be a zombie, a Power Ranger, a puppy and any number of very hungry monsters.
With fair frequency though, you go to jail.
I was recently incarcerated, after being shot for piracy and staging a miraculous recovery, and now upon my release can comment with authority upon the conditions.
The prison itself, the Warden explained, was owned by a Princess. Only 12 years old, the Princess was ‘alright, not too bossy’ and was protected by a staff of 15,000 guards.
I was quickly set to work cleaning toilets, for which I was paid a shilling an hour. Then on to tidying the garden, for which I was promised 5 shillings if I could clear away all the slush. Then the Warden escorted me back to my cell and told me of all the things I could buy with my wages. She reeled them off, counting shillings on her fingers and gazing up at the heavy grey sky, while below her I and the other inmates swung our legs from the climbing frame.
A chocolate smoothie cost 2 shillings, and we could have as many as we liked. The sun was going in, so another prisoner asked how much a new coat would cost. 8 shillings.
A new pillow for the night ahead seemed a good bargain at first – only 3 shillings – until we were informed that it might contain feathers… or rocks.
Life is hard on the inside.