Saturday, January 26, 2008

Day twenty-five...The rehabulous life of...

I'm doing it again.

I'm letting my computer scare me.

The way I see it, the only thing worse than too much information is not enough information. And that's what I'm getting; almost nothing.

What am I looking for?

I'm furiously searching for information on the place I'm going to be spending the next three hundred and thirty-six hours of my life. And I'm coming up almost empty.

Oh, there's a whole book I could buy. It is supposed to "diminish my anxiety" and teach me the ropes before I start looking for one long enough to hang my 212 lb frame from. But don't worry, that won't happen. My immediate future is looking a little too bright to do anything rash. Plus, they've informed me that if I cannot complete the program "for any reason", they will charge me for the missed days. I will not let that happen. I will not let the terrorists win.

But, for a mere $39.95 I can download an "e-book" written, supposedly, by someone who completed the program. This book is advertised as a manual to inform the overly anxious of such tasty tidbits as:

"what type of food is served?"
"bedroom and bathroom conditions"
"what chores will you be assigned to?"
And my favorite- " many packs should you bring?"

We all know the answer to the last one. How much protection do you need? I'll just bring the 2 rolls of quarters they recommend.

It claims that the tips they provide are "priceless."

"For only $39.95"

That seems like a price to me. But I only stopped smoking pot 31 days ago. It still could be in my...

Thirty one days ago?

Holy shit, I could pass a drug test. I haven't been this clean in twenty years.

I could be a mail man! Excuse me, 'letter carrier'.

I could be a letter carrier!

Ok, ok. Calm down Freddy. Why would you want to be a letter carrier, when you already have a letter carrier? She already brings you the mail. She brought you that big manila envelope from the DUIL program just a few hours ago.

So anyway, what I started to say was that besides this bozo who is making bank from keeping a journal (hey, wait a minute), there's not much at all online about the Middlesex County DUIL Program. And that kind of creeps me out a bit.

But there is that big manila envelope my letter carrier brought me from the DUIL program.

Let's just have a look-see.


"Getting Ready To Attend The DUIL Program."

Here we go. Seems pretty cordial.

OK. Here's something.

"If you have any condition(s) which might be adversely affected by the stress of attending the program you will need a note from your doctor."

OK. Now I'm pretty sure my bp is under control, but I just don't like the way that reads. It's on page one, and page one says nothing about what you can expect. This is very much unlike Space Mountain. At Space Mountain, they have a video showing you the ride in action and it says something to the effect of, if you're going to have a heart attack, or soil yourself or both, you should ride the Teacups. Fair 'nuff. But as there are no electronic devices save for a "walkman" allowed, I don't think you'll see any clips of the activities posted on Youtube.

Then we get to the part about how much money to bring. They recommend 50-100 dollars in small bills and a couple of rolls of quarters as mentioned above. They say it will be needed for, among other things, "for washing machines, for detergent, and to make phone calls (outgoing only)." But also for "use in the vending machines, for snacks, and entertainment."

What kind of entertainment do I need small bills for? How far will 50 singles get me? Will I have to forego the after dinner alcohol-free Liquorice from the vending machine in order to save my singles for "entertainment." Will my lights-out dreams come true with one of the dancers from 'Sobrie-A-Teasers' on gentlemen's club night?

No, I don't think I have to worry about that.

No, I think the only gentlemen's club I'll be privy to has turkey and bacon on it. If I'm lucky.

No, I have bigger problems to worry about.

I have the "Buddy System."

Page 6 Section 2 Sub paragraph 11 Subtext 4321b states:

"Clients should come and go to meals, classes, groups and all other scheduled activities in groups. If for some reason you need to return to your unit or your room (perhaps for a forgotten notebook or to use the restroom), you must ask another client to go with you. At no time should a client be alone on the unit or in any other area of the building."

Oh-my-God. And I rarely capitalize the third word in that last sentence. But I think I'm going to be needing some assistance from above (and I don't mean from the 'fifth floor'). I'll definitely be calling on my higher power to help me through this one. Who will be my "buddy"? Who gets to go with me when I need to go potty? What the fuck? This is ridiculous. Gang, especially those of you who already have an OUI, listen to Uncle Al. Don't drink and drive. You don't want to have to use the buddy system. The buddy system went out of fashion somewhere around 2nd grade. The buddy system was retired shortly after you made it home safe from school 10 times in a row.

