No, this is not a story about my crusty eye. Though I must say, I taunted The Pony again last night while watching TV, when a gnat buzzed my face and almost got down inside my glasses. "Whew! That was close. I almost had a gnat in my eye. I guess he likes to feast on crust." Let the record show that The Pony groaned rather than snorted.
My crusty eye is neither here nor there. Well. It's on my face, right where it belongs, but it's not what I started out to write about today. Rather, it's something I noticed when I would normally be on autopilot while taking T-Hoe for a spin.
The Show-Me State pulls out all the stops when it comes to stopping the heart of a convicted killer. We don't wanna look bad on TV, I guess. Seems like we euthanize about one prisoner per month. That was the rate last year. I don't even notice it on the news any more. It may not BE ON the news any more. But I'm not here to discuss the merits or the drawbacks of the stop-life punishment. I'm here to discuss groundskeeping. If only it was bookkeeping, the word with three double-letters in a row! But alas. This is not one for the books.
When a big event is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. at the Eastward Show-Me Detecting Hub...certain procedures make themselves evident to those who may drive by four times a day on the way to pick up their little equine at Newmentia.
Giant sawhorses are set up to keep the press corralled. Of course it's on the end where the view of the facility over the shoulder of the reporter is the most flattering. Then there are those flat bands of nylon that make a path for people to follow, like waiting lines at theme parks or casinos.
Extra law enforcement vehicles are on patrol. Some of them block each entrance and exit, where the personnel sit in their cars, always in pairs, watching for anybody trying to gain entrance. This most likely happens for a 24-hour period, though I have not tried to gather evidence to support my theory.
What I DO notice is the change in groundskeeping procedures. Normally, the residents of the facility do the mowing. They are fairly young, fit, pick-of-the-litter behaviorwise, I would surmise. They wear the standard uniform of gray pants, white t-shirts. They ride those mowers that have a zero turn radius. The ones that you steer with two metal bars, not a steering wheel. And they ride in formation, five or six at a time, while a guard sits nearby on a Gator-style vehicle with a long gun.
Today, the mowing was done by old fat men dressed in blue cotton shirts and overalls.
I'm not sure if this was for appearances, or for security. I'll probably have a chance to observe the procedures again next month.