TV and Recreation Rooms

Image result for tv

OK, so here is the lighter stuff.  This is what you can pick up on your own but a little overview might help.  Each unit has a “computer room”, a rec room and 3 or 4 TV rooms.  My drawings are a bit off because the TVs were going to be the window wall when I started.  They’re really only 42″ diagonals.  There are roughly 372 inmates per building so the rooms get a bit crowded on game days but everyone watches at the same time.  It can get a bit stuffy in the summer because of the lack of air conditioning. Lots of testosterone.

The rules are typical of what I described before in the other letters.  The rooms are “mixed” except for the “BET” room which is supposed to be news and sports but in reality is the “dark” room.  If you don’t fit in, don’t go in.  To watch TV you use your personal radio to hear the sound because each room has 2 or 3 TVs in it. It seats maybe 40 because it’s actually a bedroom converted.

The Spanish TV room is on the main floor and has 3 TVs and seats around 100 to 150.  Next to it is the “news” room which is the same as the BET room only white. Mostly rednecks on sports days or stock car race days and then the nerds take over when the non-sports fantasy sci-fi channel stuff is on

On the other side of the “news” room is the movie/general viewing TV room which is mixed.  This has one TV or tow on one wall and three on the opposite wall so you can face whatever you want to watch.  This also seats 150.

The last room is the exercise/recreation room which has some tables to play cards or board games you can sign out from the office.  It has a pool table and 5 or 6 elliptical or stair stepper machines, sit up racks, pull up rack, back rack and room to do calisthenics.  There’s one TV usually on news but really has anything on it.  A lot of the time the consensus is to have a movie on so you can work out and watch.

So you are here with 300 + men of varying intelligence and temperament and 12 TVs so at first that sounds adequate but here is where things can flare quickly.

Seating is by seniority in prime time.  During the day when it is not crowded you can generally sit anywhere but at night and during games you have to work your way into the line usually starting at the back. When somebody leaves or goes to the hole their spot is willed to another inmate like property. People put their chairs in their spots hours before big games to mark their turf. You can eat and drink in the TV rooms and courtesy is a must.  If you are annoying, you will know quickly or your chair will disappear.

What we are watching sometimes becomes an issue and the cause of fights.  Generally there is a loose schedule or rules about what is watched like the news/sports TV is nerd TV at night prime time unless there’s nascar racing or football.  The big TV room is Football or basketball after 6 or 7 the other “news” tv becomes sports also.  One of the TVs is for the movie schedule only but if something good is on we can change the channels to watch on multiple sets, i.e., Star Trek or Star Wars, etc.

Occasionally an entrepreneur will sell pizza or cell made ice cream or yogurt during games. As always “honey bears” are available for $25-30 each of hooch.  Sporting events are never lacking for bookies.  Not all of the comforts of home but you make due.

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