In case you didn't read this week's Letters to the Editor in the print edition, we're starting a new weekly service called, "Female Prisoner Pen Pals" in which actual women prisoners from actual women's prisons introduce themselves and make their pitch on why they'd like to be your pen pal.
NOTE: The Mercury is not responsible for you getting too emotionally attached to your prison pen pal. You're an adult, and you need to start acting like one. Also—be nice! These gals are in prison, after all, and don't need any of your infantile shenanigans. Thank you.
Here's this week's Mercury Female Prisoner Pen Pal notification from Tabitha.
Hi, my name is Tabitha. I am 29 years old, I'm 5'5" and 150 pounds. I have brown eyes and brown hair. I'm serving a little bit of time in the Madison County jail in Rexburg, Idaho, and I'm looking for a good pen pal. If interested, please write to: Tabitha Wilson, 15 N 2nd East, Rexburg, ID, 83440.
Tabitha sounds nice. And she's only serving "a little bit of time," so whatever crime she committed couldn't have been too serious. Probably some trumped up marijuana charge, or maybe she fell in with the wrong crowd and drove the getaway car in a botched Burger King heist. I bet she needed the money because she has a sick little sister or something. Growing up in Rexburg Idaho couldn't have been easy. She probably dreamed of being a Broadway dancer, or perhaps a meteorologist at the local TV station. But those goals were shattered by disinterested parenting, a lousy public school system, and unsupportive friends who laughed at her dreams. Tabitha sounds like the kind of person who would really bloom if given half the chance. I bet she's got a dry wit, a nice smile, and is genuinely interested in people. Tabitha probably loves eating popcorn and more specifically, ham, which earned her the nickname "Delicatessen."
Here's what I think Tabitha might look like.
I think you should give Tabitha a chance. I think she'd really appreciate a letter from you. Thanks for your consideration, and tune in next week for another, "Female Prisoner Pen Pal"!