(As told to Rich Herschlag)
As many of you surely know, I just wrapped up a prison sentence. That’s two weeks of shopping my book and movie rights I’ll never get back. Other than the three or four conjugal visits, these have been some of the darkest days of my life. And the conjugal visits were really nothing to write home about. The mattress was stiff and didn’t vibrate when I put the quarter in. It was hard to get my freak on with a three-hour time limit and half the cellblock cheering. They didn’t even give us clean sheets. It was all part of a conspiracy by the Clintons.
After 12 whole days behind bars (although there actually were no bars), the world outside is virtually unrecognizable to me. I missed a new episode of SNL, and some of the segments were not archived on nbc.com. Hundreds of crock-pots sold on Home Shopping Network, and I couldn’t be there. A former U.S. president dies and I don’t even get to see the current one daydream through the funeral hymns. For this atrocity I blame George Soros.
For the simple, victimless crime of aiding and abetting foreign interference in a U.S. election and partaking in a conspiracy to sabotage American democracy, I was sent to a cold, cruel place with only 27 cable channels. Oxford, Wisconsin is not for the faint of heart. Lights out at 9. Desk lamp on at 9:01. WiFi iffy at best. I had to share my Xbox with a guy from Volgograd doing a month for wire fraud. Guys like that, with no reasonable prospect of getting released in time for the Tournament of Roses Parade, have nothing to lose and will hog the controls all day. Obviously he was placed in my cell as a spy by Barack Obama.
But I’m old school. I did the two weeks standing on my head. If you saw my head, you’d get it. I never asked for a pardon. I begged a couple of times, but I never asked. I did my time like a man, crying myself to sleep only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and of course the very first night, when I screamed for my mommy until they sedated me with phenobarbital. I even did a few hours of solitary. It takes a brave man to sauna alone in a prison.
I’ll never forget the friends I made on the inside—just their names, faces, and occupations. Inside, there are no political distinctions separating you—just crobars. Whether we were arch-conservative, right-wing, far-right, alt-right, reactionary, or Mark Levin listener, we all just got along. More importantly, we sliced the onions really thin so they dissolved in the pan.
I’ve paid my debt to society. Now it’s time for society to pay its debt to me. I understand a job just opened up at the Department of the Interior, and even though I used to be an “energy consultant,” so far no one has asked me. The President is also looking for a new chief of staff, but my phone isn’t ringing. No one wants to hire an ex-con. No one, apparently, except a bunch of Russian oligarchs. One of them already single-handedly paid my $9,500 fine, allowing me to pause my GoFundMe campaign. Another is paying me an undisclosed sum to introduce him to Eric and Don, Jr. A third has me running shoulder-fired rocket launchers to Syria. Aside from those and various other black market genre offers too numerous and incriminating to mention, my employment prospects are pretty bleak, and naturally I blame Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Back there in the can I had this great idea for a reality show called Lockup: Trump Campaign. The show would follow all the convicted felons from the President’s team—me, Flynn, Manafort, Cohen—and pretend to peer into the souls we pretend to have. You’d see us like regular inmates lifting weights, complaining about the hash browns, talking about sticking a liberal con with a penknife, going on holiday to the Dominican Republic with Rush Limbaugh. You know, fun stuff. In one episode I show off my ankle tattoo of Barron Trump. But there was no interest from the left-leaning networks in the show. None whatsoever. And for this I blame Anthony Weiner.
But such is life. Because of archaic, biased, draconian sentencing laws in this country all too often weaponized against first generation Americans trying to take the dark money fast track to fame, fortune, power and poontang, I not only suffered unspeakably for about 300 unremarkable and often ennui-filled hours in the bowels of a low-security federal penitentiary, but I am now faced with an additional 200 hours of forced community service.
Rather than appeal this part of my cruel and unusual sentence, I’m going to serve my community now as I always have—laundering Saudi cash, setting up clandestine meetings between Trump flunkies and shadowy diplomats, and acting as a conscienceless errand boy for ruthless dictators. However incredibly and laughably short the time served—more commensurate with a pair of moving violations or the purchase of a bottle of Ambien in a parking lot for off-label use—I took one for the team. And now the team has to take one for me. Vote Papadopoulos for U.S. Congress.