Well they say everything comes full circle. Welcome back "buddy."

Moving on.

Bed Checks:

"Each client should be in his or her room, standing by the door, at"...wait for it...wait for it...

I haven't been up before 6:45 unless that was the time I was going to sleep.

Maybe it's a typo.

Maybe not.

It continues: "Clients may still be in their robes at this time, but they must have their name tags on, and they must be wearing shoes or slippers."

OK so I can be groggy and crusty in the eye at sun-up, as long as Sgt. Hulka can check my name tag and step on my slippered toes. "Good Morning, Sir!"

"Lights out immediately follows the nightly bed check." (Same as morning except at 10:30pm)
There is to be no talking after this time, clients may not use headphones to listen to radios, etc. after this time. There should be complete silence on the units."

There goes my nightly ritual of drifting off to "Big Bambu" by Cheech and Chong. Those heartless bastards.

It says everyone gets a chore "except those who volunteer for kitchen duty."

Guess who got skills?

Chef Al, mutha' hubbard. Nobody can spice up a 50 gallon pot of American-American Chop Suey like yours truly.

My secret?

Pepper. The blacker the better.

Of course there is a "DO NOT BRING" list.

This includes the usual like "controlled substances, sharp or pointed objects, such as scissors, nail files or knives."

But also some items you may not have considered off limits. Such as:

"Laundry detergent"-man, the things kids'll put up their noses these days.

"Weapons of any type, real or toy." "But councilor, it's not a 'real' sickle..."

"Musical instruments or sports equipment."- I just knew the Jocks and the band-fags would get lumped together one day or another.

"Electric irons or air conditioners." Wow. Is this one for the Ivy Leaguers or what? "Councilor, I'm not really supposed to be here, the judge made me. Can you get this A/C up to room 404? Please hurry...I'm dying over here!"

And by far, my favorite:

"A car or other motor vehicle-If you drive here and attempt to leave your vehicle, it will be towed at your expense."

Do I really need to point out how ludicrous this warning is? Well, I'm going to anyway.

If you are ordered to attend the DUIL program, this means you have had your license suspended; typically for 2 years. If you drive during this period not only are you a moron, but you will be looking at mandatory jail time, 5 years loss of license, and a huge "What the hell were you thinking?" from Judgey McGhee. But it must have happened, or they wouldn't have put it in.

Folks, this thing goes on and on and, well, I have to pack. But I have to say, a big reason I did this is for those who will follow in my footsteps. My sobriety test failing footsteps.

There will be plenty more people out there that are wondering how it all works. Wondering if they should bring that iron just in case there is a semi-formal dance and they need to look their best. Wondering if there will be parking for their recently impounded Bentley. And just wondering in general. And I don't want Mr. "$39.95" to get suckers to pay.

Cause when they Google DUIL Program, they'll find...

...they'll find this. And I'll know I helped a brutha out. Albeit smart alecky and sarcastically, but helped nonetheless.

I'm off to Fort Arnold, but for those of you who wish to write me, or send a pack of bottle rockets my way (it does not say anywhere that illegal fireworks are not allowed) Please address mail to:

Frederick A. Johnson
Middlesex DUIL Program
P.O. Box 149
Tewksbury, MA

As I have said, I will be mailing entries back to have the Illuminators transcribe. You can expect something probably by the end of the week. Unless of course, they read this online and decide I'm too dangerous. But I think they really want my $953.26 and of course, all my singles and quarters.

Thanks for reading.

And as the ancient Chinese music teacher saying goes: Stay tuned.



My dear Aunt came up on Friday and bought me lunch. Seems that she still loves me. Well, it also seems she still has a sense of humor. She said that she was in a rush and didn't have time to get to the store. But she intended to purchase for me: "A harmonica, a tin cup, and a soap-on-a-rope." Most of which are not on the "do not bring" list.

Aunt Lynda, I love you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your posts Freddy.

Anonymous said...

thanks buddy

Ney said...

Can't thank u enough Freddie and hope all went they revised the do not bring list and all stuff goes in trash bags so make sure ur P.O. (if they even care) gives u the updated 2010 Admission packet, cuz that totally stressed me out unnecessarily....also No Butts! Uhg...Smoke Free...sucky...