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Martha could make Big House living lavish

August 13, 2002|by TIM ROWLAND

This one's for Doug Arey, Rafiki Abdul Karim and all my friends down at the state prison complex:

Put this news item in your pipe and smoke it.

According to a report in The New York Times, the noose around Martha Stewart may be tightening. Members of Congress are demanding she turn over records related to a stock sale involving her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

According to the Times, an investigating committee "sent a strongly worded letter to Stewart late in the afternoon (Tuesday) after the stock market had closed, asking her to provide the records by Aug. 20. The committee has sought an interview with her for several days, but none has been scheduled. A lawyer for Stewart said her side has been seeking a delay."

Now we've all been watching the news and seeing footage of wrongly persecuted, big-time executives - whose only "crime" was to become amazingly wealthy at the expense of the people who trusted in their companies enough to invest - being led away in handcuffs by the feds.

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Now guys, maybe you're way ahead of me on this one, but I hope you will join me in frantically praying that the same happens to Martha Stewart. I mean, think of the implications.

Look, I'm aware of how you have to make do with what you've got, using toothpaste to glue photos to the wall or brewing hooch by setting Tang breakfast drink next to the radiator.

But think of the revolution that will occur in the prison lifestyle if Martha Stewart actually ends up doing time behind bars.

If anyone can fashion a shank out of chocolate brownie squares, it's Martha. If anyone can hoard their white bread and packets of Sweet 'N Low for a month and turn it into a good croquembouche, it's Martha.

I envision her cranking out a weekly newsletter - Martha Stewart Prison Living - replete with decorating tips and her monthly to-do calendar (Aug. 23: Suggest to warden new stenciling pattern around the border of 2003 New York State license plate).

I don't think there's any question she would make the Big House a perkier place to do 15 to life. Instead of secretly requesting that a family member bake a file into a cake, she'll ask for a glue gun.

By the way, speaking of incarceration, as a person who considered every second that I was confined to the established school system a clear violation of several constitutional amendments, I have to give a nod of admiration to two 6-year-old boys who last week went "over the wall" from a local day-care center.

Now if there are any toddlers reading this, Unkie Tim isn't saying that you should do this yourself, or that you should defy your elders (wink). Always obey your parents and teachers and other authority figures and remember that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, closed course circuit with professional driver, do not put nozzle near face, price excludes tax title destinations and options, and so on.

But man, to break out of day care. Those are my 6-year-old heroes. Unfortunately, it didn't work out well for them because they were grounded by their parents, or as we say in prison parlance, they were sent to the hole.

The kids' stated reason for the escape was that conditions in the day-care center had become intolerable, in that the caregiver had asked them to pick up their toys.

I bet they don't relish going back. The day-care mom/warden will get in their faces and say: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate; some kids you just can't reach."

I'm sure every prisoner at MCI can commiserate. Who among them hasn't been punished when they have mouthed off to a guard, tried to smuggle in contraband or failed to pick up their toys?

But I suppose the punishment was necessary, so boys, I hope you have learned your lesson. After all, no one wants to risk spending the rest of their lives with Martha Stewart.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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