Thursday, January 29, 2004

Punky's back and he's dressed to kill
This was the subject line of an e-mail I received today from my manager giving me a heads up that there have been reported Punky sightings in my regular branch's neighborhood. The Punky I'm referring to is not 80s TV moppet Punky Brewster, but a young prison recidivist with a flair for fashion who likes to frequent the park near the branch I work. When not doing time he can usually be found holding court in the park, resplendent in his skin tight acid wash jeans, bandana ascot, and “business in the front, party in the back” mullet. (With Punky, though, it’s more like: felon in the front, prison bitch in the back) In the park he likes to get loaded, harass tourists, commit petty larceny, and do other things that make him a real pain in the ass to society. Despite his slight physique he is quite confrontational and very, very obnoxious, and as a result has had about half of his teeth punched out of his mouth.

My last brush with Punky was about six months ago when a man wheeled his bicycle into the branch and began to use the internet. I had to tell him that bicycles are not allowed in the branch, especially when they are obstructing the exit, and that he would have to take the bicycle outside. He was perfectly agreeable and wheeled his bike outside, where he made the poor decision to return to the internet and leave his bike unlocked on the bike rack. His bike remained there for approximately two minutes before it was stolen. The man was understandably upset, and I felt bad (but just a little) because I had told him to move his bike. Right after I called the police another regular park dweller strolled in and said, “Wow. I just saw Punky and he was riding around in the park with a new bike.” When our friendly beat cop arrived by we gave him the tip and he went to the park and had a little talk with Punky and the man got his bike back.
My manager told me that Punky (I suspect his nickname comes from the word punk, which in prison is slang for a young, pretty, passive boy who is on the receiving end of homosexual prison sex) has a chic new look, so I wonder if he and his prison roommate passed the time in prison giving each other makeovers. I hope to be able to see it myself before Punky gets picked up again to repay his ever increasing debt to society.

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