The Eighth Page

Martha Goes to Jail

In 2000 there were about two million adult prisoners in the United States. It cost around $26.8 billion in 1999 to keep up the prisons and prisoners in the US yearly. The average American looks at these numbers and says, “Hmm…is it the free meals three times a day or the free gyms that make these prisons so popular?” Martha Stuart, on the other hand, looks at these some two million inmates and sees a consumer group that is yet to be targeted by major retailers. You see, my friends, Martha Stuart wants to go to jail. She has for the past seven months. But as tricky as her lemon sugar cookies with hand-crushed berry toppings are to bake, so too is Martha’s plot to become incarcerated without anybody expecting her true motives. A crack dealer from Philadelphia isn’t going to give mad props to a woman who spends her time knitting scarves or baking cookies that are perfect for “that neighbor who likes to drop by unexpectedly, or that picnic you were invited to but didn’t know what to bring.” No, a crack dealer is looking to make friends with that woman who illegally tried to make some more bling-bling. Martha knew this all along. When Martha asked to serve her time two weeks ago she was making one of the most brilliant business moves of all time. She was going to jail to give herself street credit with the hustlers and gangstas of America. She was going to pursue a $26.8 billion area in America’s tax money. Once Martha has “endured” the “harsh” and “unreasonable” sentence, Big Jim from a prison in New York City, or maybe Don’t-approach-me-from-the-left-Sandra from LA will start to respect Martha. Maybe, and follow me on this one, they will inquire about Bake-Your-Own-Cake Thursdays or Plant-a-Vegetable-Garden Monday to make sure that the emotional foundation of American prisoners is maintained. Do not be surprised if when you visit “that” uncle in the state penitentiary, you encounter photo collogues and stenciled Halloween ghosts hanging from his cell ceiling. Do not be surprised either if you see the Martha Magazine on your uncle’s dresser, with the nice little $5.99 price under the bar-code. Furthermore, do not be surprised if his ghosts match those of the other 500 inmates on his row. Sure Martha looked terrible in those pictures on the front page of the New York Times, and it can be deceiving to see what not putting on makeup can do, but do not fall for Martha’s lies. She is not stressed out at all. Eighteen months from now, my friends, Martha will be surgically removing the tattoo that Shaniqua branded on her arm in the second stall in the East row bathroom of the Connecticut State Penitentiary, and will be learning Mandarin for her next business venture: China.