The Prison Warden

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.


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