Life Sentence for Marijuana — Randy Lanier’s Prison Diary
As I mention in the last post, we recently came off being locked down. Now that it is over, it is so nice to have hot water and warm food again.
When we are locked in the cells, the only hot water we can get is water heated from a stinger or water heated from a fire. I usually keep a stinger, but when I went to the medical facility in Springfield MO, I left mine with a friend. When I returned, he told me they had confiscated it while I was away.
A stinger is two pieces of wire each connected to a piece of metal with something between them to keep them from touching. They are tied together with dental floss so it can not come loose and touch.
We fill up a half gallon water container, and drop the stinger in the water. One of the other ends of the wire is then inserted between the light switch and one is touched to the screw outside the light switch for the ground. If you can not get the wire inbetweet the lightswitch a hole can be drilled into the switch. If it does not work, often an inmate can get the switch apart.
The water takes about 10 minutes to boil. I like to fill up a separate container such as a soda bottle or coffee bag and drop this into the boiling water. This way I do not get any of the metal filing that comes off of the stinger. We usually use any kind of metal such as finger nail clippers or pieces of a fence. Stainless steel is best.
Another way we heat water is by burning toilet paper or pieces of blankets. By holding a container of water over the fire we can have water for soup or coffee. . We do not have lighters or matches so we must take small strips of foil from packs of oatmeal or grits and scrap an AA or AAA battery. We make a wick out of toilet paper that we use to light. We then touch one end of the small strip of foil to the negative end of the battery and the other end to the scraped part of the battery. This creates a spark that lights the wick. If the battery is weak we use two batteries touching the negative part with both parts of the strip of foil. The positive sides of the battery must be touching metal.
The other way we heat water is we roll up toilet paper or a strip of a blanket to look like a donut. We then sit this on the toilet or near the exhaust vent and light it with the wick. We fill up a paper milk container or some other container and hang it over the fire tied with a piece of sheet or string through the container so the container is right over the flame.
Anyway, being back to normal operations we have the convenience of a microwave and a hot water dispenser once again, so these necessities are put away until the next lock down.
I have much gratitude for the small things in life.