Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the nineteenth chapter of Alanna the Piranha. This has been a week most full. I will begin with the sorrow we feel over the passing of one of my novelist’s and my favorite rock and roll legends, Meat Loaf. My novelist who has been a fan of his for many years, owns several of his albums, attended The Rocky Horror Picture Show and was fortunate enough to have seen him in concert in Las Vegas. She thought he was an exciting and fully committed singer and entertainer and felt blessed to have been able to see him perform in person. Apparently, he is NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But then again, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is notorious for making a jackass of itself.
On the home front here in the great northwest, we had a prison break from a juvenile detention center called Ecco Glen Children’s Center. Five male inmates took off in a government owned blue Ford Fusion, always a favorite amongst Nascar drivers. One of them was a murderer who killed a man because, “I just felt like doing it”. On further research about the facility, it has had had three other prison breaks. In September 2012 six boys ages 14-15 years old knocked a female security guard unconscious with a frozen water bottle, locked her up, stole her keys and radio and escaped. The escape appeared to have been premeditated (a fact which apparently took a genius to figure out). In September of 2016 a fifteen-year-old boy slipped away while inmates were being moved between buildings. Evidently, there was only one staff member on duty when there was supposed to be two and hiring and keeping staff has been an ongoing issue. In fact, the union representing guards sent a letter to Cheryl Strange, the secretary of Washington State Corrections begging for more staffing. The union’s thoughts on the matter would be simpatico with what the successful Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center would say who have a 90% success rate treating the most dangerous juvenile inmates in Wisconsin. Staffing is of great importance there. But apparently not in Washington. In December 2018 a fourteen-year-old male serving time for murder and a sixteen-year-old boy serving time for robbery escaped through an unfenced area.
After doing a little research my novelist and I found that the center uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Aggression Replacement Training (ART) in their attempts to rehabilitate its inmates. However, we question this one size fits all therapy and wonder if it may not be working effectively on a subgroup of the offenders there who may be treatment refractory. Said offenders due to their psychopathic traits may also be able to manipulate other inmates successfully into assisting them with their premeditated plans. Also, the place is not fenced despite being not only a medium security facility but also a maximum-security facility. The center was originally designed in 1967 for children who committed lesser crimes and has been unfenced ever since. In 2021 the gate was broken by a visitor who was “high on drugs and smashed into it”. The gate has never been repaired. I should also add there is a camp that grade school kids attend throughout the year twelve miles away.
Perhaps dividing the medium-security facility from the maximum-security facility would be more successful. Also adjusting the maximum-security facility to be far more secure than the medium facility as well as having it be focused on a mental health philosophy and treating a lower population using a larger staff may be a better fit for some inmates. For instance, it may not be a good idea for a psychopathic child scoring 35 or higher on the PCL-R and showing substantial decreased gray matter in the prefrontal lobe and paralimbic system seen via a FMRI and SPECT scan to be engaged in therapy involving future service animals as they tend to kill them. As a poodle I shudder at the thought.
On a completely different topic, my novelist and I would like to assure our readers that as far as internment camps go here in the northwest, we do not presently have any. We do, however, have daily book burnings at Snohomish County Washington public schools. We can’t just let Tennessee have all the fun, can we?
And without further ado, here is chapter nineteen of Alanna the Piranha. Enjoy!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the Parti Poodle
Day the Nineteenth
I should have guessed Alanna would like money. I told her my Aunt Linda gave me five thousand dollars to work with to be returned to her in one year and for me to keep the profits. Alanna went to work thinking of ways to make the money grow. She spent the entire day watching CNBC and began to devise a strategy.
“You need to buy stock.”
“Well,” Alanna says picking up the Newfoundland Dwarf. “As your financial adviser I think you should purchase one thousand dollars’ worth of each of these five stocks I’ve been looking at.”
“Isn’t that a little ambitious?”
“No,” she says picking up a bottle of nail polish.
“Where did you get that?”
“Your sister’s room.”
“What? Don’t go in my sister’s room!”
Alanna sits on my bed, sets the bunny beside her, and starts painting her fingernails purple. “You need to stop surfing the internet all day and do some financial research.”
“I don’t sit and surf the internet all day.”
“You don’t do much else either. Your mother washes your clothes and cooks your meals while your dad goes to work and pays your bills. You’re not a child, Flint. You need to get off your duff and do something with your life.”
“Need I remind you that I am the one who genetically engineered you. Without me there would be no you.”
“Without me you aren’t going to make any money with those five thousand dollars. And when your aunt reclaims her loan where will you be? You can’t stay in your parents’ basement forever. Invest in the five stocks I’ve researched.”
“I’ll tell you what. I can’t afford all five stocks. And I’d feel a lot more comfortable if a chunk of the money was put into a bank account.”
“You’re young. You don’t need to play it safe. Besides, money makes terrible interest in bank accounts.”
“Just trust me on this.”
“Fine,” Alanna relents. She keeps her wet nails back as she pets the Newfoundland Dwarf. It twitches its nose and perks its ears. “You can put a thousand dollars in a bank account of my choosing. But four thousand needs to go into stocks.”
I sigh. “Done. By the way, have you decided on a name for the bunny?”
“Oh, yes!” she says, a twinkle sparkling in her piranha eye. “I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’ve named her Fabulous.”
“Fabulous the bunny?”
“Isn’t it just the cutest name? I think Alanna and Fabulous sound wonderfully musical together!”
I study the Newfoundland Dwarf for a moment. Alanna’s right. Fabulous is a dope name. “Yeah, alright. I can roll with that.”
“You know, I’ve been thinking. I’ve visited Stacy’s room a couple of times now and…”
“A couple of times?!”
“…she has a lot of things she doesn’t use. We could take them and sell them on eBay and Poshmark.”
“Look, I’m not going to fight you on investing in the stock market. But this is a very bad idea. Stacy is quite fond of her stuff and whether she uses it or not it’s still hers.”
“But it just sits there.”
“Alanna,” I say more firmly. “Do not take anything that belongs to my sister.”
Alanna lowers her eyes and pouts. “I was just trying to help.”
“Stealing is not a way to help. My aunt gave me that five-thousand dollars to grow and keep what I make. We don’t need Stacy’s things to make that happen.”
“Okay,” she says. “It’s just you don’t appear to own anything that anyone would want to buy.”
This remark kind of hurts. “Well, I did have a comic book collection, but I sold it to make enough money to pay for you and Fabulous. You wouldn’t be a half girl/half piranha if I hadn’t made sacrifices.”
I think I might see an actual tear forming in the corner of Alanna’s eye. “Oh, Flint,” she says, her voice trembling. “I had no idea.”
“That’s okay. But you may have a good point about starting some sort of business.”
“Yes. I think that’s a wonderful idea. I’ll try putting together a business plan portfolio.”
“I wasn’t thinking of that big of a thing. Maybe a side hustle.”
“It’s better to think big. Otherwise, you’re selling yourself short.”
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: FIGHT CLUB (1999)-IMDB TV & TNT
This week we wanted to highlight one of Meat Loaf’s acting roles. One of his best films is Fight Club based on the book of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, who was born in Pasco, Washington. Meat Loaf plays supporting character Bob Paulson, a man who is dying of cancer who meets the Narrator (Edward Norton). The Narrator is a healthy young man who joins different support groups he has no business belonging in to find meaning in his mundane life. A “tourist” if you will. While flying on an airplane the Narrator meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who helps the Narrator form a “fight club” in which men like Bob join to reject consumerism and corporate America while rediscovering their manhood by beating each other to a pulp. The film was directed by the fantastic David Fincher and co-stars Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer, another “tourist” the Narrator meets on his voyage through support groups.